Saturday, August 29, 2009

Corrupt cop still in the Qld. police force

With only a minor demotion -- even though he used his senior position in an attempt to cover up an attempted murder!

It looks like the Misconduct Tribunal is a reincarnation of Sir Joh's old Police Whitewash Tribunal

The CMC has failed to have a police officer sacked for trying to convince a Brisbane couple not to take action against their daughter for conspiring to kill them. At the centre of Inspector Gerard McKendry's conflict of interest was that the 15-year-old schoolgirl was a good friend of his daughter's.

But although an internal police investigation also found McKendry had failed to protect the integrity of the crime scene, no sanction was imposed. New details can now be revealed about the sensational crime - and the Crime and Misconduct Commission's frustration with the police disciplinary service.

The CMC appealed the QPS decision and argued the officer should be sacked. Yesterday, the Misconduct Tribunal found he was unfit to continue as a commissioned officer and demoted him to sergeant level. The tribunal found he should not be sacked because of his history as a competent, hard-working officer.

Joshua Andrew Hockey and his teenage lover, who cannot be named, in 2006 plotted to kill the girl's mother and stepfather so they could run away. Hockey was supposed to cut the mother's throat and then kill the stepfather. But the plan went awry when Hockey could not overpower the stepfather.

Hockey and his girlfriend pleaded guilty to attempted murder and conspiracy to murder. Hockey received a nine-year jail sentence and his girlfriend, on appeal, had her sentence reduced to two years' jail.

McKendry was the regional duty officer on the night of the drama. A the scene, he provided "inappropriate advice to the (parents) in relation to providing the details of a particular solicitor, suggesting they not make a complaint against their daughter", a tribunal statement said. Evidence given by other police revealed McKendry was heard to say, "I would be getting her legal representation" and "I believe your daughter has mental health issues and I'd be directing your solicitor to take that path in relation to this". He was also heard telling the girl's mother that she could have a shower. Other police had directed the woman not to shower because it could destroy evidence.

The CMC's appeal decision comes after a major report into police corruption, a two-year investigation codenamed Operation Capri. CMC chairman Robert Needham said he was "prepared to accept" disciplinary findings taken by QPS in relation to Capri but said he was unhappy with aspects of the police disciplinary system.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Keen law-enforcement in Queensland again: 10 years to match fingerprints

JUSTICE can be slow but even two of the legal world's veterans were today stunned when it was revealed police took 10 years to match fingerprints at a crime scene with those of the culprit. In the District Court in Brisbane, Richard Allan Crookall , 29, pleaded guilty to the burglary of a house on September 30, 1998.

Crookall broke into the house at Wavell Heights, in Brisbane's north, and stole jewellery, money, CDs and sunglasses. Forensics police found a fingerprint at the scene on October 1, 1998. However, the fingerprint was finally matched to Crookall on December 12, 2008.

His fingerprints had been in the"system" since 1997 when he appeared on drugs charges and Crookall was a regular visitor to the courts in the past decade . He was sentenced to 30 months jail in 2007 for burglary offences.

When told there had been a delay in processing the fingerprint, long serving Judge Keith Dodds replied: "That is an understatement. These charges should have been before the sentencing judge at least in 2007. What do you want me to do set him back to jail?" The court heard, however, Crookall had breached his parole and was now due for release on September 7.

Barrister Peter Nolan, for Crookall, said the delay was "inexcusable". "If ever there was a case of no further punishment this is it. This offence should ahve been dealt with years ago," Mr Nolan said.

Judge Dodds sentenced Crookall to a further 10 months jail term with parole on September 7.