Monday, December 26, 2011

Qld. police politics ruin murder investigation

This looks very much like a coverup of police links with criminals

THE investigation of a brutal double murder on the Gold Coast was compromised by internal police politics, a former detective who worked the case claims.

A jury took just three hours in September to acquit two men of the 1999 murders in Springbrook of Ann-Maree Kropp and Christopher Nancarrow after a month-long trial - the culmination of 12 years of police work and two separate investigations - leaving the victims' families in despair.

Paddy Fenely, a former Gold Coast CIB detective sergeant, said he and a colleague were just weeks away from making arrests in January 2007 when they were "raided" by officers from homicide, who ordered them to drop the case and have no further contact with the victims' families.

Two men were arrested nine months later, leading to their trial and acquittal this year. "As far as I'm concerned they've just blown it," Mr Fenely told The Courier-Mail.

DNA alleged to be from the suspects was found at the scene, but no motive was established.

However, Mr Fenely said promising lines of inquiry suggesting the murdered couple had been recruited by a drug ring linked to Nomads bikies planning to supply methamphetamine to truck drivers in Murwillumbah appeared not to have been pursued by the officers who took over the case. "I had four people independently tell me the same story," Mr Fenely said. "We were never given the chance to look at that."

Mr Fenely said that, on January 23, 2007, a group of homicide officers "raided our office, with a direction that the investigation had been determined to be a cold case and files were to be handed over to homicide and we were to have no further involvement".

Mr Fenely claims there had been no grounds to declare a cold case and the move was driven by a push to use a controversial strategy in which police directly befriend criminals and get them to admit to former crimes. This is instead of the traditional method of using informants to introduce undercover police to existing criminal networks.

"I said 'righto, we'll go along with your system'," Mr Fenely said. "[But] I was against it. "Their system wasn't working after about six months, it got nowhere, so we said 'righto, let's wrap it up, we know who our two suspects are, work towards going and locking them up'.

"We argued that 'you've had your time, the families need closure, we know who the suspects are, we've identified them', and they wanted to continue to run, which they still did - continue their covert strategies - after we got the boot.

"I said 'these families have waited long enough and they don't need to wait any longer' and they said 'well they've waited this long and they can wait longer again'."

One of the officers who took over the case, Detective Sergeant David Nicoll, told the Brisbane Magistrates Court in 2008 that Gold Coast CIB had been removed from the investigation because of concerns they may have failed to fully probe the possible involvement of a former colleague who lived next door to the murdered couple.

The man, an ex-Gold Coast CIB detective, pleaded guilty to corruption charges and was jailed less than a month after the Springbrook murders.

Calls made on the day the couple are thought to have been killed from the former officer's house to the home and business of one of the men accused of the murders have never been explained.

One highly placed police source said homicide had taken over the investigation because of "sensitive issues that remain within the service". "There was a whole range of reasons, (the corrupt officer) was one of them," the source said.

The parents of Ann-Maree Kropp wrote to Commissioner Bob Atkinson in 2007 demanding to know why the Gold Coast officers had been removed. Then-Deputy Commissioner Dick Conder replied simply: "Members of the Homicide Investigation Unit have carriage of this investigation following previous extensive inquiries conducted by (the Gold Coast detectives)."

Changes to Queensland's double-jeopardy rules in 2007 mean people acquitted of murder can be retried if "fresh and compelling" evidence emerges.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

A case that should worry all Queenslanders

THE tacky, disturbing and totally unnecessary case of Bruce Rowe versus misplaced authority came to an end in the District Court on Monday. Well, it could have, although Constable Benjamin Arndt, who was found guilty of assaulting Rowe in 2006 in Brisbane's Queen Street Mall, could appeal to the Supreme Court or, conceivably, beyond.

The immovable Rowe, who turned 71 on Sunday, was a comparative stripling of 65 when he crossed paths with Arndt and a bunch of other police about 9 o'clock on the night of July 9, five-and-a-half years ago.

In an incident that was widely seen on TV (and is still out there on YouTube), Rowe was arrested, charged and convicted of obstructing police and failing to obey a police order after a disagreement that began in the public toilets and ended with him being held down by four officers and kneed by another.

It dragged through the Magistrates Court, the District Court and the Court of Appeal. The first court convicted Rowe, the second confirmed the conviction but the third overturned it.

The rematch came in the Magistrates Court in February when Rowe launched a private prosecution resulting in Arndt being found guilty of assaulting Rowe, fined $1000 and ordered to pay him $2250 court costs, although no conviction was recorded.

The established forces of investigation or law and order were conspicuous by their absence.

Then Arndt disputed the magistrate's findings but this week Judge Brian Devereaux tossed out the appeal. Watch this space.

The appeal largely revolved around claims that magistrate Linda Bradford-Morgan had relied on information extraneous to the case.

Arndt argued that the wrongful consideration of extraneous materials constituted a substantial miscarriage of the Magistrates Court trial, justice was not seen to be done and the trial was not conducted according to law.

Judge Devereaux was sympathetic to a point but decided it was open to the magistrate to convict Arndt on the original evidence without the distraction of the extraneous material.

He watched the distasteful video "many times" and declared: "It is unnecessary to say I reach precisely the same conclusions ... having due regard to the findings and conclusions of the magistrate but mindful of the errors I have found in her honour's reasoning, I have formed my own conclusion that the force used in the application of the four knee strikes was not authorised or justified or excused by law. "It was unlawful because it was not reasonably necessary and was unjustified in the circumstances."

How did it all come to this and why did it take so long to resolve?

Had Rowe been just another homeless, friendless and vulnerable man it might have been a simple issue resolved in court just after the morning drunks' parade.

In nine cases out of 10, that might have happened. However Rowe, although grieving and troubled, was also a stubborn and courageous man who refused to take a step backwards in the face of what he perceived as injustice.

He ultimately turned out to be more than capable of looking after himself and seeking justice. Perhaps, it is the other nine out of 10 cases we should be worried about.

At the time of Arndt's assault case, Police Union president Ian Leavers expressed concern that the conviction had "dire consequences for all police officers doing their job". "I am very, very concerned now that police officers across the state will be reluctant to do their job and the community will suffer," Leavers said.

It is a seductive sentiment for those who haven't the wit or the humility to ever imagine themselves in Rowe's shoes. However, it is ultimately even more harmful to the community to pretend that police cannot do their job without breaking the law.

And it is an affront to the thousands of police who do manage to do their difficult jobs without breaking the letter or the spirit of the law and apply the police motto of "With honour we serve" to all citizens, regardless of their station or their situation.

Equally worrying is that justice was delivered despite, not because of, the Police Ethical Standards Command and the Crime and Misconduct Commission, which found there was insufficient evidence to charge any of the police officers over the incident.

Subsequent court findings that Rowe was not only innocent but had been unlawfully roughed up must raise questions about the quality and diligence of both investigations.

Had it not been for the toughness and pigheadedness of Rowe, whose "age and slight frame" were noted by the magistrate, a serious wrong would have gone unpunished.

Had it not been for the video evidence, his might have been the feeble voice of an ordinary man who had fallen on hard times against that of police.

The inadequacies of the investigations into this event - and similar failings and inconsistencies in many others - are hardly likely to inspire confidence among the public or the police, who have an equal entitlement to justice.

The Roman poet Juvenal is credited with asking "Who will guard the guardians?" We are yet to adequately answer that, but surely it is not a 71-year-old man.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Judge upholds cop's conviction for assault

Why was no criminal conviction recorded against this scum? It is a sad day when citizens (such as Mr Rowe and Miss Eaves) have to launch private prosecutions to prove police misbehaviour. The police brass obviously believe there is a degree of assault by police that should be permitted. That is however an entirely extra-legal view.

The Commissioner himself is tainted by his inaction in these cases -- even more so since he used taxpayer funds to defend the erring officers and take their cases to appeal

One can only hope that there will now be disciplinary action against Arndt after the failure of his appeal confirms what garbage he is

A policeman who was found guilty of assaulting a homeless man in a Brisbane mall has had his appeal against the verdict dismissed.

Constable Benjamin Arndt was fined $1000 in February, with no conviction recorded, for assaulting 65-year-old Bruce Rowe in Brisbane's Queen St Mall in 2006.

He was one of four officers who restrained Mr Rowe after he failed to obey a cleaner's request to leave a public toilet in Brisbane's Queen St Mall where he was getting changed.

Security video of the incident, which attracted national media attention, formed the basis of Mr Rowe's assault complaint. He had originally been found guilty of obstructing police and disobeying a lawful direction, but the decision was overturned on a second appeal. Mr Rowe then launched a successful private prosecution for common assault against Const Arndt.

In documents lodged in the Brisbane District Court, Const Arndt argued the magistrate erred by considering the previous court cases between Mr Rowe and Const Arndt when making her decision in the latest case.

Const Arndt also alleged evidence was improperly led during the private prosecution and claimed the magistrate had failed to make sufficient rulings on a number of pertinent issues including the lawfulness of a "move on" direction given to Mr Rowe before the incident.

Judge Brian Devereaux dismissed these claims in Brisbane's Court of Appeal on Monday. He found the magistrate had erred by considering previous court cases but that the guilty verdict stood.

"Mindful of the errors I have found in her Honour's reasoning, I have formed my own conclusion that the force used in the application of the four knee strikes was not authorised or justified or excused by law," the judge said.

The Police Ethical Standards Command and Crime and Misconduct Commission had found there was insufficient evidence to charge any of the police officers over the incident.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lazy Qld. cops give embezzler a pass

FAKE Tahitian prince Joel Morehu-Barlow fled to Australia after a complaint was made to New Zealand police about an alleged criminal offence seven years ago. The revelation will embarrass the Crime and Misconduct Commission, police and Queensland Health, which last year dismissed a complaint about Barlow without a proper investigation.

The Sunday Mail has discovered Barlow's childhood "castle" was really an ageing weatherboard home with a tin roof in Thames, on New Zealand's North Island. His mother the "Queen", Andre Barlow, was last year convicted in the Wellington District Court of stealing almost $25,000 from her lesbian partner's inheritance funds to pay her bills.

Barlow, who was charged last week with embezzling $11 million from Queensland Health, was a child when he began lying about his links to royalty, schoolmates said. "He went on a bit about how he was famous," former Thames High School pupil Michael Barrett said. "He would carry around a staff."

Further details of the criminal allegations against Barlow cannot be published due to legal reasons, but it can be revealed he was a cross-dressing chameleon obsessed with his appearance.

He was a frequent customer in Brisbane spas and beauty clinics where he would get spray tans, eyebrow shaping and Botox. He was often seen in drag at The Sportsman Hotel in Spring Hill, patrons said. "When he was dressed as a man he shouted everyone, but when he was in drag everyone shouted him," one said.

He was fond of throwing lavish parties, including a massive $130,000 bash for his birthday.

Barlow had lived in a Vernon Tce apartment in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe since about 2004 and in the early days was often seen dressed as a woman.

He worked for the Children's Commissioner in NZ and also for the NZ Inland Revenue.

The CMC is investigating Queensland Health and police over the fiasco, but a spokeswoman confirmed the watchdog also would look at its own role, amid serious questions about its handling of complaints.

The CMC referred last year's complaint to Queensland Health, but retained oversight and accepted an inadequate investigation that did not even question Barlow.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aggressive Gold Coast cop harasses tennis champion

This is very reminscent of the Renee Eaves case on the Gold Coast. The cop had better watch out that he doesn't end up the same way

GOLD Coast tennis star Bernard Tomic is claiming police harassment after being pulled over for allegedly hooning in his $150,000 high-powered sports car.

Tomic, Australia's top-ranked male tennis player, says he is being victimised by a 'jealous' Coast traffic cop who has pulled him up several times while out and about in his distinctive bright orange BMW M3. The 19-year-old P-plater has a special Department of Transport exemption allowing him to drive the V8-powered vehicle.

Tomic alleged he was being targeted by the officer, who he refused to name, and said he was 'scared'. "He doesn't like me for some reason ... he's always on my tail," the teenager said. "I think it's really bad. I haven't done a thing wrong - I just go about my business as a tennis player."

Tomic said he was pulled up on Sunday night in Surfers Paradise after he was allegedly seen hooning on the Southport Spit. He said he was pulled up at traffic lights and denied he had broken the law. "I didn't speed, I didn't do any of that stuff," he said.

"The car's very loud but I don't know what he (the police officer) defines as hooning.

"It (being pulled over) scared me a bit, to be honest. He's pulled me over a few times but now it's starting to get a little bit more aggressive."

Police said the special licence exemption allowed Tomic to drive the BMW to and from training at Southport's Queens Park tennis centre. But Tomic, who this year became the youngest man to make the Wimbledon quarter-finals, said he understood he was entitled to drive at any time in the course of his professional duties.

"I've got training, gym, massages and meetings I have to go to ... my days are very busy getting ready for the summer (tennis season)," he said.

"I don't know what it is - jealousy or whatever - but this policeman seems to have it in for me. If I did the wrong thing, he would charge me, but he hasn't. "I know he has a job to do but so do I."

However, Tomic said he did not plan to lodge an official complaint about the officer. "If he wants to keep pulling me over, there's nothing I can do about it," he said.
"I just hope it stops."


Friday, December 2, 2011

Another thug cop gets off lightly

Why wasn't he charged with assault?

A QUEENSLAND police officer demoted for the wrongful arrest of a female officer, with whom he was romantically linked, has won an application to have his disciplinary period halved.

The Queensland Court and Administrative Tribunal has allowed serving police officer Mark McKenzie's appeal to reduce his demotion, from sergeant to senior constable, from two years to one year.

QCAT president Justice Alan Wilson and judicial member James Thomas, QC, in a just published 10-page decision, allowed Constable McKenzie's appeal against disciplinary action taken against him by acting Queensland Police Commissioner Tony Wright.

Commissioner Wright found Constable McKenzie, a sergeant at the time of the incident, had "inappropriately and forcibly detained" fellow Mount Isa officer Constable Jane Moran on March 1, 2008.

Justice Wilson and Mr Thomas’s decision means Constable McKenzie would not have to incur an expected impost of $23,000 lost in wages.

In February this year The Courier-Mail revealed Constable McKenzie lost an application to overturn an early 2009 decision to demote him after an internal disciplinary investigation and hearing.

QCAT member Joanne Browne, in a 21-page decision released in November last year, said: "Investigations have identified that whilst off duty you (McKenzie) became involved in an incident at police accommodations at Stanley Street, Mount Isa, where you detained Ms Moran."

She said he grabbed Ms Moran, forced her face-down on to a bed, handcuffed her and told her that she was being detained for domestic violence.

"Your actions resulted in Jane Sonya Moran sustaining injuries, including a fracture of the right eye socket," Ms Browne said.

"The QPS having found the charge (of inappropriately and forcibly detaining Ms Moran) to be substantiated, ordered McKenzie be reduced in rank from sergeant . . . to senior constable for a period of two years, effective from February 2010."

Constable McKenzie applied to QCAT to review the QPS findings and his demotion, on the grounds that it was manifestly excessive.

QCAT was told both officers became involved in a romantic relationship while living in separate QPS units at Mount Isa.

The tribunal heard conflicting versions of the March, 2008, incident, in which it was alleged Constable McKenzie feared Ms Moran might stab him after being awoken by her while he was asleep in his unit.

He said he then tried to subdue Ms Moran using police handcuffs to restrain her.

But Ms Browne, in her findings, said she agreed with the QPS determination and sanction, with his conduct not meeting community standards.

"The tribunal finds . . . the conduct of SC McKenzie is of such a nature as to erode public confidence in the police service and the sanction imposed was therefore appropriate," she said.

In September Justice Wilson and Mr Thomas, in reducing Constable McKenzie’s disciplinary period, said the original "penalty was too harsh."

"Regard should ... (have been given) to the fact that the (Constable McKenzie) has performed good service both before and after the incidents," he said.

"There does not seem to be any realistic chance, or discernible risk, of any repetition of the incident in question.

"All things considered we are persuaded that the present penalty was too heavy and that, in the interests of consistency, it should be replaced with a reduction in rank from Sergeant … to Senior Constable … for a period of one year."


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Public trust hit by spate of rogue police officers

Only a nong would trust the Qld. wallopers anyway

DISCIPLINARY problems among Gold Coast police and declining public trust have been exposed in internal briefings obtained by The Courier-Mail.

Thirty Gold Coast officers were subject to internal disciplinary hearings in 2010-11 as part of a crackdown that followed a rise in complaints.

One officer was dismissed after being investigated for "stealing from a social club". Eight others, probed for a range of more serious offences including fraud, perjury, supplying drugs, sexual misconduct with a witness and forgery, resigned.

A further four officers were stood down and two suspended. Five of the matters were dealt with by the courts.

Twelve other officers were fined, demoted or reprimanded for discipline breaches, including using a police vehicle to buy alcohol and falsifying rosters, according to documents obtained under the Right To Information laws.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission's widely publicised Operation Tesco corruption probe into Gold Coast police in June mentioned just three unnamed officers.

The investigations came amid a rising trend in complaints about Gold Coast officers, who since 2007 have attracted complaints at twice the rate as the QPS as a whole.

The Courier-Mail revealed in August that more than 20 QPS officers had quit in the previous 18 months, after being investigated over serious incidents, from corruption and favouritism to sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.

Revelations of misconduct appear to have eroded public trust in police. Surveys conducted for the QPS show that statewide in 2010-11, seven out of 10 people agreed with the proposition "most police are honest", down from eight out of 10 in 2007-08. Only six out of 10 people surveyed on the Gold Coast agreed.

A Queensland Police Union spokesman said public perceptions of police were no different to those for other public servants, including politicians. "There's no doubt that in all areas of public service there is increasing cynicism," he said.

Gold Coast district chief Supt Paul Ziebarth told top brass earlier this year that assaults and use of excessive force by officers were continuing concerns but there had been a drop in complaints. Supt Ziebarth said a "lack of practical discipline investigation skills" was holding up reports on bad behaviour so he planned more training.

Ethical Standards Command identified nine officers as being "at risk" and they were given counselling and performance management. One constable was transferred away from a "high risk" location.

Complaints substantiated against police in the Gold Coast district more than doubled, from less than one in every 20 complaints in the second half of 2009 to more than one in 10 a year later.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gold Coast cop fined over bikie's death

Speeding doesn't deserve the death penalty

A GOLD Coast policeman has been fined more than $13,000 for misconduct relating to the death of a bikie during a high-speed police chase.

Senior-Constable Stephen Chapman was originally fined $400 in February by Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Wilson but the Crime and Misconduct Commission stepped in and lodged an appeal.

Yesterday the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal found the original penalty was "manifestly inadequate" and ordered Sen-Const Chapman to pay the fine off at $128 a week for the next two years.

The misconduct relates to a pursuit involving Craig Robert Shepherd, 26, a member of the Odins Warriors motorcycle gang, who died after his bike hit a rock wall on a tight bend at Beechmont Rd on June 16, 2006. His passenger suffered permanent brain damage when the bike landed on top of her.

A coronial inquest in 2008 found that moments before the crash, Mr Shepherd was being pursued by a police car being driven by Sen-Constable Chapman at speeds of up to 160km/h.

Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Wilson had found Sen-Constable Chapman guilty of being untruthful during follow-up interviews and not complying with policies regard pursuits.

Sen-Constable Chapman, 48, had admitted contravening pursuit policies but contested the untruthfulness charge. He was fined $200 for each breach.

The CMC lodged an appeal with the tribunal on the grounds the penalty was manifestly inadequate and sought Sen Const Chapman's dismissal from the police service.

Sen-Constable Chapman and three other officers on duty the night Mr Shephard died also appealed against Mr Wilson's findings that they were untruthful in interviews by not declaring phone calls made about the incident.

While the officers were cleared of untruthfulness, in their QCAT judgment, Judicial Member James Thomas, QC, and Senior Member Richard Oliver ruled Sen-Constable Chapman's breaches were "serious" and while not serious enough to deserve his dismissal, a $200 fine was manifestly inadequate. Instead, the tribunal ordered Sen-Constable Chapman's pay be cut for two years.

"He had an exemplary record of service prior to the incident, and pleaded guilty to the only charge upon which he has been subsequently found guilty," the judgment found. "Notwithstanding this early plea, he has had the stress of five years' delay before determination.

"Taking into account all these factors, including the need to ensure that the police pursuit policy is respected, and attempting to maintain some consistency, we consider the appropriate sanction is the loss of two pay points for a period of two years."


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stupid Qld. cops think pointing an empty gun at someone is attemped murder

A DISABILITY pensioner who was charged with attempted murder after he pointed an empty gun at a former friend and pulled the trigger, pleaded guilty to the far lesser crime of common assault, today.

Robert John Anforth , 62, spent six months in custody on remand and was to face a trial today of attempting to murder Paul Asher last year.

However, prosecutor Jacob Robson told the Supreme Court in Brisbane, the Crown would no longer proceed with the attempted murder but would present another indictment charging Anforth with common assault.

Attempted murder carries a maximum sentence of life in jail while common assault has a maximum penalty of three years jail.

Mr Robson said after careful anaylsis of the evidence it was apparent the Crown would have difficulty proving Anforth had an intent to kill and it accepted Anforth was trying to scare his victim.

He said the attitude of the victim had also changed and Mr Asher had not wanted the attempted murder trial to go ahead.

After hearing submissions, Justice George Fryberg agreed it was unlikely on the evidence he had seen a reasonable jury would have convicted Anforth of attempted murder.

However, Justice Fryberg said the matter went from police charging Anforth, to magistrates court hearing where Anforth was committed to stand trial on attempted murder, to various reviews where even 10 days ago an attempted murder trial was to go ahead.

Justice Fryberg said it wasn't until Mr Robson was given the brief 10 days ago someone had looked at it and realised the problems with an attempted murder charge.

Anforth pleaded guilty to the common assault on Asher, on July 30 last year.

The court heard Asher had been staying at Anforth's rural property at Minden, west of Ipswich, for about three months but things were strained and Asher was planning to move out.

Asher was loading wood onto a ute at the property when he saw Anforth who pulled a handgun out of his short pointed it at Asher and pulled the trigger. The gun was unloaded at that time.

The court heard Asher took cover and then heard a shot. He started running and heard another shot before fleeing to a nearby shop where he called police.

Mr Robson said the common assault had been the pointing of the unloaded gun at Mr Asher and it was compunded by the actual shots which were not directed at Mr Asher.

Barrister Sea Seaholme, for Anforth, said the Crown always faced problems with proving his client intended to injure Mr Asher and the two later shots had been fired in the air.

Justice Fryberg said it was a serious example of common assault as Anforth had terrorised his victim. But he said after taking into account the time already spent in custody and the guilty plea he would sentence Anforth to a wholly suspended 27 months jail.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Police inspector stood down over leaving can of dog food on desk

The very idea that revelations of police misbehaviour are wrong is deeply offensive to the community

A CAN of dog food has landed a police inspector in hot water after allegations of inappropriate office behaviour.

The inspector from the Ethical Standards Command allegedly had a disagreement with a co-worker and afterwards left a can of dog food on the person's desk as an insult.

The 44-year-old inspector has been stood down from his position and reassigned to a non-operational area at Police Headquarters until an investigation into his alleged behaviour wraps up.

Queensland Police released a statement saying they expect all officers to perform their duties ethically and professionally.

Calling someone a dog is said to be the worst thing a police officer can call a co-worker because it means they are a snitch or have “dobbed” on them for doing something.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An amusing -- but revealing -- defeat for the Queensland wallopers

On Sept. 15 I reported on the case of Eaves v. Donnelly in which Renee Eaves was awarded the sum of $93,000 against ex-cop Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland.

One would have thought that the Queensland Police Service would have been deeply embarrassed to find that a private prosecution was needed to establish the culpability of one of their officers after they had proclaimed that he had no case to answer.

Had there been any decency at the top one would have thought that prompt payment of the award accompanied by profuse apologies to Ms Eaves would be the order of the day.

Their actual response however established what low types run the Qld. cops. They say that fish rot from the head and it seems that the Qld cops are still in that category. The Fitzgerald enquiry put the Qld. police chief in jail so rottenness at the top is a reasonable expectation in Qld.

And that expectation would seem to be borne out in the Eaves vs. Donnelly matter. Instead of showing any contrition, the police decided to appeal the verdict. The scathing comments about them from Judge Samios were apparently like water off a duck's back. And that decision to appeal can only have come from somewhere close to the top if not the top itself.

But here's the amusing part: Their grounds for appeal were so weak that they had to back out of the appeal. They went to the Court of Appeal (a division of the Qld Supreme Court) but the court either point blank refused to hear them or they were quietly advised that they had no case.

What scum!

Needless to say, Renee is feeling in a very good mood at the moment after the failure of the appeal (though she still hasn't got the money) so she sent me some pix:

Renee's comment on the Pic above: "The boy's club army all to sort out one lil blonde single mum....... Chickens ... but expensive ones for the taxpayers. Sherman Oh is the Asian one and Mark Hinson the senior counsel is front right"

Renee in a place she now rather likes

A meditation

The amount the cops must have spent on legal services in the matter rather boggles the mind. It would have been MUCH cheaper for the taxpayer if they had settled out of court. But to do that would have required at least an implicit admission of fault and they were clearly not adult enough for that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A letter to the Qld. CMC

Sent to me for publication by the author

I wish to submit a complaint about police officer Jamie Hurley, who also goes by the name of Jamie Joseph. Issues include:

• Using police computers to access private information about me without cause

• Using police computers to access legal information and publishing same on facebook

• Using the heroic death of a police officer as an excuse to get stress leave so that he could pursue an acting career

• Taking place in a film whilst on duty (Alien Sons, filmed in Jacobs Well)

• Attending acting classes with me and a certain movie producer and performing other personal errands whilst on duty and in uniform

• Leaving his police weapon on the coffee table with a civilian whilst he went up to his car – can describe it as a Colt, also displaying it to my father

• Using a police vehicle for private purposes, and taking photos of actors in the back of his police vehicle (details enclosed)

• Earning an income as an actor whilst on stress leave

• Displaying and discharging a taser on a civilian to display it’s effect whilst they were visiting his home (kept in police safe, was removed in my presence)

• Bringing a confiscated weapon (knife) to a film set, being photographed/filmed with it and later giving same to one of the crew – can offer it back as evidence

• Acting as a safety officer on film set whilst on duty (Alien Sons)

• Discharging his weapon without cause to “display it’s power” at Jacobs Well

• Using his badge to remove children from an area of a park to make space for filming even though he was off duty and there was no legal right for the crew to have the park to themselves

I realise that bringing an accusation against a police officer usually just results in even more harassment and no action, as he so succinctly pointed out himself, but a line has to be drawn somewhere, and I have had enough of a bad police officer abusing his privilege and making my life hell in the middle of it all.

UPDATE:  James Hurley has emailed me as follows:

I was a police officer for many years both in Victoria and Queensland. As a police officer, I NEVER did anything that was illegal or outside the boundaries of my position. I was given the opportunities to abuse my position by both police officers and criminals, yet I always refused and at times when necessary, reported the issue. I left the Qld service in 2013 suffering from PTSD. 

I am trying to get my life on track and recover from this illness and am succeeding now. 

The complaint placed on your blog was a totally fictitious complaint made up by a person wanted for impersonating a gynaecologist. This person and his partner blamed me for the QPS finding out who they were and they mdd it their goal to impact my life in a negative way. The part of this that really gets to me is the claim I used the death of my very good friend and colleague as a reason to get out of work. This really pisses me off. 

90% of the rest of the complaint was discounted by investigation. i.e.: the downloading of the Taser to prove an activation had not occurred. There are a couple of things I can’t prove didn’t happen but believe when I say they didn’t.

My request is, can you please remove this story from your blog? It is completely untrue and it does continue to haunt me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Queensland Police crime figures flawed and unreliable, say criminologists

QUEENSLAND Police keep two sets of books on crime - only one of which they release to the public. The other they keep to themselves.

Queenslanders get district and regional figures, which criminologists say cannot be used to measure crime accurately because the reporting method is flawed and unreliable.

By contrast, residents in NSW can access crime statistics by suburb, collected by an independent body and published online.

Since 2006, the QPS has made 41 changes to police district boundaries, making "apples to apples" comparisons impossible.

In 2009 the Gold Coast police district shrank from 1140sq km to 374sq km after the QPS created a 3004sq km Coomera police district. Crimes figures for several Gold Coast crime categories declined as a result.

Police Minister Neil Roberts told The Courier-Mail that police had provided him with recent crime statistics on Gold Coast crime based on the old district boundaries but the QPS has declined to provide these to The Courier-Mail.

The minister's office has yet to respond to a request to supply this data.

Police also record "divisional" figures on a consistent basis but they are kept secret.

On the Gold Coast, divisional figures are collected for Coolangatta, Palm Beach, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Southport, Runaway Bay, Mudgeeraba, Nerang, Coomera and Robina.

With the exception of Robina, boundaries for those areas had not changed during the past decade, a senior police source told The Courier-Mail.

The QPS said it could not release the divisional statistics because they had not been "verified" by their statistics unit. "We don't do anything further down than the districts," a spokeswoman said.

The QPS told The Courier-Mail it would have to make an application under Right To Information laws to see the divisional statistics, which also are routinely denied to academics.

"You have to go through a research committee and they are likely to refuse you," said leading criminologist Paul Wilson of Bond University, adding he knew of no researcher accessing the data.

Professor Wilson said of the police figures: "You can't get any consistent trends over time. They are quite inadequate."

A QPS spokeswoman said the geographic boundaries were "operational police boundaries and as such are amended over time to meet operational needs" such as when new housing estates were created.

LNP police spokesman John-Paul Langbroek said he had never been provided the divisional crime figures for the Gold Coast district he represents.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Constable Barry John Donnelly and State of Queensland to pay Renee Eaves, 35, damages for harrassment, intimidation

A QUEENSLAND traffic policeman and the State Government have been ordered to the pay a former model $93,000 in damages for harassment and intimidation more than five years ago.

Brisbane District Court judge Nick Samios ordered Constable Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland pay Renee Terri Eaves, 35, damages after she was arrested and falsely imprisoned amid allegations she drove while disqualified on March 16, 2009.

Judge Samios, in a 21-page written judgment, said he accepted Constable Donnelly demonstrated he "did not like'' Ms Eaves, then more than four months pregnant, when he led her away in handcuffs past fellow residents at her Vernon Tce apartments at Teneriffe.

Ms Eaves was seeking $200,000 in damages after she claimed Constable Donnelly arrested her despite her protestations that her partner had driven from the Royal Brisbane Hospital -- where she was treated for pregnancy-related nausea.

She claimed Constable Donnelly took her to the Brisbane Watchhouse and that she was denied medication or a container to vomit in and was abused by another female prisoner for being sick in the cell.

Ms Eaves, in her statement, alleged that before the arrest Constable Donelly had regularly parked outside her unit and called her intercom. She said he intercepted her on 15 to 20 occasions between May 2004 and March 2006. Ms Eaves was later found not guilty of unlicensed driving.

During a four day civil trial in the District Court early last month, Ms Eaves testified Constable Donnelly, after placing her in handcuffs about 5.45pm on March 16, had paraded her through her building, down a lift, past cafes, shops, people and neighbours.

"(Ms Eaves) said (that) along the way she was sick and she was dry-retching and then once in the police vehicle she felt sick and needed to vomit,'' Judge Samios said.

"(Ms Eaves) was then transported to the Roma Street Watchhouse where she was taken into custody ... charged with the offence of disqualified driving ... (and later) before a magistrate ... was found not guilty of the charge.''

The court was told Ms Eaves, who represented herself during the hearing, felt her arrest was a malicious act and that she was "really scared about being put in the lock-up while pregnant.''

Ms Eaves testified Constable Donnelly had subjected her to ongoing harassment prior to the 2006 incident, saying the officer had approached her on between "15 and 20 occasions.''

Constable Donnelly testified he had "rarely made mistakes in his working life'' as a police officer.

Under cross-examination by Ms Eaves, Constable Donnelly denied acting in a "spiteful'' manner at the time he arrested her. "(However Constable Donnelly) agreed there had been verbal slanging-matches between (Ms Eaves) and (himself) but he said it was from (Ms Eaves') side not from his,'' Judge Samios said.

The court was told Ms Eaves' "traffic history was appalling'' and that she had racked up 30 traffic offences between January 7, 2000 and October 26, 2004. Judge Samios said Ms Eaves finally regained her driver's licence on July 31, 2008, but was booked for speeding the following day and caught driving while using a mobile phone on September 5, 2008.

In handing down his findings, Judge Samios said: "I consider (Constable Donnelly) was not even-handed about (Ms Eaves) ... (and) appeared to be adverse to (her).'' "I find (Constable Donnelly) made a mistake when he identified (Ms Eaves) as the driver of the vehicle ... (and) I do not accept he made an honest mistake.''

Judge Samios said he accepted Ms Eaves to be a "truthful witness'' and in particular "her evidence about her past dealings'' with Constable Donnelly. "(Constable Donnelly) handcuffed her with her hands behind her back and laughed at her when she was vomiting,'' he said.

"I find (Constable Donnelly) guilty of false imprisonment of (Ms Eaves) ... (and) I find the (State of Queensland) vicariously liable.''

Judge Samios awarded Ms Eaves $30,000 in compensatory damages, $10,000 in exemplary damages, $20,000 in aggravated damages and $33,000 interest.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amazing case: Single mother sues slimy cop -- and wins

She represented herself in court against a range of top legal brains and beat them all

I have in front of me a copy of the District Court judgment of today's date in the matter of Eaves v. Donnelly in which Renee Eaves was awarded the sum of $93,000 against Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland.

Ms Eaves is a very attractive blonde model from whom (I surmise) constable Donnelly wanted sex. He apparently was such a low character that he thought he could coerce her into it. She did not oblige him.

So he launched a campaign of harassment against her, secure in the assumption that a dumb blonde could never do anything to touch a Queensland cop.

He arrested her repeatedly on trumped up charges, all of which were thrown out when they came to court.

It was then that Renee showed her steel. She was NOT just a pretty face but a woman determined to get justice against the scum concerned.

And she stuck at it for years. She of course complained to the CMC -- where police investigate police -- and they rejected her complaint.

She then began to get media coverage of the matter, hoping that would shake some action loose. It didn't but it stressed out the cop. He went on stress leave for a year and then resigned.

But Renee still felt that the police had to be held to account -- to discourage oppression of other women by police. So she launched a damages claim in the District Court, where she showed she is not only a steely blonde but a smart one. She repeatedly cross-examined successfully.

During her long battle to get into the District Court, however, Renee ran out of money. Everything about the law is expensive and her means were slender. She in fact ran out just before the matter was due to come up so it looked as if her long battle was going to be for nought.

At that point I stepped in and paid her legal costs from that point on. I had never even met her but I have had a loathing against scum police ever since the extraordinary Barry Mannix case -- where the corrupt police got off Scot-free.

The real villain in this case, however is not the scum cop but rather the police service and the CMC who did nothing to pull him into line or attempt to make amends for his deeds. Except for the extraordinary courage of Ms Eaves, the guilt of the cop in the matter would never have been established.

And in the end it is the taxpayer who will pay -- well over $100,000 all up when legal costs are included.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More than 600 Queensland police officers caught breaking traffic laws in two years

A POLICE sergeant who let an unlicensed young woman drive his marked patrol car while he changed gears is one of more than 600 officers who have been caught breaking traffic laws in the past two years.

The officer from Dimbulah in far north Queensland was reported by a witness after the car swerved to miss a kangaroo and hit a tree, then drove off. He had been seen drinking at the Chillagoe Hotel, about 100km away, before the crash.

The Ethical Standards Command investigated the case, along with 44 others relating to police weaving through bus lanes, talking on mobile phones while driving, drink-driving on the job and even driving unlicensed.

Another 557 police were made to pay speeding or red-light offences out of their own pocket after it was found they had no valid excuse for breaking traffic laws.

In three more cases, the police service could not identify the driver and had to pay the "corporate" fine.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said the infringements officers had to pay themselves amounted to "fewer than one a day".

He said police could only speed while responding to priority one or two jobs and go through a red light after stopping to ensure it was safe to do so.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the fines showed police were treated no differently to others who broke traffic laws.

"If anything, police face more scrutiny and harsher treatment because of their role in the community," Mr Leavers said.

"Given there's more than 10,000 police in Queensland driving millions of kilometres a year, the numbers are really very small."

But Terry O'Gorman from the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties said it was appalling so many police were breaking traffic laws and escaping fines or disciplinary action.

Of the 45 cases investigated by ESC, 29 resulted in the lowest form of police discipline "managerial guidance" for the officers involved.

They included a motorcycle officer who drove at 146km/h in an 80km/h zone on the Sunshine Coast to catch another rider exceeding the speed limit by 28km/h.

A senior constable spotted talking on her mobile phone while escorting a long wide load was also given managerial guidance, as was an officer who used a police car for personal jobs, leaving his station and being unable to respond to an urgent case.

Mr Leavers said managerial guidance was a "valuable tool" in the disciplinary system.

Mr O'Gorman said their light-handed treatment reflected the attitude among police that there was "one law for them and another for the rest of us".

The Dimbulah sergeant was ordered to pay $9000 restitution to cover vehicle repairs and had his pay docked by about $40 a week.

* A constable whose licence had been suspended by SPER was caught on camera speeding despite not being on the way to a job.

* A policewoman was spotted talking on her mobile phone while escorting a long-wide load.

* A policeman talking on his mobile while driving told a civilian who questioned him that police were exempt from traffic laws.

* An off-duty constable pulled over by police when he was seen talking on his mobile phone then blew a blood-alcohol reading of 0.051 per cent.

* A police officer on the way to a disturbance at Woorabinda hit a kangaroo and then recorded an alcometer reading of 0.057 per cent after reporting the incident.

* A police car struck a woman walking through Brunswick Street Mall and offered her no assistance.

* An officer who dobbed in a police recruit applicant for speeding was disciplined himself for doing 143 in a 70km/h zone in an unauthorised pursuit while off-duty.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Man died after being restrained by police in Spring Hill, Brisbane

POLICE used a neck restraint on a man during a scuffle in a Brisbane park before he became unconscious and later died, an inquest heard today.

Carl Antony Grillo, 42, died in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital after the altercation with officers at Spring Hill on September 14, 2009.

Grillo was wanted by police for failing to appear in court in Caboolture Magistrates Court. He had been charged with drugs and weapons offences as well as breach of bail after being released from prison the previous month.

The Brisbane Coroners Court today heard one of the officers involved in Grillo's apprehension had used a neck restraint - a technique taught by the Queensland Police Service.

During their internal investigation of the incident, police said one of the officers had been in a scuffle with Grillo before he ended up on the ground. Another man helped that officer restrain Grillo before he was rolled into the recovery position.

Investigators said a second officer arrived and was talking to Grillo, but then the 42-year-old's breathing became shallower and an ambulance was called.

Witness Leith Phillips said she worked in an office block nearby and watched the drama unfold with her workmates. "We could hear some commotion outside. Because it kept going, we went out and had a look," she said.

Ms Phillips described two men pushing another "scruffy" looking man to the ground, who was tattooed and dressed in black. Once on the ground, she said the two men kneeled on his shoulder and lower back to restrain him. "The guy on the ground was sort of thrashing his head from side to side on the concrete," Ms Phillips said.

She said a third man arrived with a set of handcuffs, but the other two didn't get off him even after he was cuffed. She said one of the men looked around before giving the man on the ground a few quick hits to his head. "To me, it looked unnecessary," Ms Phillips said. "There were two guys on him, he was handcuffed, he wasn't going anywhere."

Ms Phillips agreed the hits were more like jabs but that they happened twice, and she discussed it with her colleagues. "We didn't believe there was a reason they needed to do that," she said.

Ms Phillips said she saw the men flip the tattooed man over and start talking to him, and she could see he was still breathing when they put him on his front.

But about five minutes later, she said they turned him over a second time and checked his vital signs. "When they got on the phone, we knew what they were doing. We assumed they were phoning the ambulance," she said.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Qld. Police to be banned from investigating misconduct in their own ranks

QUEENSLAND police will be banned from investigating serious misconduct in their own ranks with private investigators or interstate officers to be used instead, under new State Government policy.

It is one of 57 recommendations from a three-person independent panel into the police complaints, discipline and misconduct system and was adopted by State Cabinet this week.

But Premier Anna Bligh has been accused of being "secretive" by sitting on the decision and not telling police or the public immediately.

The Queensland Police Union also said it was "payback" for last week's wage win in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, which will cost the Government an extra $87 million. "For the State Cabinet to secretly endorse changes to the Queensland Police Service and not tell anyone about it smacks of underhandedness of the highest order," QPU president Ian Leavers said.

"The Queensland Government should have had the honesty and the integrity to inform police of all the changes they had made when they actually made them."

Currently, the Crime and Misconduct Commission seconds QPS officers to investigate serious complaints.

The other recommendations, which are also expected to be implemented, include:

* Additional power for the CMC to change disciplinary decisions by the QPS if they deem them too lenient.

* New timeframes for reporting.

* Limited tenure for police and CMC officers in the Ethical Standards Command.

* Creating a joint CMC and QPS "ethical health scorecard" .

* Development of a business case for targeted drug and alcohol testing for police.

A spokeswoman for Ms Bligh denied there was anything secret about the initiatives, which were part of the Simple Effective Transparent Strong report, tabled in Parliament in May.

However, she would not say why an announcement on their adoption had not been forthcoming and did not deny a decision had been made.

The Premier said last night, in a statement, the Government was committed to releasing its response by the end of August. "There are 57 recommendations and we are giving our consideration to all of them," she said. "What's more I have asked for more work to be done around a number of them, and the Government is on track to release its full response as promised by the end of August."

Mr Leavers said the new system would "add significant costs and expenditure to the Queensland Budget at a time when we need to be spending every government dollar on frontline services not more pointless bureaucracy".


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Queensland police misconduct files reveal corruption, favouristism, sexual misconduct

A POLICE officer said he would let a woman off for mail theft if she had sex with him, another three officers were caught stealing while on duty and 10 more were nabbed for drink-driving - including one on the way to work, fraud and misconduct investigations have revealed.

More than 20 Queensland police officers have quit in the past 18 months after being investigated over serious incidents ranging from corruption and favouritism, sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.

However, most of those investigations were subsequently dropped because they were no longer employed by Queensland Police Service, documents obtained by The Courier-Mail under Right to Information have revealed.

Other misconduct investigations that were substantiated included one where a police officer demanded a woman he was investigating for mail theft "show him her breasts", then proceeded to sexually assault her.

The (police officer) told her he had "bent a few rules", that he would "take care of a few charges and not prosecute her", documents reveal.

There are thousands of code of conduct complaints against police officers each year but a Queensland Police Service spokesman said only a "small fraction" were substantiated following investigations.

Other internal investigations into officers include:

* "Maintaining a relationship" with a career criminal and driving him away from a crime scene following an assault.

* Child pornography found on home computer.

* Pole dancing with a pool cue on top of a pool table and then inappropriately touching another officer in view CCTV cameras.

* Keeping nine guns under bed.

* Accessing police files for personal use.

Most officers caught drink-driving remained on the police force but lost their driving licences for a period of time after the matters were heard in court.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said it was not surprising in a workforce of 15,000 people.

"The important issue is that these people have been identified and have either been dismissed, resigned or have been provided with managerial guidance to address their behavior so that they continue to maintain the high standards of the Queensland Police Service," he said.

"The police union does not support any person who deliberately engages in criminal, corrupt or illegal behavior but sometimes people genuinely make mistakes and we will always support those police involved," Mr Leavers said.


CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: The officer demanded a woman he was investigating for mail theft to "show him her breasts and sexually assaulted her". He took her for a drive in a police vehicle, "removed his penis from his pants and demanded oral sex". He later telephoned the woman he was investigating seeking phone sex and told her he'd "bent a few rules" to take care of the charges against her and see that she wasn't prosecuted. The investigation was substantiated and the officer resigned.

SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: Taskforce Argos found images of child exploitation material on the officer's home hard drive. He had been accessing the material over a number of years. The officer resigned and court action was taken.

CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: An officer maintained a relationship with a career criminal who was under witness protection, even being prepared to drive him away from the scene of an assault before police arrived. Officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

CORRUPTION AND FAVOURITISM: The officer took a body to the undertaker where his wife worked. He resigned from QPS and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR: The off-duty officer was on top of a pool table and "pole dancing" with a pool cue. She approached a woman, placed her arm around her shoulders and neck, squeezing tight. There was CCTV footage of the incident and the officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.

PUBLIC NUISANCE: The officer's brother failed to leave a licensed premises, was arrested and taken to the police station following a joint drinking session. The off-duty officer then banged on the station's front door loudly, yelled abuse at police and was drunk. His brother was released and went back to the hotel to join the officer after being refused entry. When police arrived, the officer was involved in a fight at the hotel. When his police colleagues tried to intervene, the officer pushed them away, swore and abused them. He was taken away by a friend before he was arrested. The officer resigned.

INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR: Officer picked up intoxicated youths who he knew as part of "Adopt-a-cop" and drove them around for hours and let them sleep at his home. He was provided with "managerial guidance".

EXCESSIVE FORCE/ASSAULT OFF DUTY: The complainant alleges the officer punched him in the face when an argument broke out during a drinking session. The officer has since died.

COVERING UP INAPPROPRIATE CONDUCT: Officer lied about a speeding fine after being caught doing 91km/h in a 70km/h zone. He falsified a report claiming he was "speeding to intercept a white van following too close to another vehicle". The officer now admits he did not intercept the vehicle and at the time he had "accumulated near maximum points on his drivers licence".

STEALING: An officer used a police car to transport fence panels he stole while on night patrol. They were later erected in his own front garden. He was helped by another officer. One of them resigned - also suspected of stealing shed panels - and both were ordered to undertake 120 hours of community service and pay restitution.

STEALING: An officer was in possession of a ute that had been reported stolen and the insurance claim had settled. The officer resigned and was fined $1000 and given a 12 month good behaviour bond.

STEALING: An officer attended a break and enter at a private business and convinced the owner that an industrial-grade high-pressure cleaner would be seized as evidence and then destroyed. In actual fact, the officer took the cleaner home. He was also accused of stealing paint tins from the scene of a fire. The officer resigned and the investigation did not reach a conclusion.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Qld. Police suppress 'appalling' video of misbehaviour by one of their own

A video showing an anti-terrorism squad officer stripped to his underpants and gyrating his groin in the face of a drunk Aboriginal colleague has been suppressed at the request of Queensland Police.

The suppression order comes ahead of the release of a major review of police disciplinary procedures, raising further questions about the culture within Queensland’s police force and why the officer was not sacked.

The security camera footage, taken at the McDonald’s restaurant in the south-east Queensland town of Kingaroy on March 23 last year, shows Constable Daniel Kennedy straddling the Aboriginal officer while nine other non-indigenous officers watched on.

Constable Kennedy’s actions came to light when police reviewed the footage during an investigation into the Aboriginal officer’s arrest at the restaurant late on the first night of the state’s annual police rugby league carnival.

A Queensland Police report into the incident described Constable Kennedy actions thus: "You approached …removed your shorts, lifted your left leg and gyrated your groin in front of his face."


The Special Emergency Response Team officer’s actions were described as “appalling” by Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart, who presided over an internal police disciplinary action last November.

"I have seen the footage and I am appalled by your behaviour … I am sure that had members of the public witnessed your behaviour, they would have been affronted by it … In your case, not only did you commit an act resulting in your conviction for a public nuisance offence but, if observed by a member of the public, it had the potential not only to be seen as offensive but also taunting the dignity of [the other officer], together with racial overtones."

Deputy Commissioner Stewart delivered his findings in the presence of Constable Kennedy, who denied it was a racist act.

However, Deputy Commissioner Stewart found Constable Kennedy’s conduct had “tarnished the good image of the majority of members of this organisation, which we strive to maintain …”

“Additionally your conduct had the potential to result in significant publicity and embarrassment to the Service and its members,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Stewart's report said that Constable Kennedy had kept his underpants on, but an investigation had revealed the incident with the intoxicated and sleeping Aboriginal officer was not consensual.

“I note the argument submitted that your actions were done in jest and not intended to offend your friend,” Deputy Commissioner Stewart said. “I acknowledge there is no evidence you exposed yourself or that there was any contact, deliberate or accidental, between your genital area and [the other officer]. Further [he] has regarded this as a joke.”


Queensland's administrative appeals tribunal, QCAT, has ordered the CCTV footage never be shown.

An application by SBS for its release was denied, in spite of assurances to conceal the Aboriginal officer's identity.

Tribunal member Susan Booth ruled the footage is "capable of offending public decency" and could still cause the officer public ridicule and humiliation.

Former Queensland police inspector Col Dillion, once the highest ranking Aboriginal officer in Australia, retired a decade ago warning of the police culture towards indigenous officers.

“I think it is absolutely reprehensible, the actions of the police … given for starters, the police officer, any police officers for that matter should be setting the highest possible standards of behaviour for society,” he said.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service's Greg Shadbolt said Constable Kennedy’s actions had besmirched the reputations of his colleagues.

“The Queensland police service has the largest vested interest in cleaning up this area because there are many many officers who work long and hard in very trying circumstances, and do a tremendous job, as a general rule, and for them to have their reputation besmirched by conduct of this nature is really beyond the pale,” he said.

“One must feel really sorry for the other officers and wonder what they must think of all this.”

The Aboriginal officer did not lodge a complaint about the incident. He declined to be interviewed by SBS.

$250 FINE

The police disciplinary report states Constable Kennedy “did not believe his actions were inappropriate when he considers the circumstances of the incident. He stated this type of behaviour had occurred at other police football carnivals".

He was immediately stood down from anti-terrorism duties and later pleaded guilty to public nuisance, for which he was fined $250 with no conviction recorded in Kingaroy magistrates court.

Despite suppressing video of the incident, QCAT rejected a police application to suppress an audio recording of the deputy commissioner Ian Steward's disciplinary hearing, citing public interest.

It reveals that Constable Kennedy’s pay was frozen for a year, but this did not prevent his reinstatement to the elite Special Emergency Response Team.

ATSILS’ Greg Shadbolt said the outcome seemed “woefully inadequate”. “As I say, it really does demonstrate yet again the fact that police investigating police in terms of outcomes, simply doesn't work,” he said.

Mr Dillion, now the acting director of the University of Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit, said if a similar incident took place in that institution, the offender would be sacked.

“I'd certainly expect the person would be dealt with in the harshest possible terms,” he said.

In a brief statement to SBS, Queensland's police minister (mr) Neil Roberts said the issue is an internal police matter

A review of police disciplinary procedures ordered by Queensland premier Anna Bligh is due for release by September. It comes after the lack of disciplinary action against police investigators in the Palm Island death-in-custody case of Cameron Doomadgee. The issue of police investigating police is a major concern of the review.

Mr Shadbolt said the facts of the Kingaroy incident were not in question, placing the focus on Constable Kennedy’s punishment. “Anyone else, working for any other organisation would have been dismissed and the question I think the public is asking is should the police have lower standards than the rest of society,” he said.

Queensland Police told SBS the matter had been investigated by its Ethical Standards Command, and that “disciplinary charges were laid against this officer in accordance with the findings of that investigation”.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Renee Eaves vs. Barry Donnelly and the Qld. Police heating up

From Last March:
A former swimsuit model is suing the Queensland Police Service for $200,000 in damages, claiming she was repeatedly harassed by a traffic policeman and wrongfully arrested.

Gold Coast mum Renee Eaves, 34, is claiming a former Brisbane constable intercepted her 15 to 20 times between 2004 and 2006 and was known to regularly park outside the Brisbane unit she lived in at the time.

In a statement of claim lodged in the Brisbane District Court, the former Miss Bikini World said the officer often pulled her over for minor traffic infringements and once fined her for being a car passenger with a twisted seatbelt.

Apparently the case goes to court this coming Monday. An interesting twist is that Crown Law are apparently trying to spy on Ms Eaves. Sherman Oh, for the Crown Solicitor, inadvertently copied Ms Eaves in on an email in which he said he was going to try to get the Justice Dept. to break into her restricted Facebook page. I understand that the Sunday Mail are at the moment looking into that extraordinary behaviour. Ms Eaves has got somebody rattled!

Donnelly is still in the force apparently. My interpretation is that he tried to get free sex off Ms Eaves but when she knocked him back he got vindictive.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A "no pursuit" policy in Queensland?

Police pursuits have their problems but stopping them altogether is just bureaucratic cowardice. Comments from Peter Pyke below, a former Queensland police officer who still has contacts in the service. His mobile: 0427 388 598

We recently saw the CMC’s report into police pursuits published. It proves that many drivers of vehicles which evade police pursuits these days are car thieves who are not to be found at the address attached to the vehicle’s Queensland Transport records. Duh!

Who does not remember the stolen yellow Holden Monaro sedan which was allowed to ram a cop car in a servo then continue to drive unrestricted around the Gold Coast area for at least a week whilst it was being used in crimes because someone in the QPS came up with a no-pursuit policy? I can’t. I’ve personally written up two diabolically insane situations here on the Darling Downs where criminals not known to police driving stolen vehicles and continuing to commit crime could only be ‘observed’ by police, despite late-night and low traffic situations being highly favourable for a short chase unlikely to result in anything other than an arrest.

Can anyone else see the Keystone Cops aspects of this policy which I say is contributing to the number of armed robberies and a general disrespect for police?

Any hoon worth their salt must be laughing up their sleeves at the Queensland coppers ‘no pursuit’ policy. Any copper worth their’s must be fuming. Any armed robber is likely to pinch themselves when they do a runner and the cops have to simply peel off as soon as the baddie puts his/her foot down.

Citizens should be outraged. Part of policing is catching bad guys. Part of catching bad guys is chasing them, on foot, in cars, in boats and in the air.

The CMC report also confirms that the customary penalty for drivers who fail to stop for police who must not fail to stop is about the same price of a big night out for a teen driver - $300.00. Is that a real deterrent? No, it’s a seriously unfunny joke and if police are to continue to be stopped from pursuing stolen vehicles which are used to commit crimes, specialist ground-air units to track these vehicles and arrest offenders when they are stopped must be formed as has been implemented with marked success in some US states. Until this is done, the no-pursuit policy must be relaxed for competent police drivers who have been trained to chase safely and – like me – have performed hundreds of high-speed pursuits without incident. That’s part of their job, it goes with the territory.

That reminds me, why is it that Queensland has no police helicopters? Non? Zero. Zilch? Zip? As I said before, its not cash. Last year, someone in the QPS failed to expend $16 million. That would have paid for two choppers, or one chopper and a lot of other things. Last year, someone in the QPS earned a pat on the head for helping out the Bligh Government’s bottom line. Personally, I think they deserve a kick up the arse for failing my community.

By email from the author

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Police Officer of the Year escapes conviction for drink-driving

Excellent: Now we all know how to get off a drink-driving charge. Say that a conviction would "impact on your 'economic or social well-being'"

THE Gold Coast's Police Officer of the Year has escaped a conviction for drink-driving after a court accepted it would impact on his 'economic or social well-being'.

Police asked for a conviction to be recorded against Senior Constable Michael Froggatt but Southport magistrate Terry Duroux exercised his discretion not to impose one.

Mr Duroux said he accepted Sen Const Froggatt had shown 'very genuine' remorse and faced being demoted and having his pay docked by the Queensland Police Service.

Sen Const Froggatt pleaded guilty today to drink-driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.085 per cent after being picked up in Surfers Paradise following a night-shift at the weekend. He is believed to have gone to the Sin City nightclub after finishing work.

Sen-Const Froggatt has been stood down from operational duties and faces an internal investigation after breath-testing himself before getting into his vehicle.

Defence lawyer Bill Potts said police were subjected to the same 'failure, weaknesses and misjudgments' as everyone and Sen Const Froggatt accepted he had let down his colleagues and the community. But he said the community asked 'an awful lot' of police and Sen Const Froggatt had worked two 13-hour shifts before he was nabbed for drink-driving. "Is it any wonder a man has a drink to relax and take the edge off the tension of working in Surfers Paradise?" he told the court. Mr Potts said his client had also been shamed in the media.

Mr Duroux said he accepted the community did ask a lot of police and took into account character references, including one from the vice-chancellor of Bond University where Sen Const Froggatt is studying a criminology degree part-time.

The magistrate fined Sen Const Froggatt $400 and disqualified him from driving for three months, but ordered no conviction be recorded.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Cop of the Year arrested for drink-driving

THE Gold Coast's Police Officer of the Year has been arrested for drink-driving and faces a court date as well as possible disciplinary action.

Senior Constable Michael Froggatt was nabbed while off-duty and in a private vehicle in Surfers Paradise about 5am on Sunday after working a night-shift. The 34-year-old officer was breath-tested by colleagues and allegedly recorded a blood alcohol concentration of .085 per cent. He was given a notice to appear in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday. A police spokeswoman said disciplinary action was also being considered.

Sen-Const Froggatt is a detective, now working in uniform in Surfers Paradise, who has worked on some of the Gold Coast's biggest criminal cases. He has also been undertaking a criminology degree part-time at Bond University where he serves as a 'campus cop', giving students crime and public safety advice.

Last August, Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson presented Sen-Const Froggatt with the Rotary Gold Coast Police Officer of the Year award for efforts including implementing a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. His reign is due to end next month.

After a spate of police were caught drink-driving, Mr Atkinson last year introduced tougher discIplinary penalties for his officers, including dismissal for high-range blood alcohol readings above .15 per cent cent.

However, a Sunshine Coast officer who was sacked after blowing .235 per cent successfully challenged his dismissal in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal which ordered his reinstatement.

Last month, Mr Atkinson said random drug and alcohol testing for Queensland police was 'inevitable'. This followed a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation into Gold Coast police taking drugs and drinking free alcohol in nightclubs.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Two Queensland cops face sack for unauthorised use of police computers

TOP brass are poised to sack two cops for accessing the details of private citizens from the police database. While details remain sketchy, the nature of the offences - which are unrelated - is serious enough for the careers of both policemen to be put on hold.

The first involves a sergeant, 52, from the Far North policing region, which takes in Cairns and Cape York. Police said in a statement that he "inappropriately accessed information on the QPS computer system without authorisation".

The second involves a constable, 28, from the Northern policing region, which takes in Townsville and Mt Isa. "The stand down action relates to allegations of domestic violence and misuse of the QPS computer system," police said.

The Queensland Police Service computer database, Q-Prime, stores the criminal and private details of Queenslanders and it is an offence for an officer to access information without a valid work-related reason.

Ethical Standards Command investigated both incidents and the police executive decided on the current disciplinary actions. The officers have the right to fight the actions taken against them.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Qld. Police investigation unchanged by report

Premier Anna Bligh is not serious about police corruption and misbehaviour

THE case for reform of the Queensland Police Service's internal complaints and disciplinary system could not have been better put than by one of its own. After a series of high-profile scandals about police investigating police, a veteran sergeant laid bare a fix to breaking the culture of protecting their own within the 10,000-strong service.

Interviewed by a government-ordered review panel into a system increasingly under attack, the frustrated officer aired the views of many in uniform.

"We should have learned our lessons from [the Palm Island experience] about police investigating police and allegations of bias, but we haven't," he told the panel of independent experts, under a condition of anonymity.

"Continually allowing police who have close relationships with each other to investigate each other does nothing for maintaining professionalism and will no doubt be heavily scrutinised down the track if files are not investigated to the satisfaction of [others in the system]".

But they didn't listen. Despite the panel this week handing down a damning report with 57 recommendations for reform, police will continue to investigate police.

The failure of the panel to proffer alternate models, including the establishment of a police ombudsman, is in stark contrast to the worrying findings of its report. It concludes the police's internal complaints and disciplinary procedures are "dysfunctional and unsustainable".

"Complaints and police are subjected to a complex, administratively burdensome, overly legalistic and adversarial process that is dishonoured by chronic delays, inconsistent and disproportionate outcomes," the 160-page report says.

The main catalyst for the review was the discredited investigation into the 2004 death in custody of Palm Island man Mulrunji Doomadgee.

Last year, the Crime and Misconduct Commission recommended disciplinary charges against six officers involved in the investigations, which were later rejected by Queensland Police.

Instead, four officers who led the initial investigation - described by deputy coroner Christine Clements as lacking "transparency, objectivity and independence" - underwent "managerial guidance" along with two senior officers who later reviewed and endorsed their probe. In the Doomadgee case and several others senior police have laid some of the blame for these investigations on the CMC.

They argue the anti-corruption watchdog, or even a new police oversight agency, should take on much more, if not all, investigations into police for no other reason than removing a perception of bias and giving the public some sense of independence. It is a fair cop. Despite a 350-strong staff, and $40 million budget, the CMC in 2009-10 investigated fewer than 2 per cent of the approximately 3500 complaints against police.

The CMC cases usually involve allegations of official misconduct warranting criminal charges or the officer's dismissal. All other complaints are automatically referred to the Queensland Police for investigation.

And many of those complaints are handed to police in the same station where the officer under investigation works. "This is where police who know each other, and may work together, investigate the other. This scenario presents an inherent conflict for objective impartial investigations, and outcomes," the report says.

The report says some police overcooked their investigations out of fear of being criticised, building huge files as they looked "down every rabbit hole", even for less serious complaints.

The practice of police investigating police was brought about by former premier Peter Beattie who, in January 2002 introduced legislation amalgamating the then Criminal Justice Commission and the Crime Commission to form the CMC.

It followed an earlier trial conducted by the CJC and police to hand over minor complaints to police as part of a "capacity building" drive across the public service to handle its own problems and, in doing so, enhance integrity.

At the time, Beattie told parliament: "In recognition of reform within the police service since the Fitzgerald inquiry [1987], the bill returns responsibility to police for investigating and dealing with police misconduct."

The amendments were also intended to free the CMC's caseload and quicken the pace of investigations.

It didn't happen. "Excessive time frames for resolution of matters continue to undermine achievement of an efficient, effective and economic system in which stakeholders and the wider community can have confidence," the report says.

After the release of the report, Anna Bligh conceded the disciplinary and complaints system needed reform to restore public confidence.

The report is open for public consultation for the next six weeks. The government's response is expected several months later. Queensland Police have not commented.

And while the panel looked at other models, including an ombudsman to handle police complaints, there is little movement in addressing the issue of police investigating police, which has undermined the system in the eyes of the public.

Instead, among the 57 recommendations the panel seeks to remove police investigators in only the most serious cases, those now handled by the CMC.

Under the reform, officers seconded to the CMC will be banned from investigating, with cases led by private investigators or interstate police brought in to the watchdog.

Terry O'Gorman, president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, says the report shows the government is not serious about tackling the "crisis of confidence" in Queensland Police.

O'Gorman says the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity provide models for recruiting outside investigators to probe complaints against Queensland's police.

" More than 90 per cent of complaints are automatically referred back to police, with some officers investigating police in their own station, who they socialise with," he says. "It is a backward step; it is not credible.

"Outside police are necessary because of the perception and, sometimes the reality of police investigating police leads to a whitewash."


Saturday, May 28, 2011


Press release:

Queensland Party candidate for Toowoomba North and former ALP MP Peter Pyke today undertook that Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson would be sacked on the spot if the Queensland Party gains enough MPs to control balance of power in the Queensland Parliament in the next state election.

Pyke, a former Queensland police sergeant himself who figured in the Fitzgerald inquiry, is expected to become a spokesperson for a senior portfolio when these positions are announced by Queensland Party Leader, Aidan McLindon MP for Beaudesert, commencing next week.

Pyke has been prominent over the past three years targeting Atkinson’s leadership, stridently demanding that the commissioner and both deputies be sacked. Controversial deputy commissioner Kathy Rynders has since retired after what many see as a dummy spit when Atkinson’s contract was surprisingly renewed ahead of time under eyebrow-raising circumstances following rumours of messy high jinks between Rynders and Bligh Government Minister Karen Struthers.

The Queensland Party’s Toowoomba North candidate says Atkinson is a disgraced political puppet who has distinguished himself by allowing the police union to run the Service at critical times while backing up the union in its adamant stance that no Queensland police officer ever does anything wrong.

“Under Atkinson’s failed leadership, we’ve had the Palm Island death in custody cover-up with not one cop involved charged with anything, we’ve had Queenslanders and our tourist guests bashed all over the state with secret payouts to many when thug coppers’ violence was captured by their own CCTV, for Cripe’s sake!” Pyke says. “We’ve had the Taser debacle which continues to play out and we now get to watch as the CMC and QPS do a wink and a nod as Gold Coast police corruption is smoothed over with the sacrifice of just a few low-level players,” Pyke says.

Pyke says the QPS now suffers substantial morale problems, lags other comparable services technologically and should have been equipped with rotary-winged aircraft a decade ago.

“Commissioner Atkinson's record is pathetic - he wouldn’t make a commissioner’s bootlace!” Pyke says. "My message to him for the past three years has been ‘don’t come Monday’. If Victoria thinks it's got problems with Simon Overland – and they have - they are not alone."

Pyke is understood to have expressed a viewpoint to the Queensland Party about being appointed the Party’s police spokesperson.

Pyke says the Queensland Party will replace Atkinson with a successful and effective police director who will be more than just a successful detective with nothing else going for him. He’d also like to see a Police Board.

“What do detectives know about running a modern police service?” Pyke asks. “I’d put them all back into uniform unless they were on an operation. Just like Royal Commissioner Tony Fitzgerald QC recommended 20 years ago.”

Pyke says he’d also like to see Queensland’s crop of fat cops put on the beat until they trimmed down.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Police culture must change, warns CMC chairman

THE chief of Queensland's crime watchdog has warned it could take generations to change the state's police culture. The comments by Crime and Misconduct Commission chairman Martin Moynihan came as an independent review found the police complaints system was dysfunctional, unsustainable, plagued by chronic delays and urgently in need of a major overhaul.

Mr Moynihan said "no tolerance" change must come from the top but admitted it would not be easy. "(Police) do a difficult job and are often in a dangerous environment so you have to depend on one another (and) you build a culture that supports that," he said. "In a sense, that's not going to go away, but . . . if they address (discipline) in different ways, it'll be easier for them and they'll get better acceptance."

The scathing report, sparked by the 2004 Palm Island death in custody case and tabled in State Parliament, has recommended 57 changes to the beleaguered discipline and misconduct system.

It called for officers seconded to the Crime and Misconduct Commission to be banned from investigating their own, a practice that has been publicly condemned and instead using private investigators or interstate police.

But former high-ranking government bureaucrat Simone Webbe, who co-wrote the report, insisted the recommendation did not question officers' integrity but addressed negative public perceptions.

She also recommended additional powers for the CMC to challenge disciplinary decisions handed out by police, along with the right to refer cases deemed too lenient to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal for review.

The State Government has supported the findings in principle and will form a solid position after public consultation closes in July.

The Queensland Police Union slammed the report as an ineffective instrument of reform that gave the CMC too much power. "It now gives the CMC the opportunity to be judge, jury and executioner if they do not agree with a decision made by the police service discipline system," QPU president Ian Leavers said.

The CMC has aimed to hand cases back to the police in a bid to boost the force's capacity to internally deal with allegations, but the report found the "devolution" policy meant complaints were referred down chains of command even "to the same station for investigation". "This is where police who know each other, and may work together, investigate the other. This scenario presents an inherent conflict for objective impartial investigations," it stated.

Often investigators then "overcooked" their inquiries for fear of being criticised or subjected to a misconduct probe themselves, amassing thousands of pages of evidence as they went "down every rabbit hole", even for less serious complaints. This created a "major chokepoint" in the system, the report found, with some cases in limbo as much as three years. It recommended seven months be the limit for serious cases and 28 days for lower-level allegations.

Police Minister Neil Roberts yesterday told The Courier-Mail "significant change" was needed but insisted the contentious practice of police investigating their own was legitimate. "I believe that there is a need for all organisations to be held accountable for identifying, detecting and dealing with its own," he said.

Yesterday's report also raised serious concerns about the dysfunctional information technology system, first earmarked for urgent upgrade a decade ago. A replacement system was planned under the phase three of the controversial QPRIME intranet rollout but that phase was scrapped.

The QPS said it would consider the report before making a submission.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sir Joh's Police Whitewash Tribunal is back

'Dysfunctional' Qld. police complaints system slammed in independent review

An independent review has found the Queensland Police Service complaints system is "dysfunctional and unsustainable". Premier Anna Bligh this morning tabled the report by independent experts, which recommends a new management system to deal with complaints and disciplinary matters.

She told State Parliament at Mackay the report “describes a system much in need of reform”. It states: “Complainants and police are subjected to a complex, administratively burdensome, overly legalistic and adversarial process that is dishonoured by chronic delays, inconsistent and disproportionate outcomes.”

The report outlines 57 recommendations, including that police officers no longer be able to investigate serious police misconduct at the CMC, instead using investigators from other states.

Timeframes for reporting on complaints would also be limited to seven months for more serious complaints and 28 days for minor complaints.

Ms Bligh said some cases had been investigated for up to three years “and that is unacceptable”.