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."


1 comment:

Victims Child said...

Made him pay for the death of 'Nugget' ... how about pay for my mother who 10 years later is still suffering because of these idiot cops and the wanker riding the bike. Qps make me sick!!!