Friday, September 10, 2010

Lazy Victoria police lose chance to prosecute drunken footballer

CHIEF Commissioner Simon Overland has been left struggling to explain Victoria Police's bungled investigations into Brendan Fevola's Brownlow antics.

The Victoria Police media department last night confirmed twice to the Herald Sun that it intended to charge Fevola over his behaviour last September.

But in an embarrassing backflip for the force, police today conceded they had left it too long to build a case. "Victoria Police have reviewed the situation regarding Brendan Fevola and the incident last September," police said in a statement. "We can confirm that Victoria Police will be taking no further action in relation to this matter."

An officer from the force’s Region One unit was meant to issue an infringement, but let it lapse. Inspector Richard Read said the delay made it unfair to penalise Fevola. Victoria Police admitted an officer would be "counselled".

"We believe that it would be unreasonable to take any further action on this matter so long after the events. We accept that the matter should have been dealt with in a much more timely manner, and the police member responsible will be counselled," a spokesman said.

"Brendan Fevola deserves to be treated in the same manner that we would treat any other member of the public, and we are clear that our decisions should not be influenced by his high profile status."

September 21 is the anniversary of the 2009 count, after which Fevola could not be charged under the statute of limitations. The likely charge was going to be being drunk in a public place.


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