Thursday, March 29, 2012

Another crooked NSW cop

A former NSW detective breached the community's trust in police by carrying out a string of illegal acts, but he was not as corrupt as Mark Standen, a court has heard.

Christopher Laycock is facing a sentencing hearing in the NSW District Court more than seven years since the allegations against him were first raised in the Police Integrity Commission.

Laycock, the son of former Assistant Commissioner John Laycock, has pleased guilty to five counts relating to theft and corruption - including two counts of aggravated breaking and entering, fraud, illegally taking information from a police database, and lying to the PIC.
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The court today heard Laycock, who had been commended in the force prior to his offending, committed his crimes out of resentment after being injured.

Laycock's barrister - former Supreme Court justice Greg James, QC - submitted that as a result of his injury, Laycock set about committing "opportunistic" crimes, motivated by "a willingness to exploit his job and the trust in that job".

Mr James said there was no doubt his client's offending was "a serious breach of trust" that the community deserved to have in the police force.

"However, it's not in the same category as either Standen's case, or [former detective inspector Nelson] Chad's case ... those who have commenced a continuous, organized activity such as the importation of drugs in which Standen was involved, or the long-term and highly nefarious activities Chad was involved with," he said.

Standen, former assistant director of the NSW Crime Commission, was convicted and sentenced last year over a conspiracy to import and supply a commercial quantity of drugs, using his law enforcement position to pervert the course of justice.

The late Nelson Chad was accused of a variety of crimes including loading up criminals and having inappropriate dealings with members of the underworld.

Crown Prosecutor John Powers took issue with the description of Laycock's crimes being simply "opportunistic".

The crimes for which Laycock is to be sentenced all involve "substantial planning, involvement of others, illegal financial gain and then on no fewer than three occasions at the inquiry into his activities he gave false evidence".

He said the crimes must be punished by "a substantial term of imprisonment".

Mr James submitted Laycock's incarceration would be more difficult due to his status as a former policeman, so urged the court to apply a shorter non-parole period, and a longer term of supervised parole.

In one theft, in July 2004, Laycock went to a man's home and pretended he was conducting police business in order to steal $11,000.

On another occasion, in December 2003, he took $23,500 from a man's home in the inner Sydney suburb of Chiswick after breaking in.

Laycock has admitted that he lied to the commission in October 2004 when he said he did not have a corrupt relationship with another former police officer, when he knew the opposite to be true.

Judge Jonathan Williams revoked bail and remanded Laycock in custody ahead of him delivering the sentence next Thursday.


1 comment:

    On Wednesday 4th April, ex-Detective Sergeant Christopher Laycock will appear for sentencing in a Sydney court, for a string of offences. These stem from the Cobalt Report, which was presented by the Police Integrity Commission to Parliament in 2005, and which presents him as one of the most notorious criminals in Australian history.

    But, what meets the eye will be something of a mirage. His last hearing, on 29th March 2012, was closed to the public, on account of a mysterious 30 page 'naming and shaming' document, which his lawyer had dramatically presented at the hearing previous to this. The AAP has subsequently reported what the court has instructed them to report.

    The real story here is not only what is in that document, and why it has taken 8 years for Laycock to meet his fate, but what the New South Wales Crime Commission, and the AFP, have hidden from the public for 7 years.

    The Laycock gang, including John Robert Dunks, and David John Hopes, engaged almost every crime in the book. One was drug syndication. Indeed, a man called William Miller had named Dunks, on oath, to a court, as the man who had given him the job to pick up a quantity of marijuana from Sydney airport, on 8th October 2004.

    You will recognize the date, and perhaps the name. Miller had been ridiculed by the media in July 2005, as a money chaser, when he broadly presented this story in the wake of Schapelle Corby's dysfunctional Bali trial.

    The NSWCC and AFP? The Expendable Project have just published an extract from the minutes of a confidential NSWCC internal meeting, attended by Mark Standen, amongst others (header attached).

    This confirms that Dunks was a 'Person Of Interest' in 2004, and that the NSWCC had secretly recorded a conversation between him, and Miller. The conversation corroborated Miller's account of the airport pickup job.

    The NSWCC recognized the significance of this recording, and consulted a named officer within the AFP with this information.

    But both parties sat on it. Schapelle Corby was never told. No-one was ever told.

    No-one would ever have been told, had The Expendable Project not obtained those minutes.

    The latest Expendable report should be read very carefully. It can be viewed on the following web page:

    The Laycock/Miller affair is documented in Section 2. On Page 2-34 of the PDF you will find the extracts from the NSWCC meeting.

    The Expendable Project have stated that further information will be published in due course.


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