Saturday, February 2, 2013

Members slam union's support of rogue cop

A ROGUE cop's union paid his legal bills on charges of assaulting his wife, escaping custody and trying to pervert the course of justice.

Questions have been raised about why the officer's defence was funded when the matters appeared to have no clear connection with his work.

He broke his wife's finger in an attack at their home, breached an intervention order, injured a colleague in the escape and then tried to lie to cover it up.

The member pleaded guilty to the charges in the Melbourne County Court last November.

He had been charged with more than 20 offences including stalking, breaching an intervention order and assaulting police.

That number was reduced to four by the time the matter came to court.

The charge of assaulting his wife related to an incident at the family home in 2006.

But it was not until the next year that he became a policeman.

His wife took out an intervention order in 2010 but the husband allegedly breached it when a colleague found him parked near his wife's home.

The intervention order had stipulated he not contact, approach, threaten or assault his wife or children

The officer tried to make an arrest but his finger was broken as they grappled and the husband fled.

The court heard the defendant had then told his brother to put on his clothes and sent him to a police station to say it was he who had been near the home.

Police Association secretary Greg Davies said the member's defence had been funded until he decided to plead guilty.

At that point, in line with association policy, support was withdrawn.

Sen-Sgt Davies said members were acquitted in 85 per cent of cases where their defence was funded by the union.

One police officer, who did not want to be named, said members' money should not have funded the defence.

"I'm not sure what any of this had to do with his work," the officer said.

The officer was handed a 28-month jail sentence, 27 months of which was suspended. He was released because the other month had been served on remand.

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