Thursday, June 16, 2005

Bent police compromise Bulldogs gang-rape case

Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden could have compromised gang-rape investigation? Steve Mortimer resigned!

NSW: TWO of the state's most senior police, Deputy Commissioner Dave Madden and Assistant Commissioner Peter Parsons, are both facing criminal charges over the flawed Bulldogs phone tapping scandal.

But did they also compromise the Bulldogs gang rape investigation? Which could have exploited the claims made by a young gang-rape victim, for the sake of the leagues club's status.

At the time the then club's chief executive, Steve Mortimer, also suggested that security guards could be used to accompany players while travelling to away games. But he asked fans to "keep an open mind on the case and not pre-judge the outcome of the police investigation".

After police allegedly investigated the matter they handed over the Strike Force McGuigon file to the Department of Public Prosecutions in April last year. The DPP's office had been poring over both the version of events given by the young woman and the players' account, but it is now learned that senior police could have also compromised the police investigation.

Subsequently no charges had been recommended by the DPP against the unnamed Bulldogs football players because of insufficient evidence.

Senior ranks of the DPP, including the director Nicholas Cowdery, QC, reviewed the file in April 2004. The 20-year-old woman told police in lengthy interviews that she was gang-raped by up to six Bulldogs players in the swimming pool area of the Pacific Bay Resort in Coffs Harbour February 22 2004.

Now over a year later and after many complaints, the two senior police are both facing criminal charges over the flawed Bulldogs phone tapping scandal and the investigation over the pack rape could have been compromised.

Yesterday the Police Integrity Commission revealed it would recommend charges be laid against Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Madden for passing on information obtained via a phone-tap during investigations - a criminal offence.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Parsons, one of Mr Madden's so-called leadership team, was also referred to the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions for alleged breaches of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act.

If found guilty, the pair not only would be likely stripped of their posts but could face possible jail terms of up to two years.

The young woman who was packed raped and her friend told police they met the Bulldogs players in Coffs Harbour on the evening after they played a trial match there and went back to the team's hotel with them.

It was to be the second time in just more than a year that rape allegations against the Bulldogs have faltered. In 2003, another woman claimed players sexually assaulted her at the resort. The file went to the DPP after the police investigation, and the DPP opted not to proceed with charges.

But both Police Minister Carl Scully and Commissioner Ken Moroney were last night claiming they still had confidence in the two officers and refused to remove them?

Compromising a gang-rape investigation?

"The Commission is of the opinion that consideration be given to prosecution of Deputy Commissioner Madden and Assistant Commissioner Parsons for the specified criminal offence of communicating to another person or making use of lawfully obtained information contrary to subs. 63 (1) of the Telecommunications Interception Act 1979," the report read.

A pat on the back

The PIC however suggested that Mr Madden and Mr Parsons not be sacked, but be subjected to internal disciplinary review.

The incident involved a meeting with Bulldogs CEO Malcolm Noad, Mr Madden, Superintendent Dave Owens and Assistant Commissioner Bob Waites on April 5 2004,during which information obtained from a phone-tap on one of the Bulldog players was discussed.

Mr Parsons and Superintendent Dave Swilks were on a telephone link to the meeting from Mr Parsons' office.

The player named "X" in the report was overheard discussing a drug deal involving "pinners" - otherwise known as ecstasy.

But in 2004, the police PR unit went into overdrive suggesting the meeting was designed to "smooth" over relations between police and the club. Later that same day Mr Noad revealed the information from the phone tap to players.

On April 15, Ken Moroney referred the matter to the PIC fearing a breach.

The PIC however cleared Mr Noad of any wrongdoing?

Alleged Bulldogs gang-rapists not even named, suspicious

The tap was part of the ongoing investigations into the unnamed Bulldogs players who were alleged to have gang-raped the 20 year old at Coffs Harbour.

Mr Noad's warning to the alleged gang-rapist to "shut up" because other police were listening could have compromised the investigation by police and subsequently any additional evidence that could have been obtained could also have been compromised.

So any inference proper to be drawn from the facts of the case that were investigated by police and handed over to the DPP could have meant that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the unnamed accused Bulldogs football players.

I might add that it also means that the community cannot have any confidence that other facts surrounding that investigation or any other investigation will not also be compromised down the track and therefore these police must be sacked.

By Inspector Rex 16 June 05


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Bulldogs simply not the best!

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The Prime Minister has thrown his support behind the National Rugby League (NRL), saying the Bulldogs affair should not reflect on the game as a whole.

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The young woman and her friend have told police they met the players in Coffs Harbour on the evening after the Bulldogs played a trial match there and went back to the team's hotel with them.

COPS leak prompts police warning, for protected persons?
Police are warning media outlets they may face criminal charges if they release confidential information about investigations.

Sexual Abuse: Testimony
I'm Debbie Ingraham, and I'm an activist for Restorative Justice. I'm also a former litigant who filed an unsuccessful civil suit against a family member for incest, and a former victim advocate. I bring a 30 year personal perspective of "real life" experiences that come from living with the effects of sexual abuse.

'Police Integrity Commission' Why do you lie like that?
A Police Integrity Commission inquiry which took more than a year, heard more than 50 witnesses - many of them senior police - and cost millions of dollars, has recommended that no action be taken against anyone.

Police Chronology 1994-2001
View events in the NSW Police Force since the Wood Royal Commission began in 1994. 1994 May Justice James Wood is appointed Commissioner of the Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service ('WRC').