A detective will contest charges including misconduct in public office over the alleged circulation of a photograph of former AFL coach Dani Laidley that was taken inside a police station.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Murray Gentner is one of at least three officers facing criminal charges after an investigation was launched to determine how images of Ms Laidley were circulated after they were taken inside the station. The images entered the public domain and were published on social media and in some media.
Ms Laidley, the former North Melbourne coach and player, was interviewed inside St Kilda police station in May last year after she was arrested for stalking.
A mugshot and a photograph of Ms Laidley being interviewed by two officers, while she wore a wig and make-up, were among the images circulated.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Gentner, 43, watched an online hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, when his lawyer, Chris Carr, SC, confirmed the officer planned to fight charges of misconduct in public office, accessing a police database and four counts of disclosing police information without reasonable excuse.
Charge sheets allege the detective distributed at least one photograph of Ms Laidley and other information to other men, including the comment “now a full blown ice head and tranny”.
Up to eight police officers will be called as witnesses in a contested hearing to start on February 23, and Mr Carr said the three-day hearing would focus on the disclosure, access and circulation of the images.
“A lot of facts won’t be in dispute, but there will be some issues about what my client accessed and what others accessed,” Mr Carr told magistrate Andrew McKenna during Friday’s administrative hearing. A magistrate alone will rule in the detective’s case and decide the verdict.