Six Victoria Police officers have been ordered to pay up to $3000 each in compensation to Dani Laidley as part of an internal disciplinary process after photos of the former AFL coach taken while she was in custody were leaked.
A mugshot of Laidley and a photo of her being interviewed by two officers while wearing a wig and make-up were released and published on social media in the hours after her arrest outside a woman’s home in May last year.
A court sketch of Dani Laidley from last year.Credit:Nine News
The Age revealed in December that a seven-month investigation into the circulation of the images resulted in 39 officers and seven public servants facing internal disciplinary action. A further 224 employees of Victoria Police were cleared of any criminal or internal disciplinary action.
Three officers are facing criminal charges over the unauthorised disclosure of information and their cases remain before the courts.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said six officers faced a disciplinary hearing on Tuesday.
“We’ve had six officers who have had their matters proven in discipline outcomes on Tuesday,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“The independent hearing officer has put them on a good behaviour bond for 12 months but in addition to that ordered that they undertake a respect course through the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, as well as awarding compensation to Dani Laidley from each of those people between $1000 and $3000 to be paid to Dani Laidley for the harm caused.”
Each officer will have to pay the compensation individually, he said.
Laidley pleaded guilty to stalking after admitting she made dozens of calls and text messages between April 25 and May 2 last year, and watched and photographed the other woman from outside her home.
The former North Melbourne player and coach, formerly known as Dean Laidley, recently underwent a gender transition. She pleaded guilty to stalking and was put on an adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour for 18 months.
The release of the photographs caused her and her family “considerable distress”, her plea hearing was told in November.
With Adam Cooper, Cameron Houston
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