Founding member and President for many years of Whistleblowers Australia. In the early days of the organisation the meetings were held in my loungeroom at Balmain. We were both also on the Internal Witness Advisory Committee, otherwise known as IWAC.
I went to Queanbeyan Court for a Coroners Hearing with Jean. We were both made party to the bar table, representing Whistleblowers Australia. It was a very painful and long experience with much harassment and abuse along the way from different directions. The findings at the end of the matter were that our member was dead, but no cause of death was found. This guy had reported grave police corruption and was in fear of his life in his communications with members just prior to his demise.
Queanbeyan Police station has had a history of whispers about its Police culture. Bullying, intimidation, ‘pulling rank’ and coercing other officers into ‘cover ups’ are certainly nothing new in police forces across Australia.
Constable Lucie Litchfield from Queanbeyan Police Station was working with two male officers when they pulled over a car. The occupants were asked if they had any weapons, a passenger in the back seat produced a plastic toy dinosaur as a joke and made a roaring sound. For his prank the man was then forcibly pulled from the vehicle, kicked in the legs, and had his face shoved into the ground before being handcuffed. A second passenger was thrown into a retaining wall, where he hit his head and lost consciousness. This man ‘came to’ handcuffed with his face in the dirt.
Charges brought against the men were thrown out of court after officer Litchfield testified against her fellow officer’s despite being told to support their version of the events. This was the beginning of the end of Lucie’s career at Queanbeyan. The price for being an honest cop and standing up to the culture had a big price to pay.