Anyone can fall foul of the law!

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Prison building

Even the most trusted and hard-working of people can fall foul of the law.

An example can be found in the recent Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) report regarding a prison guard at a Sydney jail (called Operation Torino).

This officer had worked for approximately 10 years for the Department of Corrective Services and for 6 of those years at the one metropolitan jail.

Despite having worked for so long and, obviously knowing how wrong it would be, he still did some very foolish things:

  • He carried into the jail and sold steroids to a fellow prison guard
  • He carried contraband into the jail for prisoners and received payments from their families for doing this.
  • He used a mobile phone in the jail (it is illegal to have a mobile in a jail)
  • He went to work guarding prisoners while still ‘high’ on ecstasy from a big night out, and
  • He often purchased steroids on the black market

One of the most worrying things in all of this is the attending work whilst still highly affected by drugs.

The report finds that the officer was on ‘tower duty’ when he was drug affected.

Tower duty is a highly responsible position when working in a jail. It involves the officer having a loaded rifle with them to be used in the event of an attempted escape.

Imagine what could have happened if, while high, he had hallucinations or something and decided he needed to use the rifle!

And then, to top it all off, the ICAC found that he had also tried to mislead them with false information and deception when investigated.

You would think that the best thing for him to do would be to put his hands up when the investigators confronted him with a great deal of evidence. Rather, he kept changing his version of the events.

The Department of Corrective Services cannot be blamed for this one rotten apple in the group.

It was the Department that reported the officer to the ICAC for investigation and, according to the report, the Department has agreed to all the recommendations of the ICAC in order to stop this from happening again.

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Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with 25 years of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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