A Northern Territory police officer facing multiple rape allegations has appeared in a Darwin court for a committal hearing.
- The officer is charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent
- The alleged incidents date back to 2004 and 2006
- Darwin barrister Georgia McMaster gives evidence about her communications with one alleged victim
The court heard the 52-year-old police officer, who cannot be named, has been charged with four counts of sexual intercourse without consent in relation to two separate alleged victims.
The alleged incidents date back to 2004 and 2006, the court was told.
Darwin barrister Georgia McMaster was called to give evidence in the hearing before Local Court Judge John Neil decides whether there is enough evidence for the man to stand trial.
The police officer’s lawyer, John Lawrence SC, cross-examined Ms McMaster about her communications with one of the alleged victims and asked why she had taken an interest in the matter.
Ms McMaster told the court she learned a complaint had been made about the police officer’s alleged conduct to the former Commissioner for Information and Public Interest Disclosures (PID), but that it had not been acted upon for three months.
She said an unnamed person informed her of this and then asked whether such a delay was usual.
“I said ‘no, that’s not usual’ as far as I was aware,” Ms McMaster told the court.
“I was quite taken aback by the information that had been given to me.”
Barrister contacted alleged victim
Ms McMaster told the court she contacted one of the alleged victims and inquired about the matter in her capacity as a “concerned citizen”, because she was worried it would not be investigated properly.
“My role was really a concerned citizen, that if a complaint had been put to the PID and nothing had happened or actioned in relation to this, why not?” she said.
Ms McMaster told the court she also had conversations with the former NT attorney-general John Elferink and former PID commissioner Brenda Monaghan about the matter.
The PID has now been replaced by the NT Office of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption (ICAC).
“I said I had a concern that there was a matter, that there was a complaint of a serious sex assault that had occurred … and that it hadn’t been investigated,” she said, referring to her discussion with Mr Elferink.
“What was his response to that?”, Mr Lawrence asked.
“He didn’t believe me,” Ms McMaster replied.
Ms McMaster told the court one of the alleged victims initially did not want to pursue the matter.
“She didn’t feel she could trust the system,” she said.
The hearing has been adjourned until tomorrow morning, when the cross-examination of Ms McMaster is expected to continue.