Cop dismissed over credit card spree
A POLICE officer will lose his job after spending Mount Isa Police Recreation Club funds on therapy, clothes, food and veterinary care.
Constable Christopher Shepherd was last year demoted by Assistant Commissioner Paul Taylor, who gave delays in the investigation and his work performance since the incidents as mitigating factors in the sanction.
But the Crime and Misconduct Commission asked the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to review the punishment, with QCAT member Jeremy Gordon subsequently finding "dismissal was inevitable".
The court heard the Ethical Standards Command investigated Constable Shepherd after an anonymous letter highlighting suspicious bank transactions was sent to them in 2012.
It was alleged that while Constable Shepherd was deputy president of the Mount Isa Police Recreation Club, he used the club's debit card for his own benefit but in disciplining interviews he denied the allegations.
In August 2017 Mr Taylor found that Constable Shepherd used the card nine times between March 3, 2011, and May 2, 2012, to dishonestly obtain property to the value of $764 and that he was deliberately untruthful during discipline interviews.
Among the incidents were an occasion where the card was used at a therapist at Mount Isa, a number of transactions on the Gold Coast to buy clothing, items at Coles, food at a yum cha restaurant, clothing purchases at the Gympie Muster and a trip to the veterinarian.
The investigation found Constable Shepherd was present in each location at the time of the transactions.
Mr Gordon said he agreed with Mr Taylor's finding that Constable Shepherd had the means and the opportunities to make the transactions and the evidence was "overwhelming".
Mr Gordon said Constable Shepherd's failure to demonstrate remorse had played a role in his decision.
"For Constable Shepherd to accept his dishonesty, have genuine regret and offer himself for rehabilitation would require a high degree of emotional strength," he said.
"He could, however, have done this in 2012 when first spoken to by the Senior Sergeant who was then investigating the matter.
"He had formal opportunities to do so at the interviews on 25 February 2014 and 21 January 2015."