A former AFP officer has been sacked following a bizarre stalking episode which culminated in him scattering fake used condoms across his then-girlfriend’s lawn.
An investigation found the officer had also intimidated the woman by leaving a slashed t-shirt on the bonnet of her car and repeatedly ringing her only to hang up when she answered.
The officer was sacked in November 2016 following a lengthy internal investigation and last month had an unfair dismissal application thrown out by the Fair Work Commission.
A report by the commission described how the sordid affair unfolded after the officer moved from Canberra to Sydney to pursue a relationship with the woman, which eventually broke down.
“It was the events around the breakdown of that relationship which the [officer] says…led to the accusations against him and ultimately his dismissal by the AFP,” read the commission’s report.
The officer was alleged to have intimidated the woman on a number of occasions between December 2013 and April 2015.
The AFP’s professional standards unit investigated the allegations after the woman rang the former officer’s boss to complain about harassment.
In interviews with internal investigators, the officer denied harassing the woman over Facebook but admitted other allegations.
“The [officer] admitted that he placed a slashed t-shirt that [his ex-girlfriend] had given him on the bonnet of her car on 11 December 2013,” the commission found.
“The [officer] admitted that he placed condoms made to appear used on [her] front lawn in March 2014.
“The [officer] further admitted to making ‘hang up’ calls to [the woman] after the relationship had broken up.”
Such behaviour was inconsistent with the standards required of a police officer, the professional standards investigation concluded.
“I am satisfied based on the [officer’s] admissions and the balance of probabilities with respect to the Facebook allegations that the allegations of stalking and intimidating behaviour are made out,” the commission found.
In April 2015, the woman applied for an apprehended violence order against the officer – later withdrawn – after she spotted him driving near her local shops.
The officer, who had served the AFP for seven years, denied this and submitted time sheets to prove he was working at the time.
But an investigation found these time sheets were false, and that the officer had swiped into work an hour later than he had claimed.
The officer later said the discrepancies were a mistake that had been made during a period of “considerable stress” following a work-related motor vehicle accident and the breakdown of his relationship.
“I am satisfied that the [officer] made a false record as to his starting time…and that this was not done inadvertently or as a result of an instruction by his superior,” the commission concluded in its ruling.
The Fair Work Commission’s deputy president, Jeff Lawrence, ruled that the officer’s dismissal under the circumstances “was not harsh, unjust or unreasonable”.
“I have taken account of the [officer’s] personal circumstances and the medical evidence but I am not persuaded that these lead to a different result,” he said.
“Similarly, the length of the [officer’s] service of seven years is not such as to alter the result.
“The application for unfair dismissal relief is there dismissed.”