A FORMER police officer who asked a serving officer to do a computer check to see if she was being investigated has been placed on a 20-month good behaviour bond.
Regina Watson, 40, made an unsuccessful bid in Wagga Local Court on Monday to have a charge of making a collusive agreement with a member of NSW Police dismissed without conviction under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act after previously pleading guilty to the charge.
Through her solicitor Zac Tankard, Watson argued that at the time of the offence in August 2013, she suffered a number of mental health conditions that led her to believe she was being persecuted by police in Albury.
Magistrate Erin Kennedy accepted Watson had mental health conditions, but ruled the offence was too serious to be dismissed under the Mental Health Act.
“The police system being untouchable is critical to our society running as it should, “ Ms Kennedy said to Watson.
“Any form of corruption is really serious, and that is what you engaged in.”
Watson now lives at Kiama.
Agreed facts previously tendered to Albury Local Court said police suspected Watson – who in 2013 was a Juvenile Justice Service worker having left the police force in 2012 after a 14-year career – of having relationships with people under investigation for drug matters.
She rang a certain police officer in Albury to ask if a male teenager was being investigated, and on August 12 called again to ask if she was being investigated.
But after an extended conversation with the officer she was told there was nothing relating to her on the police computer system.
Mr Tankard tendered several medical reports which indicated diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other conditions.
A solicitor of the Director of Public Prosecutions in her submission said Watson made a calculated decision to do something she thought was unlawful.
She said Watson during an interview for a pre-sentence report showed no insight into her offending and told the author she had been the victim of systematic persecution by police after making a complaint against a senior officer in 2010.
In sentencing Watson, Ms Kennedy said that by asking a police officer to use the COPS computer system inappropriately she had “infected” another person. The conviction is the first blemish on Watson’s criminal record.
Note: A previous online version of this story and the printed version incorrectly said Watson was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond. This was a reporting error.
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