Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws recently revealed that NSW police officer Beth Cullen shredded documents from liaison meetings with Catholic Church officials from the Newcastle-Maitland diocese (see previous posting). The matter has been referred to the NSW enquiry, the Royal Commission, and the NSW Police Integrity Commission.
The head of the NSW enquiry, Ms. Cunneen, has now revealed that she will not consider the matter, as she claims it falls outside her terms of reference for the enquiry. She could have applied for her terms of reference to be widened to include this matter. She did not.
The NSW Police Minister has received his reports from police and, in response, has spoken to the State Parliament in defence of the officer, Ms. Beth Cullen. “I am informed that at no stage did the NSW police representative destroy any document which could be used in any investigation or prosecution,” he said. “I am also assured by the police force that the officer’s positive contribution to the field of child protection is unmatched.”
The NSW enquiry is now completely compromised, especially since these most recent developments follow on from the earlier decisions to allow Adelaide Archbishop, Phillip Wilson, to give evidence behind closed doors, and forcing a victim to do the same (see previous posting). The aim of the enquiry can only be to undermine the credibility of Newcastle Herald journalist, Joanne McCarthy, and police whistleblower, Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox (see previous postings).
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