August 27, 2020
By Kieran Gair
Hachette Australia is being sued by a top NSW detective who argues that the company allowed celebrated police whistleblower Peter Fox to portray him in a new book as a “callous” and incompetent person who helped “cover-up” the crimes of pedophile priests.
In a statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court on Tuesday and obtained by The Australian, Detective Inspector Jeff Little alleges Mr Fox’s book, Walking Towards Thunder, contains a litany of defamatory statements that have brought his reputation into “public disrepute, odium, ridicule and contempt”. Hachette Australia is yet to file a defence.
Mr Fox, a former Detective Chief Inspector, was a vocal and frequent critic of the strike force established in 2010 by NSW Police to investigate alleged concealment by church officials of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese.
Inspector Little, who was appointed in early 2011 to lead Strike Force Lantle, became a target of public vitriol after Mr Fox revealed explosive allegations about child abuse in the Catholic Church, prompting then Prime Minister Julia Gillard to launch a royal commission.
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