'Pretty vile': Investigation into new Dani Laidley photo leak

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Dani Laidley, pictured here at a Carlton Blues training session in 2015.
Dani Laidley at a Carlton Blues training session in 2015. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Victoria's anti-corruption commission has launched an investigation into allegations police officers have once again shared a secret photo of former AFL coach Dani Laidley with transphobic comments.

The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission is seeking out anyone with information into allegations an unsolicited photograph of Ms Laidley was shared via text message.

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The photo was taken at the Ballan Cup at Geelong Racecourse on November 6.

According to IBAC, the photo was shared "alongside transphobic comments".

"IBAC is asking any member of the public or police personnel who witnessed the photo being taken, or has information about the photo in a text message being sent or received, to contact IBAC," it said.

The anti-corruption commission performs a critical role in independently over-sighting Victoria Police to ensure officers are accountable.

Ms Laidley's lawyer said he would lodge a complaint with the Professional Standards Command at Victoria Police.

"We don't know a lot about who took the photo, how widely it's been shared among Victoria Police," lawyer Jeremy King said.

"All we know is that somebody has taken a photo and it has been shared amongst Victoria Police members."

Michael Malthouse and Dani Laidley, pictured here during a Carlton game in 2015.
Michael Malthouse and Dani Laidley during a Carlton game in 2015. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Mr King said Ms Laidley had found the incident distressing, describing comments attached to the photo as "pretty vile".

"That's really not appropriate within Victoria Police," he said.

"It's not appropriate within any organisation, but it's particularly not appropriate within Victoria Police and considering the history and context of this matter."

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said it is "unaware of the origin of the photo or any corresponding messages" made by police employees.

"Furthermore, we have not received any details of the members allegedly involved," she said.

The spokeswoman said anyone with complaints about police misconduct is "strongly encouraged" to contact its Professional Standards Command or IBAC so that it can be investigated.

Dani Laidley awarded police payout after arrest photos leaked

The new investigation comes just six months after Victoria Police ordered 11 officers to pay thousands of dollars to Ms Laidley after they leaked photos of her mug shot after an arrest.

Court documents alleged the mug shot was shared in a police WhatsApp group alongside transphobic comments.

Three police officers have been charged with a range of offences over the alleged leak.

"We have had some discipline hearing outcomes as well this week. We've had six officers who've had the matters proven," Victoria Police chief commissioner Shane Patton said in April.

"The independent hearing officer has put them on a good behaviour bond for 12 months, but in addition to that, ordered that they undertake a respect course ... as well as awarding compensation to Dani Laidley."

The state's police minister Lisa Neville said the situation was "completely unacceptable", describing the decision to take the pictures as "idiotic".

"I can't understand how people can't believe that's not going to get distributed to anyone, those sort of photos," Ms Neville said.

"It was an idiotic thing to do, unacceptable thing to do."

Formerly known as Dean, Ms Laidley was a premiership player for North Melbourne in 1996 and coached the Kangaroos from 2003 to 2009.

with AAP

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