Dani Laidley awarded police payout over infamous photo

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Former AFL coach Dani Laidley, pictured in 2015, will be awarded compensation from six police officers responsible for photographing her after her arrest in May 2020 and sharing the images with colleagues. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Former AFL coach Dani Laidley, pictured in 2015, will be awarded compensation from six police officers responsible for photographing her after her arrest in May 2020 and sharing the images with colleagues. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Former AFL coach Dani Laidley has been awarded compensation from six police officers, after images of her at a police station following her arrest in 2020 were leaked on social media.

An officer illegally photographed Laidley after she was arrested and taken to a South Melbourne police station in May 2020.

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Images including Laidley's mug shot and another of her in an interview room wearing a blonde wig and dress were shared among police and on social media.

A seven-month investigation resulted in charges being laid against several officers and staff, including a senior detective, in December last year. 

Victoria Police chief commissioner Shane Patton says hearings for six officers wound up this week.

"We have had some discipline hearing outcomes as well this week. We've had six officers who've had the matters proven," he told 3AW on Friday.

"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."

Mr Patton said the six officers must each pay between $1000 to $3000 to Laidley.

Laidley was arrested and later pleaded guilty to stalking after sending several hundred text messages and phone calls to a woman, whose home he was arrested outside, as well as photographing her.

The former North Melbourne coach recently underwent a gender transition, having previously being known as Dean.

She was photographed while wearing a wig, dress and make-up at the station.

In addition to the six officers fined for their involvement in the photo leaking, a further 39 officers and seven public servants faced internal disciplinary action.

A plea hearing for Laidley in November heard the leaked images caused 'considerable distress' to the Laidley family.

Victoria Police slammed after Dani Laidley photos leak

The leaked photos sparked outrage against Victoria Police at the time, with state police minister Lisa Neville declaring the saga 'completely unacceptable'

The minister described 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. It was an idiotic thing to do, unacceptable thing to do," Ms Neville said.

The LGBTIQ Legal Service, which is based in St Kilda, condemned the leak, saying it was another example of police acting against the interests of the LGBTIQ community.

"There is a long history of mistreatment of and brutality towards our community by the Victoria Police," co-ordinator Sam Elkin told The Age last year.

"We believe this incident highlights the need for a deeper, organisation-wide cultural change."

With AAP

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