Leaked photos showing Dean Laidley dressed as a woman in police custody have sparked outrage among the AFL community, with police launching an investigation into how the photos were circulated online.
Lawyers for the former AFL player and coach are demanding an investigation into how the photos, allegedly of him inside a police station after his arrest were leaked.
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The 53-year-old was arrested on Saturday night outside a home in St Kilda and was charged with stalking and other offences.
But a mug shot and photo of him in a long blonde wig and wearing a dress, taken inside a police station, were leaked.
“Disgraceful. Taking photos unlawfully and sharing them,” one of his lawyers Bill Doogue tweeted.
“And these were sneaky photos while in Police interview in Police Station by a Police Officer.
“Police should investigate and those involved pull down immediately.”
Disgraceful. Taking photos unlawfully and sharing them. And these were sneaky photos while in Police interview in Police Station by a Police Officer. FFS. https://t.co/XL57NIjDrg— Bill Doogue (@billdoogue) May 3, 2020
Police should investigate and those involved pull down immediately.— Bill Doogue (@billdoogue) May 3, 2020
Dee Giannopolous, another of Laidley’s lawyers, also expressed her fury.
“Outraged that pictures of my client, taken by some police officer, on the sly, when in custody in interview have hit the media. Typical,” Giannopolous tweeted.
Outraged that pictures of my client, taken by some police officer, on the sly , when in custody in interview have hit the media. Typical #grossbreachofprivacy— Dee Giannopoulos (@deeglaw) May 3, 2020
Victoria Police investigated leaked images of Laidley
Victoria Police have since announced they are investigating the dissemination of the images.
“This is one of the most significant breaches of a person’s privacy and Victoria Police will not tolerate this sort of behaviour,” they said in a statement.
“Professional Standards Command has commenced a thorough investigation and will be looking into all aspects of the matter.”
Claims that a police officer took the photos are unsubstantiated at this stage.
Laidley, a 1996 premiership winner and later coach with the Kangaroos, faced Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Sunday and will remain in custody until May 11 after not applying for bail.
“Police arrested a 53-year-old man on Saturday 2 May in relation to an incident outside (an) address in St Kilda about 9pm,” Victoria Police said in a statement on Sunday.
“He was charged with stalking and other matters.
“The Moonee Ponds man was held over to appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today, Sunday 3 May.
“He was remanded to appear at the same court on 11 May.”
A leading civil liberties advocate in Victoria also slammed the leaking of the images.
“The images circulating of a high-profile arrest today are deplorable breach of privacy,” Liberty Victoria tweeted.
“The transphobic overtones only serve to make the breach even more egregious.
“Please deal with this unacceptable incident swiftly & properly. “
Laidley played 151 games for West Coast and North Melbourne from 1987 to 1997, winning the 1996 premiership with the Kangaroos.
He then coached the Kangaroos for seven seasons and has worked as an assistant coach at Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Carlton.