Blacktown Police have refuted claims homophobia played a part in the investigation of a gay bashing.
Local Area Commander Supt Mark Wright denied any mismanagement in the case of Aaron Warnecke and Greg Harland — a couple attacked with metal poles in May.
“I would strenuously deny any suggestion that this investigation has been treated differently because of the sexual preference of those injured. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Wright said.
“As is often the case in these types of investigations, we are dealing with a variety of different versions and conflicting information, which always makes an investigation more difficult.
“The most important consideration for police is to ensure our investigations and our briefs of evidence are as complete as possible. We want to get this right and not face a situation where an offender could walk free because of a rushed or incomplete investigation.
“With this in mind, my investigations manager is reviewing the investigation and seeking legal advice.”
Warnecke and Harland now have an interim AVO in place and will return to Blacktown Court for a final AVO hearing on September 14.
They said relations with the police had improved since they went public.
“Since the article, [the police] have done a whole 180,” Harland said. “Even with their phone manner, they’re really pleasant — they’re not just barking ‘give me the event number’ and making me explain the whole story over and over. They’re being helpful.”
The couple’s story saw a community outcry and offers of assistance.
The Homicide Survivors Association offered to act as a liaison between the victims and police. Former Blacktown councillor John Allen has offered to raise the issue with the council.
“This is not just about a couple of fairy guys, this is an issue of safety,” Allen told Sydney Star Observer.
“Blacktown is the largest local government area of NSW, there’s close to 300,000 people. That then means, just on the stats, there is a very high gay and lesbian population. So to have one liaison officer based in Quakers Hill, of all places, is questionable.”
NSW Police GLBT spokeswoman Donna Adney said the state would see an increase in GLLOs.
“There is a GLLO course in November which should result in about 25 new GLLOs being trained,” she said.
NSW Police Minister Tony Kelly has been made aware of the case, although he declined to comment before the investigation was finished.

© Star Observer 2022 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, be sure to visit daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.