Two years after custodial photos of Dani Laidley were leaked, Victoria Police has reached a confidential financial settlement with the former AFL coach. 

In May 2021, Laidley had filed a case in Victoria’s Supreme Court and had sought unspecified damages. She had claimed that the police had “breached a duty of care” and they should have known that leaking the “sensitive images” would result in them being widely shared by media outlets and on social media. 

‘Police Had Done The Wrong Thing’

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton has last year indicated that the force would settle the case with Laidley, admitting on 774 Melbourne radio that the officers had “done the wrong thing” and breached Laidley’s human rights. 

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The settlement amount is not known with the police saying in a statement that it was “confidential” and that the parties had agreed to discontinue the court action. 

Laidley was arrested by the police on May 2, 2020, from outside a St Kilda home and was charged with stalking a woman. Following her arrest, a mugshot as well as a photograph of Laidley dressed in a blond wig and dress, taken while she was in custody, were shared widely on social media and some media outlets. 

Case Against Officer Dismissed

Laidley had pleaded guilty to the stalking charges in November 2020 and the court placed her on an adjourned undertaking of good behaviour for 18 months.

Victoria police charged three police officers – suspended Senior Constable Murray Gentner, a senior constable from the Southern Metro Region and a constable from the North West Metro Region with unauthorised access of police information, unauthorised disclosure of police information and misconduct in public office.

Eleven other police officers were ordered to pay Laidley between $500 and $3,000 over the leaking of the custodial photographs. 

Earlier this month, a Melbourne Magistrate’s court dismissed the case against Gentner and ruled that he had not acted contrary to his duties as an officer.

 

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