Officer who leaked Dani Laidley images sacked over mobile photos of corpses

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A police officer who kept his job after leaking images of former AFL coach Dani Laidley has been sacked after photographs of dead people were found on his mobile phone.

Detective Leading Senior Constable Murray Gentner was charged with “disgraceful and improper conduct” by investigators from the Professional Standards Command.

Detective Senior Constable Murray Gentner has been sacked for sharing images of corpses.Credit: Joe Armao/The Age

Three other officers have been accused of the same breach but will face disciplinary action at a later date.

A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed that Gentner had been dismissed at a hearing on Monday following his suspension without pay in February.

“A detective leading senior constable from Southern Metro Region has been dismissed following a Victoria Police disciplinary hearing on July 24.

“The charge relates to the sharing of crime scene photos via a messaging app,” the spokesman said.

The three other officers accused of sharing or possessing the disturbing images will face disciplinary action at a later date, he said.

None of the officers, including Gentner, have been charged with any criminal offences. It also remains unclear whether the photos were taken at homicide scenes, fatal traffic accidents or were of people who had died from natural causes.

Gentner, who had been based in the St Kilda crime investigation unit since 2007, did not respond to requests for comment from The Age.

He was one of three officers accused of leaking photos of Laidley wearing a wig and make-up in custody following her arrest for stalking in May 2020. The photos were circulated before Laidley had publicly come out as a transgender woman.

Gentner, Senior Constable David Hall and Senior Constable Shane Reid were all charged with disclosing police information without reasonable excuse, while Gentner and Reid also faced charges of misconduct in public office.

However, all three had their charges dropped after it was found in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court that the prosecution had failed to establish that the officers had a duty to not disclose the information about Laidley.

During a Professional Standards Command investigation, Gentner admitted he shared Laidley’s mugshot with other officers in a WhatsApp group called the “SD1 Gentleman’s Club”.

Gentner, who was awarded the Mick Miller Award in 2013 for his work as a detective, retained his job but was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond in September last year and required to complete a “respecting dignity” course over the Laidley matter.

Laidley received a confidential financial settlement from Victoria Police in March 2022.

In March 2023, Chief Commissioner Shane Patton warned all officers that any breach of the force’s disciplinary code would not be tolerated.

Patton insisted that police would be dismissed if found to have breached confidentiality or used unauthorised information from police databases.

“There’s no loophole there now, so anyone who is misusing information will absolutely be held to account,” he said in an email.

Patton revealed 17 officers had been dismissed for misconduct over the past year, and a further 31 resigned while under investigation when they saw the “writing on the wall”.

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