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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Australian police apologise after detective uses photo from Jill Meagher crime scene

Thousands took to the street in Melbourne last week to march in memory of the late Jill Meagher.
Thousands took to the street in Melbourne last week to march in memory of the late Jill Meagher.

A police photo depicting sensitive material surrounding the murder of Jill Meagher was shown to an audience of around 400 people by a senior homicide detective.

The photo was shown by Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles as part of a talk about his job during a Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia in Bendigo last Friday.

 Det. Sen-Sgt Iddles was involved in Jill Meagher's murder investigation. Since the incident, Acting Deputy Commissioner Steve Fontana of the Victoria Police apologised for the "unfortunate error". The use of operational matters in public presentations has since been banned until new rules were put in place.

"This was a deeply unfortunate error of judgment and my sincere apologies are extended to Jill's family, friends, the community, and in particular to her husband, Tom," Mr Fontana said to the Herald Sun Newspaper.

Mr Fontana went on to defend  Det. Sen-Sgt Iddles by saying his was one of the area's most dedicated detectives, with more than 30 years of service.

"Few wearing the uniform have been more committed and loyal in their service of the community," he said.

"I am saddened that a speech he delivered in good faith, at a charity fundraiser, will have caused further emotional anguish for the family."

A number of audience members told the newspaper that they were disgusted and shocked that the image was made public.

"I looked but I had to look away," one said.

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