Jury retires in Qld cop's perjury trial

·3-min read

A jury has retired to deliberate at the trial of a senior Gold Coast police officer accused of lying to Queensland's corruption watchdog over nepotism allegations.

Michelle Stenner, 47, was charged in 2017 following an investigation into the appointment of Gold Coast Chief Superintendent Terry Borland's daughter Amy to a temporary administrative role at Broadbeach Police Station.

The superintendent is accused of discussing the matter with several officers before misleading the CCC inquiry.

Stenner pleaded not guilty to three counts of perjury in the Brisbane District Court to allegations she lied to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The jury retired for verdict deliberations on Tuesday.

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller said the allegations could be summed up as a "potential abuse of power".

"Corruption is about the abuse of power, of a person in a position to influence things who improperly exercises that power, Mr Fuller said during closing submissions.

"It has to be a person who is in a position of power, someone of some standing.

"This is an example of a suggestion where there was an investigation into potential abuse of power."

Mr Fuller said the case centred on accusations of nepotism involving Amy Borland.

"Nepotism is when a person uses the influence of one of their family members to their own benefit," he said.

"The suggestion is the number two officer on the Gold Coast, Chief Superintendent Terry Borland, influencing some decisions made around the employment of his daughter - or somebody else being involved in that.

"That's what the allegation is about."

The jury was told Chief Supt Borland was on leave when he forwarded his daughter's resume directly to Stenner, bypassing standard recruitment channels.

"A resume was sent by Terrence Borland, the chief superintendent ... directly to the acting chief superintendent, Michelle Stenner - not to the senior sergeant who usually does all this sort of stuff," Mr Fuller said.

"Michelle Stenner, the acting chief superintendent, is the conduit for all of this."

Chief Supt Borland told Stenner that his daughter needed a job to return from the Northern Territory.

Stenner passed Ms Borland's details to the Broadbeach officer in charge, saying "she had found a person to fill the vacancy at the station".

Key errors in the application were discovered by the HR advisor of the Public Safety Business Agency.

A senior officer listed as instrumental in the application later denied any knowledge in Ms Borland's recruitment, the court was told.

Stenner and Borland were heard discussing the CCC investigating and the allegations on telephone intercepts played to the jury.

Defence barrister Stephen Zillman said any mistakes in the selection process were an "innocent error", and the jury had to be satisfied Stenner "deliberately lied".

"There is no allegation here of corrupt conduct by Michelle Stenner insofar as the appointment process of Amy Borland is concerned," Mr Zillman said.

"Why would Michelle Stenner have lied about such a matter? What conceivably was there to gain by her telling untruths?"