WA Police had a culture of creating false records to cover up officers' speeding offences, a police witness told a District Court trial today.
The claim came from a supervising police sergeant who was giving evidence in the District Court trial of Sen. Const. Martine Baas and Const. Mark Philip Raine.
Sen. Const. Baas and Const. Raine are fighting charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The charges were laid after the pair allegedly made false claims of conducting a vehicle stop when the marked police car Const. Raine was driving triggered a speed camera at a Cottesloe intersection about 1.35am on August 13, 2010.
The marked car had been travelling at 67kmh in a 60kmh zone of Stirling Highway.
The court has been told Const. Raine wrote a false entry about conducting a traffic stop in his notebook, with the false claim being capable of exempting hime from an infringement.
Ms Baas has admitted making the same false claim in a radio communication.
The jury has been told that Sen. Const. Baas had later come clean about what she had done and that Const. Raine had paid the $75 speeding fine.
However, the pair were still charged over their actions.
The prosecution must show that each of the accused officers had done something that would have a tendency to pervert the course of justice and that they had intended to pervert the course of justice.
Today, a police sergeant who had been the pair's supervisor that night took the stand and said Sen. Const. Baas had spoken to him later in her shift about the speeding incident and had asked him whether she should make an entry in her notebook.
The sergeant testified that he had inferred from her "hushed" tone that she was asking whether she should make a false record in her notebook to excuse the excess speed.
He said he had replied that it was not worth "hanging" her career over a speeding fine that would be, at most, $150.
The sergeant went on to say that he had been aware anecdotally of a "culture" within the WA Police of officers making false records in their notebooks to avoid speeding fines by claiming they had been conducting duties when they exceeded the speed limit.
The trial continues.
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