Officer keeps job after festival assault
Mark Johnson pictured leaving court earlier this month. Picture: Lee Griffith/The West Australian

A police officer convicted of assaulting a woman during a Swan Valley festival will keep his job.

Senior Constable Mark Wayne Johnson was earlier this month convicted of assaulting Penelope Challace at the Spring in the Valley Festival in 2009. He was also fined $2000.

The officer, who has worked as a police officer for more than 30 years, was stood aside from operational duties after he was charged in August last year and stood down in April.

After a meeting today Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan decided not to dismiss the 50-year-old from the force.

“After being convicted by a court of law and subjected to a substantial penalty, this officer has paid
a high price for making a gross error in judgement," Mr O'Callaghan said.

"However there was no dishonesty involved in his behaviour, as he was initially acting in good faith in difficult circumstances.”

Sen. Const. Johnson was emotional after the decision was announced today and said he was looking foward to getting back on the street with his police colleagues and helping the community.

He said the past few years had been extremely stressful for him and his family and thanked the community and fellow police officers for their support.

The WA Police Union described the move as a "common sense" decision and was relieved Sen. Const. Johnson could continue working as a police officer.

The West Australian

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