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Professional Misconduct

Robert David Critchley


Address: Perth, WA, Australia
Age: 53
Sex: Male
Occupation: Police Officer
Date: 27 February 2012


Details



Robert David Critchley was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice on 27 February 2012.


The accused tried to tip off a suspected white extremist that his phone was being tapped. The senior constable made an anonymous call to Murray Holmes, the friend of the operation’s primary target Jacob Hort, and suggested Mr Hort get a new SIM card.


The State had alleged Critchley was motivated by sympathy for the nationalist extremist groups and that he had used two payphones while walking to work on January 15, 2010 to try to tip-off Mr Holmes, whose phone was not being monitored in the operation.


He told the jury he had dialled the number for Mr Holmes, who was connected to the music industry, only to check whether the number he had in his memory was correct because he wanted to pass it on to his musician step-son so he could make a demo tape.


He said he had not spoken to anyone on the other end of the line, and only dialled the number a second time after believing the first phone box had been faulty.


Critchley admitted he had written Mr Holmes’ number on a post-it note, which police later found him trying to hide when he handed over his wallet, but said he had forgotten about the note when checking the number at the phone box.


He said he tried to hide the note from police and lied to officers because he had been in a "blind panic" and feared they would misinterpret the situation.


Critchley claimed he had listed the names of white supremacist and national extremist groups on his mobile phone because he intended to research them given his role in the covert operation.


Judge Stavrianou sentenced the accused to 18 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 9 months.