Saturday, February 19, 2005

Former detective jailed for lying to police

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But Judge Berman said that lying to the commission was a serious crime that undermined its ability to weed out corruption.

"This was not some spur-of-the-moment decision which he immediately regretted," Judge Berman said. "It seems that the offender was upset at being called to give evidence and had no respect for the way the commission operated. That, plus the desire not to get Mr Masri into trouble, appears to have been what motivated the offender's lying."

The judge said Rogerson "has at times acted in a way which suggests he does not accept that he is obliged to play by the rules".

Rogerson served three years in jail in the early 1990s for conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Since then, he has earned a living partly as an entertainer, recounting police exploits on stage with criminal-turned-author Mark "Chopper" Read and former Geelong footballer Mark "Jacko" Jackson.
Judge Berman said Rogerson "passes on the message that things were better in the olden days, when police officers were not hamstrung by the need to act strictly in accordance with their lawful obligations".

Rogerson was charged with perjury after numerous conversations, including those with his wife, were picked up by police phone taps.

Not realising he had been bugged, Rogerson lied about what he knew when confronted by the integrity commission.

Rogerson faced up to five years' jail but the judge considered his guilty plea and evidence of good character when jailing him for a maximum 21/2 years. His sentence was also reduced because of the three-year delay in charging him and the extra hardship he would suffer under protection in Cooma jail.
Judge Berman said that Rogerson served with distinction before he was dismissed from the police force in 1984, and "there is much about Mr Rogerson's life about which he is entitled to be proud. I'm satisfied that the offender does have good prospects for rehabilitation."

Judge Berman ordered Rogerson to serve at least one year behind bars. Rogerson hugged his wife outside the court before learning his fate. She refused to comment after her husband was jailed.
His lawyer, Paul Kenny, said jail would be tough on Rogerson, who suffered a suspected stroke and was hospitalised with severe depression last year.

"Roger used to be a tough guy - these days he's just a broken down old man," Mr Kenny said. "He's a hard man completely broken by the system."

Mr Kenny would not say whether Rogerson would appeal the sentence and made no comment on the criminal charges his client faces in South Australia.

"As soon as Mr and Mrs Rogerson have served their sentences, they just want to pack up and leave NSW," he said.
- with AAP

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