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

Novel end as Rogerson gets two years to finish thriller

Clutching a John Grisham thriller, The King of Torts, the accused sat in the dock listening intently as he starred in his own courtroom drama.

"Few in the community would not have heard of Roger Rogerson," said Judge Peter Berman, noting that Rogerson had once quipped the media had changed his name by deed poll to "Disgraced Former Detective."

When he sentenced Rogerson, 64, to two year years in jail yesterday, it was not for the dramatisations, or his character, but for lying to the Police Integrity Commission nearly six years ago.

Rogerson pleaded guilty to lying to the commission in May 1999 when he said he did not know that his friend Sam Masri, a manager at Liverpool Council, was corrupt. He also falsely gave evidence under oath saying he could not remember being told he ICAC was investigating him.

"The Police Integrity Commission has a fundamentally important job to perform. Offences such as this, which affect its ability to do its job, are therefore very serious," Judge Berman said.

The sensation of being led away by guards is not unfamiliar to Rogerson. Fifteen years ago he was jailed for perverting the course of justice. He appealed and was acquitted, but in 1992 the appeal was quashed and Rogerson returned to Berrima jail until his release in 1995.

Funnily enough, it was a conversation with his then wife, Joy, that brought him undone. The jury was deliberating on Rogerson's fate over an earlier matter he had faced trial for - attempting to bribe a drug squad detective, Michael Drury - and was acquitted of. But Rogerson, expecting the worst, told his wife where the money was.

The conversation was overhead, which led to the discovery of secret bank accounts Rogerson had with more than $100,000. It was this which led Rogerson to jail.

This time around, numerous conversations, including some with Rogerson's current wife, Anne Melocco, were picked up on police phone taps. Not realising he had been bugged, Rogerson lied about what he knew when confronted by the PIC. When he was asked by counsel assisting, David Freason, if he might like to purge himself, Rogerson shot back, "What perjury? I'm trying not to."

It seems he wasn't trying hard enough. As Judge Berman said yesterday, Rogerson's lie had not been a "spur of the moment" decision and he had rejected a chance to correct his evidence.

His lawyer, Paul Kenny, said outside court: "Roger used to be a tough guy. These days he's just a broken-down old man ... completely broken by the system."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Rogerson jailed for lying under oath

Former NSW policeman Roger Rogerson.
Former NSW policeman Roger Rogerson.
Photo: AAP
February 18, 2005 - 2:53PM
Notorious former NSW detective Roger Rogerson was today jailed for two and a half years for lying to the NSW Police Integrity Commission (PIC).

The 64-year-old pleaded guilty in Downing Centre District Court to one count of giving false evidence to the PIC in May, 1999.

Judge Peter Berman today sentenced Rogerson to two and a half years in jail, saying he had deliberately lied to a commission whose objective was to uncover and weed out corruption.

"This was not some spur of the moment decision which he immediately regretted," Judge Berman said.

Rogerson faced a maximum five years' jail for the offence but Judge Berman took into account his guilty plea, age, evidence of good character, and the mental hardship he would suffer in custody.

Judge Berman ordered Rogerson to serve at least one year of the sentence.

He will be eligible for parole on February 17, 2006.

Last October, Judge Berman sentenced Rogerson's wife, Anne Melocco, to two years' periodic detention for the same offence.

They were charged after lying to a PIC hearing into alleged corruption at Liverpool City Council in Sydney's south west.