Claim police discriminated against man's disorder dismissed
POLICE investigations into claims of fraudulent bank activity have been upheld by a Queensland court, which found detectives did not discriminate against a man because of his bipolar disorder.
In a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission on January 23, John Robert Cook said police at Gladstone and Bundaberg did not properly investigate his suspicions that stores were fraudulently taking money from his account.
Mr Cook said Detective Andrew Self of Bundaberg and Detective Hodgson of Gladstone CIB closed their investigations because of his condition.
But they both claimed it was due to a lack of evidence and they found the relevant transactions had most likely been made by Mr Cook's wife, Monique.
Their investigations were upheld by Bundaberg Queensland Civil Administrative Tribunal member Samantha Traves, who dismissed the case and ordered Mr Cook to pay Queensland Police Service and Detective Self $1100 in court costs.
His case was first investigated by Detective Hodgson in Gladstone, who closed it in 2014, and was later reviewed by Detective Self at Bundaberg Police Station.
Court documents stated Ms Cook discussed with police Mr Cook's bipolar disorder and suggested he could be responsible for the transactions.
Detective Self questioned Mr Cook about his condition and requested information from his doctor.
"The information request made of Mr Cook's treating psychiatrist was, in my view, relevant to the investigation," Ms Traves said.
During the investigation Mr Cook was unable to identify a clear cause of fraudulent activity, but pointed to transactions at Coles at Gladstone and Crisco as his "best guess".
Ms Cook later admitted to buying the groceries at Coles in Gladstone.
The court document said Detective Self then obtained a recording of Ms Cook placing orders with Crisco, and a separate call when she attempted to convince the operator she had been the victim of fraud and needed a refund.
"Having viewed the police records and other material on the file, I find that the investigations were conducted appropriately," Ms Traves said.
In her decision, delivered at a hearing Mr Cook did not attend, Ms Traves said Detective Self was "patient and respectful" while investigating the case.
"In any event, I find that the discovery that Mr Cook had bipolar disorder did not influence the conduct of the investigation," she said.