Detectives decided to charge Bruce Lehrmann with raping within an hour of her boyfriend calling a top cop and threatening to go to the media condemning the delay, a police chief has claimed.
Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said he thought there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Lehrmann, but admitted ‘significant’ pressure led to some processes being skipped.
He made the admission under cross examination at an ACT Board of Inquiry on Monday into the investigation and prosecution of the rape allegations against MrLerhmann which collapsed last year.
Supt Moller was involved in investigating Ms Higgins’ allegation that Mr Lehrmann, a former colleague, raped her after a night out in 2019 inside the Parliament House office of then-coalition minister Linda Reynolds.
Mr Lerhmann has always denied the allegation.
Detectives decided to charge Bruce Lehrmann with raping Brittany Higgins within an hour of her boyfriend David Sharaz (pictured above with Ms Higgins) calling a top cop and threatening a media blitz condemning the delay, a police chief has claimed
Australian Federal Police Detective Superintendent Scott Moller (pictured) revealed the ‘exceptional’ pressure police had been placed under to bring charges against Bruce Lehrmann
Supt Moller, the first officer to give evidence to the inquiry, said it was difficult to articulate the collective pressure coming from the public, media and within his own organisation for Mr Lehrmann to be served with a court summons.
This pressure culminated in a direct phone call from Ms Higgins’ partner David Sharaz to the senior detective on July 30, threatening to publicly condemn the time taken to bring charges. If you have any thoughts relating to where and how to use xxx mom son fuck HD movies, you can call us at our own page.
Within an hour of Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman receiving the phone call from Mr Sharaz, Supt Moller was given instructions to serve a summons on Mr Lehrmann for one count of sexual intercourse without consent, the inquiry heard.
Supt Moller’s diary records from that day noted he had a briefing with Inspector Boorman about the case, which included a ‘discussion re Higgins contemplating media release’.
Supt Moller agreed that at the time the decision was made by his boss, Commander Michael Chew, investigators were faced with ‘the potential threat of Ms Higgins going public about the delay’.
During the hearing, Supt Moller said officers were under a ‘significant amount of pressure’ over the politically-charged case. ‘There was a real desire to expedite this process and team skeet hd xxx get Mr Lehrmann before the court.’
Supt Moller later reiterated the ‘exceptional amount of pressure on us to get this done’.
Bruce Lehrmann (left) is pictured with his defence lawyer Steven Whybrow (right) outside court in October
Brittany Higgins’ (pictured) alleged that Mr Lehrmann, a former colleague, raped her after a night out in 2019 inside the Parliament House office of then coalition minister Linda Reynolds. Mr Lerhmann has always denied the allegation
This pressure led to police skipping usual processes, even though Supt Moller said he did not think there was enough evidence to charge Mr Lehrmann.
‘I swore the summons because I did not want to put any of my staff in the position where they had to do something they didn’t want to do, didn’t believe in, so I did it,’ he said.
‘I didn’t think there was enough evidence and then I received the director’s advice and certainly from his advice, I decided to go ahead.’
Supt Moller said the stress of the investigation impacted many police officers, some of whom had to take leave from work.
Supt Moller said police were wrong to provide Ms Higgins’ sensitive counselling notes to prosecutors and defence lawyers.
‘That’s the bottom line, we shouldn’t have handed them over and it’s a mistake that we made,’ he told the inquiry on Monday.
After Ms Higgins’ counselling notes were mistakenly provided to the prosecution and defence teams, Supt Moller said he was concerned ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold was trying to ‘collect evidence’ to criticise police.
‘It caused me quite a lot of concern for myself and my investigation team, so much so that we continually second-guessed ourselves about what we were doing and how we were doing it,’ he said.
‘I wanted to absolutely make certain that we were doing everything perfectly, I didn’t want to miss anything because I was continually concerned about (Drumgold) and what I thought was collecting information about us not doing the right thing.’
Mr Lehrmann (pictured) ditched his trademark dark suits and glasses for jeans and a white dress shirt as he stepped out with a mate in Bondi on Thursday in exclusive pictures published by Daily Mail Australia
Mr Drumgold believed police had a ‘passion’ for the prosecution to fail and criticised their decision to conduct a second interview with Ms Higgins, something which is unusual in sexual assault cases.
But Supt Moller stood by this part of the investigation and said police had an obligation to look at inconsistencies in a complainant’s account.
He said officers were concerned by some of the evidence given to them by Ms Higgins and wanted to clarify this through a second interview.
Supt Moller also revealed Ms Higgins was allowed to watch CCTV footage of herself and Mr Lehrmann at Parliament House because she was ‘so keen to see it’.
This was despite concerns it may have corrupted her evidence, as police felt obliged under their ’victim-centric’ approach to show it to her.
Supt Moller said Ms Higgins ‘continually asked’ to see the footage, which showed the pair exiting and entering Parliament House on the night Ms Higgins claims Mr Lehrmann raped her on a sofa in senator Linda Reynolds’s office.
‘In a normal investigation, we would never show somebody evidence like that because it might influence their evidence later in court,’ he said.
Mr Lehrmann faced a trial in the ACT Supreme Court in October 2022 but juror misconduct meant a verdict was not reached.
The charge was later dropped due to concerns about the impact a second trial would have on the mental health of Ms Higgins.