NSW Police denied travel request to get statement from Porter’s accuser

An application from sex crimes detectives to travel to South Australia to obtain a statement from Christian Porter’s accuser was denied by NSW Police Deputy Commissioner David Hudson.

The revelation is contained in 69 pages of documents produced to the NSW Legislative Council on Friday afternoon after a motion for an order of papers by Greens MP David Shoebridge.

The travel request was submitted by Detective Senior Constable Samantha Meredith on March 10, 2020, prior to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, and supported by her team leader.

It was also approved by the NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad investigation teams manager, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Haddow, who said the matter involved a “very high-profile” person and a detailed statement was required.

He said circumstances relating to the complainant required two investigators to travel to Adelaide. Mr Porter strenuously denies the allegations.

“The application for travel was ultimately not supported by the Deputy Commissioner Hudson, given the COVID-19 restrictions which came into effect,” a document dated March 13, 2020 states.

Deputy Commissioner Hudson cited “insufficient detail provided … to justify why this travel cannot be deferred”, in accordance with a new policy “precluding international travel and restricting interstate travel to operational necessity”.

The woman was told that week investigators “would not be travelling to South Australia as planned to commence her statement” and expressed her desire to have one taken as soon as possible by telephone or on a Skype video call, the Strike Force Wyndarra documents state.

The woman alleged she was raped by Mr Porter in Sydney in January 1988, an allegation the minister has publicly denied. She took her own life in June 2020, which led to NSW Police closing the case.

“We now know that there were three viable opportunities to take a statement by travelling to South Australia, by video link, and through South Australia Police and all three were rejected,” Mr Shoebridge told the Herald.

“I can’t imagine anything more essential for NSW Police than to actively investigate an allegation of sexual assault and take a statement from the complainant.”

Mr Shoebridge said in addition to the latest documents, there are a series of un-redacted documents held under privilege in NSW Parliament, many of which he believes should also be made public.

“I will be engaging in that process in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

Mr Porter moved out of the Attorney-General’s portfolio in March, becoming the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in a cabinet reshuffle.

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