Charges against Bendigo police inspector to be dropped

BACKGROUND: Central Goldfields police Inspector charged with perjury

BACKGROUND:Bendigo Senior Constable faces sack over drink driving

BACKGROUND: Bendigo police under investigation

CHARGES against a central Victorian police inspector accused of perjury and misleading the director of the Office of Police Integrity will be dropped.

The Bendigo Advertiser understands the charges will be withdrawn in the Melbourne Magistrates court on Wednesday.

Inspector Mark Edwards was suspended without pay in August last year following an investigation by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, formerly the Office of Police Integrity.

As reported in the Bendigo Advertiser at that time, the investigation related to how police handled the investigation into former Bendigo police officer Dean Robinson, who crashed his car into a hotel while drink-driving in 2011.

Robinson has since left the force and another officer was fined and disciplined internally for their involvement.

Others have been disciplined for 'peripheral issues' detected during the investigation, but which did not relate to the drink-driving incident.

They included inappropriate use of the police email system.

The Bendigo Advertiser believes a public servant was encouraged to resign as a result.

The Bendigo Advertiser reported in 2012 that the OPI and Victoria Police Ethical Standards department were investigating several Bendigo officers in relation to their response when an off-duty officer left the scene of an accident after drink-driving.

One officer, now known as Robinson, had been suspended at the time for alleged drink-driving and leaving the scene of an accident, and several others were being investigated for allegedly breaching proper protocols in the hours after the fact.

It was believed one officer blew into a breathalyser on behalf of the intoxicated officer to register a zero alcohol reading, however that reading was not used or officially recorded on any paperwork.

The three-hour time period during which blood alcohol readings can be recorded at the police station was then allowed to lapse, meaning there was no legal record of Robinson's limit at the time of the alleged incident.

Robinson did provide a breath sample some hours afterwards and recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.111 – more than twice the legal limit.

The Bendigo Advertiser understands the incident followed a drinking session at the Foundry Arms Hotel on November 17, 2011, during which several police officers argued about personal relationships.

Robinson left the hotel in an emotional state, and crashed the car he was driving near the Queens Arms Hotel in Quarry Hill before fleeing the scene.

Robinson pleaded guilty in March last year to drink-driving, driving in a dangerous manner and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

He lost his driver’s licence for 11 months and later resigned from the police force before internal investigations had concluded.

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