A County Court judge says a Bendigo police officer who falsified records to close investigations into serious crimes committed a "gross breach of trust".
Samuel James Miller, 36, was sentenced in the County Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to three counts of misconduct in public office.
Judge Phillip Coish placed Miller on an 18-month community corrections order, with 100 hours of unpaid community work.
Judge Coish took into account Miller's guilty plea, accepted he was genuinely remorseful, and noted there had been a significant delay in the matter reaching resolution.
"I sentence you as a person of previously good character," Judge Coish said.
A testimonial written by Miller's father described him as now a "shattered man", and the offending was "totally out of character".
A now-retired sergeant said he regarded Miller as "diligent, focused and tenacious", and was shocked by his behaviour.
Justice Coish said Miller's offending was very serious.
"You have effectively set yourself up as investigator, judge and jury," he said.
"You have breached the fundamental obligations owed by members of Victoria Police.
"This offending, in my opinion, involved a gross breach of trust."
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Miller was a detective senior constable in the Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit at the time of his offences.
He was assigned an investigation into a serious assault on a man in November 2014, but the following March made a false record that the victim wished to withdraw his complaint, resulting in the subsequent closure of the investigation.
Three years later, Miller forged a statement of no complaint purportedly signed by the teenage victim of an alleged assault and kidnapping, to end the investigation.
That same year Miller forged another statement of no complaint, this time allegedly signed by a woman who was victim to an assault and aggravated burglary.
All three victims later said they did not withdraw complaints nor make statements of no complaint, and believed their investigations were ongoing.
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Miller said he perceived the victims were uncooperative, saying of the third incident that it was not worth his time investigating.
He told a psychologist that laziness and stupidity were behind his offending.
Miller has been suspended from Victoria Police since charges were laid last year, but his employment will now be terminated.
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