Police officer charged over Dani Laidley leak to fight allegations in court

A police officer charged with leaking information about AFL legend Dani Laidley while she was in police custody will contest the charges.

The Ringwood Magistrates Court on Friday was told that Victoria Police Constable David Hall, 28, would contest the allegation he disclosed police information without a reasonable excuse last May.

He allegedly sent texts to two people about Ms Laidley being taken into police custody, what she was accused of, and that she was identifying as a woman.

“It was the duty of the accused not to disclose that information,” charge sheets released by the court allege.

It was not then publicly known that Ms Laidley, 54, formerly known as Dean Laidley, was a transgender woman.

But a photo leaked by Victoria Police officers while she was in custody pictured her wearing a long blonde wig with make-up and traditional feminine clothing.

At least three officers, including Constable Hall, have been charged over the leak.

His lawyer, Kerry Stephens, told the court the matter “will not resolve” with a guilty plea after discussions with prosecutors were unsuccessful.

“(We) have been having ongoing discussions with the Office of Public Prosecutions – they haven’t been fruitful and are not likely to be,” he said.

“This matter will end up at a contested hearing.”

Ms Laidley was arrested on May 3, 2020, with a small amount of methylamphetamine in her bra and was charged with stalking after repeatedly calling a woman and sitting outside her house in a car.

She pleaded guilty but did not have a conviction recorded for either offence and was ordered to complete a diversion program and to be of good behaviour for 18 months by the courts.

The former premiership player and North Melbourne coach has since sued Victoria Police for damages with the matter ongoing.

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