Former North Melbourne player and coach Dani Laidley is suing Victoria Police, alleging she was exposed to “humiliation and ridicule” when officers leaked photos of her in custody.
Ms Laidley has filed a writ in the Victorian Supreme Court this week, saying she suffers and continues to suffer injury, loss and damages as a result of the officers’ actions.
It comes after a police officer took a photo of a computer screen containing the mugshot of Ms Laidley, formerly known as Dean Laidley, the writ alleges.
The photograph was circulated to other police officers and members of the public through text messages and social media.
The same day, Detective Senior Constable Murray Gentner published the photo to a WhatsApp group, which included about nine police officers.
He then allegedly sent it to other police officers with words that she was a “full blown tranny” and “dressing like a tranny”.
Laidley in assistant coaching mode during a 2015 match in Melbourne. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Another officer took a second photo of Ms Laidley while she was in a police room being interviewed, an image which was also circulated among other police in the same WhatsApp group.
Messages about Ms Laidley were also republished on social media, the writ alleges.
The two photos and messages between police officers were widely disseminated on social media and via media outlets in Victoria and beyond, the writ says.
Laidley during a Carlton training session. Photo: George SalpigtidisSource:News Corp Australia
“The nature of the first and second photographs and the words communicated by police officers of and concerning the plaintiff were such as to invite and expose the plaintiff to humiliation and ridicule,” it alleges.
“The plaintiff has been injured in her feelings, credit and reputation, has been brought into public ridicule and contempt and has suffered and continues to suffer injury loss and damage.”
Ms Laidley is arguing that as she was under the care and responsibility of the state while in custody, it had a duty to show reasonable care for her physical and psychological safety.
She is seeking aggravated and exemplary damages.
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