A Queensland-based Australian Federal Police officer who was sacked for breaching a ‘bonk ban’ has failed in his bid to get his job back.
A Queensland-based Australian Federal Police officer who was sacked for breaching a ‘bonk ban’ has failed in his bid to get his job back.

Cop sacked for bonk-ban breach loses appeal

A Queensland-based Australian Federal Police officer who was sacked for breaching a "bonk ban" by sneaking a local woman dubbed a "foxie" into the police barracks for sex while posted in Papua New Guinea, has failed in his bid to get his job back.

Martin Barlow, a senior constable who served in the AFP for nearly 17 years mostly at Cairns airport, most recently as a bomb appraisal officer, was sacked by Assistant AFP Commissioner Peter Crozier on November 13, 2019 for his sexual relationship with a PNG woman while on deployment, in breach of the ban.

 

Another AFP officer, whose identity has not been revealed, was also sent home early from PNG for having sex with a local PNG woman he met at the pub and sneaked into his room on the same night that Mr Barlow met his girlfriend.

A Protective Services Officer and another Federal Agent - whose names have been suppressed - were sent home at the same time for failing to report Mr Barlow's conduct to the hierarchy despite seeing Mr Barlow with the woman.

They were sent home in late November 2018 just days before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation event known as leaders week, when additional AFP staff were needed.

Details of Mr Barlow's sacking were revealed when he took his case to the Fair Work Commission alleging he had been unfairly dismissed.

On February 5, the Fair Work Commission ruled against him, stating his sacking was not unfair or harsh.

Mr Barlow was the third officer in the past nine years to be sacked from the AFP for sex with locals while deployed overseas, the others were in the Solomon Islands, the commission was told.

A fourth officer was sacked for swearing at colleagues.

Two other officers resigned during the disciplinary process examining allegations of sex with Solomon Islands women.

Others received formal counselling and were not to be deployed for a minimum of two years as punishment for sex with locals.

 

The AFP bans staff on foreign postings from all sexual relationships with PNG or Solomon Island nationals, including sex workers of any nationality, arguing they can cause "significant reputational damage" to the AFP's relationship with PNG "a critical international partner in the Pacific".

The AFP argues that the ban helps avoid "diplomatic incidents" and stops violent attacks by aggrieved PNG locals seeking "retribution" against the AFP for taking advantage of local women.

PNG locals could also sue the Commonwealth if a baby was conceived by a local woman during an illicit AFP relationship, the commission heard.

The security guards at the barracks referred to the women who were sneaked into the base as "foxies" in their logbook, and knew Mr Barlow's behaviour breached the AFP Professional Standards, the FWC hearing was told.

During the hearing the AFP argued Mr Barlow's conduct was serious because he had abused his position of trust with the "vulnerable" woman, a victim of domestic violence, who was less powerful within the relationship than Mr Barlow.

Mr Barlow admitted he had sex with the woman in his barracks apartment four times in November 2018.

Mr Barlow told the FWC that he had sex with the woman at his barracks after meeting her at the pub on November 4, 2018 and inviting her back to his apartment for a "cup of tea or coffee". They met again at the pub four days later and again returned to his apartment for sex, and again on two other dates.

Each time he drove her to her mum's house the next morning in a marked PNG-Australia Policing Program car, the commission heard.

 

Fair Work Commissioner Jennifer Hunt found in her 102 page decision that Mr Barlow “was incredibly dishonest with Superintendent Raiser” about his sex with the woman.
Fair Work Commissioner Jennifer Hunt found in her 102 page decision that Mr Barlow “was incredibly dishonest with Superintendent Raiser” about his sex with the woman.


The name of the AFP compound in PNG where Mr Barlow was based was suppressed by the FWC.

Mr Barlow was in PNG to train local police in bomb detection.

When Mr Barlow was initially confronted with allegations that he had sex with the woman by his boss, the most senior AFP officer in PNG, Superintendant Leanne Raiser in November 2018 while still posted in PNG, he repeatedly denied having sex with the woman.

Fair Work Commissioner Jennifer Hunt found in her 102 page decision that Mr Barlow "was incredibly dishonest with Superintendent Raiser" about his sex with the woman.

Mr Barlow told the hearing that he had been unable to find a new job in Cairns since his sacking, and was not able to get Centrelink help or benefits until July 2020 because of long service leave payments.

He also submitted that his relationship with his wife broke down and they are now separated.

He had to tell his daughter about his sacking, and his friends and peers.

 

LIST OF OTHER DISCIPLINARY CASES AGAINST AFP OFFICERS

2018 - officer resigned during process - fraternisation Solomon Islands.

2018 - officer sacked - fraternisation in PNG.

2016 - officer sacked - profanities in the workplace.

2012 - officer dealt with managerially, Victorian Police alerted - fraternisation with Solomon Islands woman

2011 - officer resigned during process - fraternisation Solomon Islands

2011 - officer sacked - Sexual relationship with a Solomon Islands National while attached to RAMSI

2011 - referred to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner - sexual relationship Solomon Islands National while attached to RAMSI

Originally published as Cop sacked for bonk-ban breach loses appeal



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