Victim 'disgusted' Meyer avoids jail

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 14:40 19/12/2013
Gordon Stanley Meyer
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
SENTENCED: Gordon Meyer

Meyer leaves court

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A young woman who complained about corrupt ex-cop Gordon Stanley Meyer says she is "disgusted" by his home detention sentence.

The 45-year-old former senior constable was today sentenced in the High Court in Christchurch to nine months home detention on two charges to which he earlier pleaded guilty - bribery and corruption and indecent assault.

He was given a first-strike warning for the indecent assault charge, under the three-strikes legislation for repeat violent offenders.

Meyer had also offered to pay the two victims $3000 each for emotional harm. The young woman, who has name suppression, said the nine months Meyer would spend on home detention "doesn't even cover half of the time we have had to spend with this interruption in our lives".

"We had to deal with it [the impending trial] for two years."

Meyer had faced a charge of doing an indecent act with intent to offend the young woman and her friend in January 2011, which was withdrawn before he entered his guilty pleas in the High Court in Christchurch last month.

She was to have given evidence had Meyer's trial gone ahead.

"I'm disgusted," she said after learning of Meyer's sentence today.

Meyer's behaviour had affected her relationship with the friend and with her partner.

"I just think he got off really lightly. He managed to go two years while they organised the trial and then pleaded guilty. He milked it," she said.

"He [Meyer] may as well have been let away with it."

A male friend of the 23-year-old victim, who was in the car when Meyer pulled her over, said they had "a fair idea" ahead of sentencing that Meyer would receive home detention.

"We're just happy it's all over," he said. "The judge did say [to Meyer], you're very lucky not to go to jail."

Asked if he believed Meyer was sorry, as Meyer had conveyed in an apology letter to the court, he said: "How do you tell if the guy is sincere or not?"

The man expected Meyer had written the apology letter on legal advice.

A police spokesman said the investigation into Meyer remained open.

Police continued to appeal for any other potential victims to come forward, and investigators would assess information as it came in, he said.

The spokesman would not speculate on whether Meyer could face more criminal charges.

CHARGES

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Meyer agreed to accept a bribe, namely an offer of oral sex, from a 23-year-old woman in exchange for letting her off drink-driving in September 2011.

She flashed her breast for Meyer in the patrol car, but did not go out of a house to meet him when he arrived there later that night.

Meyer indecently assaulted an 18-year-old by grabbing her breasts and placing her hand on his groin in a patrol car in April 2011.

Both incidents occurred when Meyer was on night shift, alone in the patrol car and wearing his police uniform.

He had been in the police for 19 years. He resigned on the day he pleaded guilty.

Under the Crimes Act, both charges carry a maximum prison term of seven years.

Police originally brought 18 charges against Meyer. Nine of those were dropped during pre-trial argument and a further seven were withdrawn before he pleaded guilty.

He entered the pleas on what was to be day one of his trial on offending against five women.

Sentencing Meyer, Justice Graham Panckhurst said the media had adopted the word "sleazy" in describing Meyer's offending.

"That about sums it up . . . Sleazy, if not rather pathetic."

"There is a pattern here of an officer who was, frankly, out of control. He was using his position to make inappropriate sexual advances to women, in the course of his duties, as a matter of course," Panckhurst said.

He said had been assessed as being suitable for home detention.

There was an abuse of trust, a high level of corruption and a sexual element to his offending.

However, the level of gratification was "at a low level".

He had suffered a "fall from grace", including public vilification and humiliation.

Prison would be disportionate to the offending. He would likely have to serve the sentence in isolation because he was a police officer.

Panckhurst sentenced him to nine months' home detention on each charge. They would be served concurrently.

He also handed down a first strike warning for the indecent assault, under special three-strike legislation for repeat violent offenders.

- The Press

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