Gay cops who were accused of having ‘loose morals’ and subjected to drug tests win landmark discrimination case against the police force
- Tribunal hears of ‘culture of homophobia’ under Superintendant Simon Hardman
- Men presumed to be taking drugs because of their homosexuality, Tribunal finds
- Described as: ‘homosexual like-minded NT Police’, subjected to unfair complaint
- Targeted for going to gay-friendly venues Stonewall, The Ivy and Beresford Hotel
Four policemen unfairly targeted for an internal complaint and investigation because they were gay have won a landmark discrimination case against NSW Police.
Christopher Sheehy, Steven Rapisarda, Shane Housego and Christian McDonald were the centre of an undercover investigation by police in Sydney over alleged drug use.
The men were forced to undertake random drug tests and surveillance was carried out on the group throughout 2015.
After the six-month investigation found there was no evidence of drug-use, the group launched legal action as they felt they were targeted because of their sexuality.
A group of gay police officers who were accused of having loose morals and subjected to drug tests have won a landmark discrimination case (stock image pictured)
On Friday the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) ruled the group were ‘presumed to be engaged in drug use by reason of their homosexuality’.
The group of men will now seek compensation for the ‘significant financial and emotional damages’ caused by the investigation, lawyer Nicholas Stewart said.
The tribunal found that former Commander Simon Hardman was homophobic when he lodged the complaint about the men in 2015, the ABC reported.
Mr Hardman was suspicious of the men after another officer returned a positive result for ecstasy and speed from a hair sample in 2015.
His suspicions of the group were raised further due to their ‘close friendships’ and that they would go to gay bars such as Stonewall on Oxford Street together.
He claimed the men had ‘loose morals’ and were ‘notorious for their promiscuity’.
The officers had been working at Newtown Police Station (pictured) in Sydney’s inner-west at the time
‘Drug use is thought to be fundamental in such indiscriminate sexual encounters,’ his complaint read.
The court found Mr Hardman, who now works as the head of security at the University of Sydney, was ‘motivated, consciously or unconsciously, to make the complaints … by reason of their homosexuality’.
A spokeswoman for the NSW Police said they are reviewing the decision and is considering its response.
Former Commander Simon Hardman was suspicious of the men due to their ‘close friendships’ and that they would go to gay bars such as Stonewall on Oxford Street (pictured) together