Justin Darney: Wife of cop claims ‘toxic mould’ at the police station he worked at in Logan, Brisbane claimed his life
A heartbroken wife has claimed her police officer husband died because of exposure to toxic mould at the station where he worked.
Senior Constable Justin Darney, a hard-working cop in Logan, south of Brisbane, for 20 years, died in January in his early forties after developing a rare and aggressive form of pancreatic cancer.
Now his wife, Shari Freer-Darney is campaigning to hold an inquest into his death as she believes his condition was caused by the mould he was exposed to at work.
‘I still remember in the end, he said to me, “This really sucks”,” Ms Freer-Darney told A Current Affair.
Senior Constable Justin Darney (pictured with his wife and children), a hard-working cop in Logan, south of Brisbane for 20 years, died in January in his early forties after developing a rare and aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. His wife believes it was caused by toxic mould at a police station where he worked
‘He said, “I could understand being shot or something happening to me in the line of duty, but … mould? Why?”‘
Photos taken when Mr Darney was working at the station show mould on the ceiling and furniture, with his wife claiming it even covered his gun if he left it in his drawer.
Ms Freer-Darney said her husband complained about the issue 10 years before he fell ill but was just told to paint over it.
Her husband fell ill three years ago aged 38.
‘We walked into a GP and he said, “I’m so sorry”. He said, “You’ve got pancreatic cancer and that it’s spread to your liver”,’ Ms Freer-Darney sad.
‘I still remember the shock on his face and he said, “Oh my God, am I going to die?”‘
Mr Darney was initially given seven days to live but survived three years.
Senior Constable Darney is pictured right
‘I still remember at the end he spent months at home screaming in pain. He would have a shower and be screaming in pain. The kids would be in the other room,’ said Mrs Freer-Darney.
Asbestos and dust diseases lawyer Sean Sweeney, from Slater and Gordon, is representing Mrs Freer-Darney in her bid for justice.
He said that antibody tests conducted by doctors found that Mr Darney had high levels of micro toxins which are produced from some varieties of mould.
‘It is terrible what happened to Justin and it’s sad that the truth is it could have been avoided if more had been done,’ Mr Sweeney said.
A spokesperson for Queensland Police said: ‘Testing throughout Logan Central Station found it to be a safe work environment and suitable for designated use.’
The coroner has six months to respond to Freer-Darney’s submission requesting an inquest.