Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner Colleen Gwynne to defend abuse-of-office charge


The Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner says she will “vigorously defend” a charge of abuse-of-office laid by NT Police.

In a statement, Colleen Gwynne, 54, said she would plead not guilty to the charge, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

“I will vigorously defend this charge, and my reputation,” she said.

“This is a misconceived charge.”

In the statement released through Bowden McCormack Lawyers, Ms Gwynne also defended her record of public service in the Northern Territory.

“Throughout my long career I have only ever acted in the interests of the Northern Territory,” she said.

“In my role as NT Children’s Commissioner I have always been motivated to act in the public interest and in the interests of NT children.

“In my career of over 30 years I have always adopted this approach.”

Ms Gwynne said she had not been offered an interview by police and was not aware of the specifics of the charge against her.

Ms Gwynne will face Darwin Local Court on August 27.(ABC News: Stephanie Zillman)

Ms Gwynne has been the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner since 2015 and was recently reappointed to the role for another five years.

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles said Ms Gwynne “has been granted leave” from her role and an acting commissioner is yet to be appointed.

Prior to taking on the position, Ms Gwynne was a commander with the NT Police; she worked in the NT police force for more than 25 years.

Ms Gwynne led the investigation into the murder of British backpacker Peter Falconio, which resulted in the conviction of Bradley John Murdoch in 2005.

She was also a premiership coach of the NTFL Women’s Waratah team and the league’s best and fairest award was renamed in her honour.

Ms Gwynne will face Darwin Local Court on August 27, represented by high profile Sydney barrister Phillip Boulten SC.



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