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in brief: Jill Meagher crime scene photograph used at police fundraiser

Victorian Police have apologised for the use of a crime scene photograph of Jill Meagher semi-naked in a shallow grave.

The photograph was used at a Bendigo fundraiser for prostate cancer with 400 attendees last Friday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles was using the image as part of a talk on homicide investigations.

Victoria Police’s Acting Deputy Comissioner, Steve Fontana has enacted a ban on showing material linked to operational matters. The Acting Deputy Comissioner has described the Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles’s use of the image as a ‘deeply unfortunate error of judgment.’

The fundraiser’s organiser, Keith Sunderland, has told the ABC the use of the photograph has been misconstrued. ‘He wasn’t glorifying anything, he was just presenting the facts,’ he said. ‘Look after your mates is the big message he was trying to get through.’

Audience members were said to have attempted to avert their eyes, despite Sunderland’s insistence the talk had them ‘spellbound.’ ‘I was shocked, and where I was sitting a few people looked at each other and there were raised eyebrows,’ one attendee told the Herald Sun.

Despite this, Prostate Cancer of Australia maintains the majority of the audience was not offended by the use of the image. ‘We have also spoken to people in attendance who have explained that the presentation was not offensive and the context was a story about the process of police investigation, and that sensitive material was clearly prefaced with a warning,’ spokesperson Ishtar Schneider told the Herald Sun.

Jill Meagher’s family has not yet commented on the issue.

One thought on “in brief: Jill Meagher crime scene photograph used at police fundraiser

  1. I don’t actually know the full extent of his talk and what he was referring to, but if he was talking about recent crimes he had worked on then I can understand.

    Did he tell the crowd there would be graphic images?

    Did he mention her name or blur her face?

    Clearly the crowd knew it was her, and while some may see it as too soon, now that it is a crime, then crime scene photos will be used. You cannot ban someone from using one simply because you may not like it. The photos do not belong to her family. The way the photos are used has nothing to do with her family. Her family have no say in how crime scene photos are used.

    It may seem harsh or cruel, but that is what they are. Crime scene photos. Crime scenes are not nice things, they would be used in training of future police and homicide detectives, there are millions of crime scene photos that are produced on a yearly basis in crime books, real/true life books, reference books.

    Maybe I’m just not getting the actual point of people’s issues with this. If it was graphic then avert your eyes, you knew what was going to happen so don’t complain about it after. Was it because it was too soon? Well the arsehole that did it has been caught and sentenced. Was it because people thought he needed permission from the family. No, they don’t own the photos.

    I have no idea why people have called for him to be sacked, what bullshit that is. Those photos belong to the police and can be used how and when they need. Why sack him for using a photo? Why did his superiors come out and say it was wrong when clearly he was able to do it in the first place. Stop blaming him for something that really is nothing to worry about and no, he shouldn’t apologise.

    I really don’t get some peoples stupid mentality sometimes.

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