By court reporter Danny Tran
A depressed detective who tried to shut down three assault investigations because he thought the victims were untruthful, uncooperative or unworthy of his time will likely lose his job with Victoria Police after he was convicted in a Melbourne court.
- Detective Senior Constable Samuel Miller’s offending regarded three cases involving serious assaults
- In one case, Miller believed the victim was not being truthful and he “developed a bias against him”, Judge Phillip Coish said
- The court heard Miller told a psychologist he thought his offending was “foolish” and said he did it to “save my colleagues some time”
Detective Senior Constable Samuel Miller, 36, was today sentenced to a community corrections order after admitting that on three occasions, he pretended to be the victims he was meant to be helping and faked statements of no complaint.
The County Court of Victoria heard Miller forged the documents in the hopes of lightening the workload for his colleagues at the Bendigo Crime Investigation Unit.
Judge Phillip Coish described Miller’s offending as serious and “particularly unusual”.
“You have breached the fundamental obligations owed by members of Victoria Police. This offending in my opinion involved a gross breach of trust.”
Miller’s offending occurred between October 2014 and April 2018, when the detective was assigned three cases involving serious assaults.
On the first occasion, the victim had been “uncooperative and abusive to police”, the court heard.
Miller’s actions led to the investigation being terminated.
On the second occasion, the assault victim was a 14-year-old.
“You believed the victim was not being completely truthful with you and you developed a bias against him,” Judge Coish said.
“You created a false statement of no complaint … with the intent that your supervisor would accept it as an original document,” he said.
The court heard on the third occasion, Miller thought the assault victim was “uncooperative” and “not worth” his time.
When internal investigators caught up to Miller in April 2018, he initially admitted to only falsifying documents in one of the cases.
Two months later, when they arrested him again, the court heard he made full admissions.
In sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Coish revealed at the time of the offending, Miller, a father-of-two, had marriage problems and was depressed.
“You explained that in this context, you had a number of outstanding but inactive files that needed to be finalised or handed over to other police members,” Judge Coish said.
“You had made efforts to contact various parties but without success and had become increasingly frustrated.
“Whilst you may have formed a perception about the victims and you may have experienced frustration in the course of your employment, I must emphasise that the offending is of a very serious nature and … involves a breach of the fundamental obligations owed by members of Victoria Police.”
The court heard Miller, who is separated, told a psychologist he now looks back on his offending as “foolish and ill-conceived”.
“What was I thinking, it’s just stupidity,” he told the psychologist.
“I just wanted to save my colleagues some time.”
Miller was sentenced to an 18-month community corrections order, which included 100 hours of unpaid work.
He did not react as he was convicted.