A senior detective has broken down while giving his reasons for showing a crime scene photo of murdered Melbourne woman Jill Meagher at a fundraiser.
The image of Ms Meagher’s body was displayed by Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles as part of a talk on homicide investigations.
The graphic photo was shown to 400 people at a Prostate Cancer Foundation fundraiser in Bendigo.
Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles says he has used the photo in previous presentations.
“It’s to make the point so that the community works with us in a partnership that we cannot accept violence against women,” he said.
“It was to make a strong powerful statement and that’s what it was used for.
“To the one person or two persons who have made the complaint, who still remain anonymous to me, if I have offended you in anyway I totally apologise.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles says he has spoken to Jill Meagher’s family and has their full support.
“The people who should be alarmed by it are Jillian’s parents and they’re not,” he said.
“I don’t believe I have done anything wrong, I believe I delivered it in a professional and compassionate manner.
“Will I use it again? In hindsight, maybe not,” he said.
Victoria Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Steve Fontana has apologised to Ms Meagher’s family, friends and the community.
He says it was an unfortunate error of judgement.
Victoria Police has also banned all further public presentations on operational matters.
Premier Denis Napthine says the presentation was totally inappropriate.
“When I heard about this yesterday afternoon I was sickened, I was shocked and immediately my heart went out to the Meagher family,” Dr Napthine said.
The organiser of the fundraiser, Keith Sutherland, has defended Detective Senior Sergeant Iddles, saying use of the photo has been misconstrued.
To the one person or two persons who have made the complaint, who still remain anonymous to me, if I have offended you in anyway I totally apologise.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles
“Ron Iddles did an amazing job, he had the blokes spellbound. He wasn’t glorifying anything he was just presenting the facts,” Mr Sutherland said.
“Look after your mates is the big message he was trying to get through.”
Ms Meagher, 29, was raped and murdered while walking home from a bar in Brunswick in September 2012.
Adrian Bayley was sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 35 years for raping and murdering Ms Meagher.