Supreme and District courts of Queensland
Supreme and District courts of Queensland

Cop who's suing QLD for defamation returns to beat

A MACKAY police officer has returned to work after a suspension without pay.

Christopher Laurence O'Keefe is expected to return on normal duties after his suspension in June 2014.

This week the Queensland Court of Appeal found in favour of Constable O'Keefe which will allow him to file a defamation case against the State of Queensland.

It is alleged a briefing note he received from the Queensland Police Service contained defamatory material.

Last year the district court granted him more time to lodge his defamation case; a decision the State of Queensland appealed.

The officer was stood down amid allegations he did not charge someone properly. He was later suspended without pay.

The district court gave Constable O'Keefe more time to lodge his defamation case after a judge found the police officer could not have reasonably pursued court action within the required time frame, or one year from the date of publication.

A Court of Appeal judgment from Justice Debra Mullins handed down on Tuesday said the district court judge did make an error and the State of Queensland should be allowed to appeal the case.

But the judgment also dismissed the appeal and found in favour of Constable O'Keefe.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers was pleased the officer was back at work this week.

"It is great news that a decision has now been made to return Constable O'Keefe back to duty," Mr Leavers said.

"Constable O'Keefe will recommence work in the coming days and I know he is looking forward to returning to his substantive position," he said.



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