Delay for corruption case

Regina Watson

Regina Watson

THE hearing of a corruption charge against former Albury police officer Regina Watson has been deferred until next month.

An application was made in Albury Local Court yesterday on behalf of Watson’s barrister, Kirsten Edwards, to vacate the hearing date already set for June 25.

The case is listed to take a day before magistrate Megan Greenwood because Albury’s regular magistrate, Tony Murray, has disqualified himself from hearing the matter.

Director of Public Prosecutions representative Rennae Gee opposed the application for adjournment.

Watson, 39, is charged with taking part in a collusive agreement for information from the NSW Police Department’s computer systems.

Mr Murray was told yesterday that Watson’s barrister was overseas and not returning until June 24.

“It just seems unusual that you are fit enough to travel overseas, but not fit enough to attend court the next day,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Cronin said Watson had already had a conference with Ms Edwards and significant costs will be thrown away if she had to brief new counsel.

“There are only two police officers required (to give evidence),” Mr Cronin said.

When the case was originally listed for hearing, it was indicated nine prosecution witnesses were needed.

“I note the objection to the application, but it is granted,” Mr Murray said.

It is alleged Watson sought to obtain information from Albury policeman Lee McCarthy.

She left the police force in 2012 after having worked as a youth liaison officer and joined Juvenile Justice in Albury.

The circumstances leading to McCarthy being charged after a police professional standards probe were outlined in court in March.

Operation Costain was a professional standards command-led investigation into the release of information.

A phone intercept warrant was granted on Watson’s phone in June last year.

The court heard McCarthy had answered the phone when Watson rang the Albury station’s main switch on August 12.

Watson engaged in banter with him before asking him for a favour and to “look her up”.

He asked her why and said, as a former officer, she would be “flagged”.

She said she thought she was being investigated and convinced McCarthy to access her details

McCarthy was discharged without conviction when sentenced and ordered to seek treatment for mental health issues.