NSW’s top cop has conceded for the first time one of his most senior deputies ‘brought the office into question’ for his drunken behaviour.
NSW’s top cop has told a parliamentary hearing he’s “disappointed” that one of his most senior deputies “brought the office into question” by collapsing drunk and then swearing at paramedics who tried to help him.
Police commissioner Mick Fuller told a state parliamentary committee deputy commissioner Mal Lanyon had received counselling for his behaviour.
“I’m disappointed that Mr Lanyon obviously brought the office into question,” Mr Fuller told the hearing.
“He is a decorated police officer, he is a very experienced police officer, and he should have known better.”
The comments came in response to questions about the February 24 incident in Goulburn, where Mr Lanyon had been present for a police attestation ceremony.
A NSW Ambulance report that was released to the state parliament and seen by NCA NewsWire said paramedics had been called to attend to “an unconscious patient”.
The report said the paramedics found an “intoxicated” Mr Lanyon sitting on a pathway “unsteadily … and mumbling words, clearly unaware of his location”.
The paramedic who wrote the report said other police officers helped him get Mr Lanyon to his feet and to walk him towards a stretcher.
“The patient became more defiant to my requests and then told me to ‘f*** off’,” the report said.
“I said ‘don’t swear at me, I don’t come to work to be sworn at.’ The patient (then) turned towards me as if he wanted to shape up and strike me.”
The report goes on to describe how Mr Lanyon insisted on phoning “Dominic”, referring to the CEO of NSW Ambulance Dominic Morgan.
Mr Morgan answered the second phone call from Mr Lanyon and had a “brief conversation” with him before the deputy police commissioner handed the phone to the paramedic.
“Dominic said, ‘do you realise who you have in the ambulance with you?’ as if to imply it was someone of a high standing,” the paramedic wrote.
“I said, ‘no, I don’t, it does not matter, I treat everyone the same’.”
When Mr Fuller was previously asked about the incident, at a parliamentary hearing in March, he testified that Mr Lanyon had told him that the reason he required the assistance of paramedics was that he had suffered a “medical episode”.
“(Alcohol consumption) was not attributed to his medical episode,” Mr Fuller said in March.
“He had an episode that was related to either low blood pressure or low blood sugar. He was disorientated and he just wanted to return back to his room.”
Mr Fuller did however say Mr Lanyon told him he had been drinking alcohol, but that intoxication hadn’t been a factor in the incident.
“No, that was not attributed to his medical episode. Had he consumed alcohol? Yes,” Mr Fuller said in March.
Mr Fuller was pressed on that previous testimony on Wednesday by Greens MP David Shoebridge, who said the ambulance report showed Mr Lanyon’s blood pressure was “healthy”.
Mr Fuller replied he had spoken to the NSW Ambulance CEO who had told him “it could have been low blood pressure.
“The CEO of (NSW) Ambulance said his information was consistent with what could have been low blood pressure,” Mr Fuller said.
“So, really, you know, from that perspective I think it’s reasonable. I didn’t just let this lie, I actually contacted the CEO of (NSW) Ambulance.”
He went on to say that while he had personally “counselled” Mr Lanyon over the incident, he would not seek to investigate the matter further unless he would receive “any additional information”.
He added he had referred the matter to the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission which had told him NSW Police should handle the matter.
Mr Lanyon has been contacted for comment.