Video footage “went missing” after an officer who once led SA Police’s anti-corruption unit hit a pedestrian while driving, a parliamentary committee has heard.
Video footage “went missing” after an officer who once led SA Police’s anti-corruption unit hit a pedestrian while driving, a parliamentary committee has heard.

Video ‘went missing’ after senior cop collided with person

Key evidence "went missing" after a senior police officer crashed into a pedestrian while driving on duty, a parliamentary committee has heard.

The victim, Sharon Smith, says Superintendent Christine Baulderstone - who once led SA Police's anti-corruption unit - failed to assist her at the scene and offered no apology after the November 2013 collision.

Ms Smith said police later threatened to issue her an infringement notice for crossing the road.

Superintendent Baulderstone fronted a select committee examining the damage caused by botched Independent Commissioner Against Corruption investigations.

A statement from Ms Smith, tabled in the hearing, says she was crossing Bent Street in the CBD when she was hit by a car that "inexplicably" lurched forward after stopping.

She lost her balance and hurt her knee in the collision, before she noticed the driver of the car was wearing a police uniform.

"I was very surprised that a police officer would have made such an error in judgment in deliberately moving the car forward the second time when it hit me," she said.

"She motioned for me to come towards her. I thought she was going to ask if I was OK but she didn't - she told me she had to 'take my particulars'."

Ms Smith said Superintendent Baulderstone told her she "shouldn't have crossed the road in front of her".

"At no time did she ask if I was OK, either physically or emotionally, or express any concern for my wellbeing or render assistance of any kind," the statement said.

"Her attitude towards me was aggressive and accusatory, which left me rather confused and even more upset.

"She had been the one in the wrong while I was injured and upset, yet she was behaving as if I was some kind of criminal."

Following the crash, she required an operation on her right knee and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ms Smith said another officer also threatened her with a traffic infringement notice for crossing the road.

"A police officer tried to tell me that, because Bent Street was a common thoroughfare for police officers leaving the police station, the usual road rules were reversed and that onus was on pedestrians to give way, rather than on drivers," she said.

"While I was threatened with being penalised for getting injured crossing the street, the person who hit me was promoted within SAPOL."

She said her lawyer later lodged a Freedom of Information request to access security footage of the collision, but it was denied on the basis that the images had "gone missing".

"I have never had so much as an apology of any kind from SAPOL," she said.

Superintendent Baulderstone said she recalled hitting Ms Smith, but refused to answer other questions because she did not believe they were relevant to the committee. She was promoted to her current position in January 2014 - two months after the incident.

She was questioned by the committee about "Operation Bandicoot" - a joint corruption probe into alleged thefts from crime scenes.

Eight SA Police officers were charged in 2014, but all were either acquitted in the Supreme Court or had charges withdrawn.

Originally published as Video 'went missing' after senior cop collided with pedestrian



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