Latest: Staff shocked to hear about Jess
THE woman labelled as a “sex-mad cop” who found herself at the centre of a national police sexual harassment scandal came to Gladstone looking for a new life and a bit of peace and quiet.
The quiet life she craved was shattered on Thursday when an unfair dismissal claim was dismissed by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commissioner.
She was dismissed from the New South Wales police service after a series of sexual harassment claims.
Industrial Relations Commission documents sourced by The Observer on Thursday stated Jessica Parfrey was dismissed in September 2007 following a number of complaints outlined in her letter of dismissal, signed by NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corby.
Ms Parfrey was a probationary constable stationed at Waratah Local Area Command, near Newcastle, for five months. She lodged an unfair dismissal claim, which was heard by the Industrial Relations Commission in Sydney in May 2009 and was quashed this week when the IRC handed down its decision.
“I can’t even put it into words,” she told The Observer during an exclusive interview late Thursday.
“I can’t believe the outcome was so unjust.”
Ms Parfrey said it was unjust that a person can be sacked without reason or notice under the Police Act and they had the burden of proof if they chose to fight.
Ms Parfrey, an employee of the Gladstone Newspaper Company, was fighting to be reinstated to the position of probationary constable.
She was supported by family, friends and workmates, with father Shayne Parfrey arriving at Gladstone Airport last night.
Ms Parfrey and her lawyers, Harris Wheeler Lawyers in Newcastle, were considering appealing the decision.
Gladstone woman in a national media blur
GLADSTONE woman Jess Parfrey has found herself at the centre of a national media frenzy with online comments and talk back radio going into overdrive.
The ex-police officers story of sexual harassment and multiple sexual propositions to male colleagues was one of the highest clicked stories online yesterday in multiple states.
Ms Parfrey first came to the media’s attention last May when she faced the Industrial Relations Commission claiming senior police had lied about her behaviour in order to have her sacked for sexual harassment.
It was reported she propositioned male colleagues for sex during the time she worked at the Waratah local area command from May to September 2007.
She is reported to have begged her married field supervisor to start an affair with her because “everyone knows you’re supposed to fall in love with your buddy”.
Her lawyer was reported to say at the time that it was a “witch hunt” and her dismissal at age 19 was “unreasonably harsh”.
Ms Parfrey lost her unfair dismissal claim on Wednesday.
It is believed Ms Parfrey has been approached for interview by men’s magazine Zoo Weekly and current affair program Today Tonight.
Former policewoman’s claim for unfair dismissal rejected
THE GLADSTONE woman sacked for asking workmates for sex has lost her case for unfair dismissal by the New South Wales Industrial Commissioner.
Jessica Parfrey lodged an unfair dismissal claim in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission following her sacking from the New South Wales police department in September 2007.
NSW Industrial Relations Commission deputy president John Grayson handed down his finding on Wednesday in favour of NSW Police.
Stationed at Waratah in May 2007, within the first month, Ms Parfrey had propositioned a fellow officer.
“Your marriage won’t last and you will end up with me because everyone knows that you’re supposed to fall in love with your buddy,” she said.
Her request was knocked backed.
“What is wrong with you? I am a nineteen-year-old girl who is here for you and you won’t do anything ...,” she said.
At the town’s Exchange Hotel in August 2007, Ms Parfrey was socialising with work colleagues, including Snr Const Craig Leonard and Const Matthew Hill.
As the night progressed, Ms Parfrey offered oral sex to Snr Const Leonard in the toilet, and after being rejected, she proposed sex in the car park, also declined.
Const Hill was then approached by Ms Parfrey who rubbed his left arm and told him she wanted him.
In the days following, text messages went back and forth in which Ms Parfrey claimed the officer wanted her.
Const Hill replied at one stage he thought Ms Parfrey’s sister was attractive.
“You know you don’t want her, you want me Hilly,” came the response.
In September 2007, Ms Parfrey called Snr Const David Collier. A conversation about what Ms Parfrey was wearing unfolded, and she informed her colleague she was “lying in bed in just underwear”.
This was followed by talk of an affair happening, and the removal of a piece of clothing for every question, suggested by Ms Parfrey.
The next day a text message was sent from Ms Parfrey which stated: “Congrats again on the interview ... sorry if I was inappropriate last night. I was a (expletive) ... now you’ve got one up on me. Sorry.”
On several occasions in June 2007, senior police at the station gave Ms Parfrey a copy of the sexual harassment policy and she made an undertaking no more inappropriate comments or suggestive remarks would be made.
There were also claims of scamming insurance money through injury or psychological trauma.
While on patrol with another officer, Const Matthew Bowman, a bulletin came over the radio to watch for a well-known offender.
“We’ll find him, and I will get in his face and (expletive) him off until he hits me and I will get my HOD [Hurt on Duty insurance claim] and you will get an easy lock up,” Ms Parfrey said.
Mr Grayson found in favour of the NSW Police, satisfied Ms Parfrey’s conduct contravened the NSW police’s sexual harassment policy and Code of Conduct.
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