Police Officer Christopher O'Keefe outside the mackay Court House.
Police Officer Christopher O'Keefe outside the mackay Court House. Daily Mercury

Mackay cop allegedly did a favour for hit and run driver

DOCUMENTS have revealed a suspended Mackay police officer allegedly did a favour for a criminal and did not charge a man properly after a hit and run accident.

Constable Christopher Laurence O'Keefe was stood down from duty in August 2013 after he allegedly did a favour for a man who crashed into a parked car.

Documents tendered to the Brisbane Supreme Court said Mr O'Keefe, who was based at Mackay Northern Beaches station, and Sergeant Peter Cowan went to a crash scene in Bucasia in July 2012.

The culprit driver was nowhere to be seen.

But a witness later claimed he saw a man, Nathan Choy, run his car off the road and into the parked car.

After the crash, Mr Choy asked the witness not to call police and both left.

Mr O'Keefe later tracked Mr Choy down and charged him with unlicensed driving.

A few months later, Mr Choy was fined $900 at court.

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Mr O'Keefe was accused of doing Mr Choy "a favour" because he did not charge him with more serious offences, including careless driving, and because of this Mr Choy avoided a possible jail sentence, court documents said.

Mr O'Keefe claimed he was not aware that the incident was a hit and run and that Sgt Cowan had told him the drivers had exchanged details.

But, an audio recording revealed a different story; Sgt Cowan was heard in the recording telling Mr O'Keefe that it was a hit and run, court documents revealed.

Documents also said Mr O'Keefe did not test Mr Choy for alcohol or drugs.

Mr O'Keefe was stood down from duty for failing to take appropriate action, submitting a false and misleading report from the incident and lying.

He was also charged with the criminal offence of misconduct in public office and was suspended without pay in November 2013.

Mr O'Keefe's matter has been through several review processes and in May this year he asked for the Police Commissioner to give reasons why they would not reconsider his employment status.

The commissioner's office has taken this to court and is seeking a ruling that they are not required to provide reasons.

- APN NEWSDESK



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