Ex-Cop sues QLD for $1 million over psychological injuries
A FORMER Sunshine Coast police officer is suing the state government for damages after being exposed to horrific scenes as part of his role in the scenes of crime unit.
Sean McArdle is seeking about $1 million in damages from the State of Queensland for psychological injuries he suffered while on the force.
He has also told a court about how he was bullied while working at the Sunshine Coast.
At a hearing at Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday, Mr McArdle sat in the witness box and spoke about a time in his career when he was very distressed and put a gun to his head.
He was working at a police station near Brisbane at the time and his phone rang, which stopped him pulling the trigger.
He said he had been affected by what he had witnessed while in the Scenes Of Crime Unit, including attending scenes where violent deaths had occurred and seeing dismembered bodies.
Mr McArdle also said he was exposed to bullying and harassment while working on the Sunshine Coast after a dispute with a senior officer.
"I was scrutinised, my work was scrutinised, beyond any reasonable expectation, certainly far beyond what any other officer was experiencing," he told the court.
He said it became clear it was not going to stop, despite pleading for help from other officers.
Mr McArdle was ordered to retire in 2013 but he disputes this decision.
The court heard he had been working in scenes of crime since 1996.
In 2006, Mr McArdle sought a transfer to surveillance work after having intrusive memories about dead bodies he had seen on the job.
The following year he was transferred to the Sunshine Coast, and continued working in the scenes of crime unit.
He said he took a break from work at one stage because he was uncomfortable with the management on the Sunshine Coast.
"There had been a number of incidents which didn't sit comfortably with me and that was my main reason for taking the break," he said.
Mr McArdle's legal team has asked the supreme court to allow him to claim for damages that date back further in his career than the usual time period allows.
Justice Glenn Martin has reserved his decision.