Thursday, 7 August 2008

Top cop gives gun to prostitute Pamela

Senior Constable Steven Owen was fined $1500 without conviction, which was not opposed by Ms Morkos.

When Leading Senior Constable Steven Owen arrived at the Harem brothel in South Melbourne, he was on duty, in uniform, armed - and ready for action.

The highly regarded policeman had been told earlier in the day by his supervisor at Traralgon to drive to Melbourne to undertake various administrative duties.

Melbourne Magistrates Court heard yesterday that booking a one-hour lunchtime session with "Pamela" at Harem definitely was not one of those duties.

Prosecutor Vivianne Morkos said Owen, 45, made the appointment under a false name while driving from Traralgon and entered Harem about 1pm on March 5 after parking his marked police car nearby.

Ms Morkos told the court he was in full uniform and wearing his police-issue equipment belt containing handgun, capsicum spray and baton.

Having paid, Owen was led by Pamela to room 1, where she told him the services would not start unless the gun was removed from the room.

Ms Morkos said: "The prostitute advised (Owen) that there is a room in reception where the handgun could be locked away for the duration of the session.

"(Owen) has removed his equipment belt ... and handed the entire belt and contents to the prostitute and asked her to lock it in the room downstairs."

Ms Morkos told magistrate Peter Reardon that the prostitute carried the items downstairs, but she felt so uncomfortable handling them that a colleague took possession of them.

This prostitute waited for the receptionist to unlock the door to the storage room where the belt and gun - which had been unloaded by Owen - were put on the floor.

Ms Morkos said later that the manager was shown the gun in the room next to the reception lounge and waiting room and which was exposed to clients.

Defence barrister Tim Walsh said Owen had spent $16,000 in three months on dozens of five and six-hour sessions with Pamela, which were "more talking than sex", after his wife of 20 years abruptly left him.

Mr Walsh said Owen, embarrassed, ashamed and bewildered by his offending, had suddenly become a single parent of three children while "still trying to function normally as a police officer".

Owen pleaded guilty to allowing an unlicensed person to carry a firearm and carrying a firearm in an unsafe manner.

Mr Reardon told Owen the vice in the offences was not that he was at Harem, but that he was on duty with a weapon that he gave away without knowing if it was stored properly.

Mr Reardon said that although it appeared to friends and colleagues that Owen was acting normally, "inside you were not acting rationally".

Owen was fined $1500 without conviction, which was not opposed by Ms Morkos. Mr Reardon told him that "like most people, you are entitled to a chance in life to retain your good character".

No comments: