Police officer Scott John White faces ACT court trial for perjury from Sarah-Jane Parkinson’s fake rape claim | The Canberra Times

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A NSW Police officer made serious false statements and not just “innocent white lies” when he gave evidence in court to help his then girlfriend’s fake rape claim, a prosecutor has alleged. Scott John White, a Queanbeyan-based officer at the time of the alleged offending in July 2015, fronted the ACT Supreme Court on Monday for trial after he pleaded not guilty to two counts of perjury. The charges involve him making false statements while giving evidence during an ACT criminal hearing involving his partner, Sarah-Jane Parkinson, who falsely accused her former partner of raping her. The court heard Parkinson, 31 and now Mr White’s wife, was sentenced to jail for the false accusation after she pleaded guilty to the charge. She had alleged her former partner assaulted her before raping her while she was hanging out the washing in the backyard. Police arrested him before their investigations led to Parkinson becoming a suspect rather than a complainant. In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Anthony Williamson accused Mr White of lying about whether he had spoken with Parkinson about making statements – both by her and him – to police about the rape allegation. During Parkinson’s hearing, Mr White said he did not speak with her about their statements. “The Crown says he did on a number of occasions discuss details of the case to Ms Parkinson and what would go in his statement [to ACT Policing],” Mr Williamson said. He said the trial would show text messages between Mr White and Parkinson were evidence the pair spoke about dates, locations and injuries she allegedly received from her former partner. The prosecutor said the second alleged offence was that Mr White lied about his use of condoms between him and Parkinson when he said they did not. Mr Williamson said this was relevant to the false rape complaint because “Ms Parkinson had complained to police that her assailant had used a condom … whilst she was supposedly raped and left the wrapper behind”. “Investigators wanted the accused’s fingerprints and DNA for exclusionary purposes …[to] narrow in on the real assailant,” Mr Williamson said. “Against that background, the accused must’ve appreciated the significance of that line of questioning [during Parkinson’s hearing].” MORE COURT AND CRIME NEWS Mr Williamson said “this trial is not about innocent white lies”. “It’s about the exact opposite. If there’s one circumstance you cannot tell lies, it’s when you are in court bound by an oath or affirmation giving evidence,” he said. In his opening statement, John Purnell, SC, for the accused, told the jury it should look “at the evidence that the Crown says is perjury in the context of the whole evidence”. He also said a critical difference was Mr White being questioned about discussions of the case versus discussions of the statements. “The matter isn’t quite as simple as the Crown puts to you,” he said. Mr Purnell also said there needed to be an “understanding of the chronology of this case” in which the central issues had to be assessed on. The timeline included Parkinson and her former partner having a difficult relationship with allegations of domestic violence by him before the acrimonious separation. Audio of the 2015 hearing played to the court on Monday had Mr White saying, “no, I knew that she was making one [statement] … I was aware there was a statement but that’s it” when asked if he had spoken with Parkinson about making a statement. Asked a couple of times if they had spoken about what would go into their statements, he said no. Mr White said he and Parkinson had spoken about the case and her former partner being arrested but not the “fine specifics”. The jury trial before Justice Michael Elkaim may take up to five days. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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