Corrective Services NSW – allegations concerning possession and supply of steroids by a Corrective Services NSW corrections officer (Operation Torino)

Year: 2013 Status: Completed

The ICAC investigated allegations concerning the possession and supply of steroids and other matters involving a Corrective Services NSW corrections officer.

In its report on the investigation, made public on 26 September 2013, the Commission makes corrupt conduct findings against Robert Di-Bona and Christopher Warren. The Commission is of the opinion that the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be sought with respect to the prosecution of Mr Di-Bona for six offences of giving false evidence to the Commission, contrary to section 87 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988. No corruption prevention recommendations are made with respect to this particular report as the Commission is of the view that the recommendations contained in its January 2013 report on a previous investigation concerning CSNSW also address the risks exposed in this investigation.


Findings of corrupt conduct

The ICAC found that Robert Di-Bona engaged in corrupt conduct by:

  • supplying prescribed restricted substances (steroids) to Christopher Warren, in December 2012 and February 2013, in exchange for cash payment
  • failing to report Mr Warren's use of steroids in accordance with CSNSW's Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy
  • attending work while under the influence of prohibited drugs
  • supplying steroids to a former inmate referred to as "NL" on at least three occasions in late 2012 and early 2013 in exchange for cash payments
  • failing to disclose his relationship with NL contrary to CSNSW's Contact with Offender Policy
  • using his mobile telephone while on duty on a number of occasions, contrary to NSW law.

The ICAC found that Christopher Warren engaged in corrupt conduct by:

  • purchasing, and subsequently, possessing steroids
  • failing to report Mr Di-Bona's use of steroids in accordance with CSNSW's Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.

Recommendations for prosecutions

The Commission must seek the advice of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on whether any prosecution should be commenced. The DPP determines whether any criminal charges can be laid, and conducts all prosecutions. The Commission provides information on this website in relation to the status of prosecution recommendations and outcomes as advised by the DPP. The progress of matters is generally within the hands of the DPP. Accordingly, the Commission does not directly notify persons affected of advice received from the DPP or the progress of their matters generally.

The ICAC is of the opinion that the advice of the DPP should be obtained with respect to the prosecution of Robert Di-Bona for six offences of giving false evidence to the Commission, contrary to section 87 of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988.

On 4 June 2014, the DPP advised the ICAC that there is sufficient evidence to charge Mr Di-Bona with five counts of giving false or misleading evidence at a compulsory examination, contrary to section 87(1) of the ICAC Act. Mr Di-Bona was prosecuted for these five counts. On 23 September 2014, Mr Di-Bona pleaded guilty to all counts. Mr Di-Bona was sentenced on 20 November 2014 to imprisonment for 12 months with a non-parole period of six months in respect of four counts. Those sentences are to be served concurrently, commencing on 20 November 2014. In respect of the fifth count, Mr Di-Bona was sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months with a non-parole period of six months, commencing on 20 April 2015.

Mr Di-Bona lodged an appeal with the District Court against the severity of his sentence and his sentence was stayed pending the outcome of that appeal. On 21 January 2015, the appeal was dismissed and the sentence imposed in the Local Court confirmed.

Recommendations for disciplinary action

The ICAC is of the opinion that consideration should be given by Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) to the taking of disciplinary action against Robert Di-Bona with a view to his dismissal.

The Commission is also of the opinion that consideration should be given by CSNSW to the taking of disciplinary action against Christopher Warren for his use of steroids.

A disciplinary investigation was commenced against Mr Di-Bona by CSNSW, however, Mr Di-Bona resigned from his position at CSNSW on 4 October 2013, before the disciplinary proceedings were completed.

A disciplinary investigation was also commenced against Mr Warren by CSNSW, but Mr Warren resigned from his position at CSNSW on 29 September 2013, before the disciplinary proceedings were completed.

Recommendations for corruption prevention

This investigation exposed systemic and operational weaknesses, the substance of which had recently been addressed in recommendations made in the ICAC January 2013 report, Investigation into the smuggling of contraband into the Metropolitan Special Programs Centre at the Long Bay Correctional Complex. That report contained five recommendations that also address the corruption risks exposed in this investigation, which CSNSW has indicated will be implemented as recommended. The Commission is therefore of the view that no new or revised recommendations need to be made in relation to this matter.


Media Releases Witness

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Download the Witness List (PDF)

Transcripts

View all transcripts associated with this investigation. The Commission makes every effort to post the daily transcripts of its public inquiries on its website by 8:00 pm each day when possible. If the Commission sits later than 4:00 pm, the daily transcripts, particularly the afternoon session, may not be available until the next working day.

 

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