A former decorated detective who let a woman use his Glock as a sex toy during a steamy encounter at a NSW police station has been sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment.
But he will be assessed to see if can serve the term by way of an intensive corrections order.
Mark Garner began a relationship with the woman, who cannot be named, after she came into the Tweed Heads police station in June 2011 to say she had been sexually assaulted.
The woman, who was known to police for having mental health issues, was hospitalised shortly after.
The Sydney District Court heard that in the weeks that followed, Garner and the woman sparked up a friendship that soon became more intimate.
On one night in September 2011, while Garner was supposed to be a general duty supervisor at Tweed Heads, he and the woman snuck into the closed Kingscliff police station and had sex in various locations.
During the encounter, the woman used Garner’s police-issued Glock as a sex toy.
They also took photographs.
The court heard the woman’s laptop, which contained the photos, was then stolen from her apartment.
In a bid to retrieve the incriminating images, Garner inappropriately accessed the police database to get information on the suspected thief.
In sentencing the 50-year-old for misconduct in office, Judge Ross Letherbarrow said Garner had clearly shown “significant errors in judgment”.
But he said Garner, who had faced many traumatising incidents in the force, was unlikely to reoffend.
He sentenced him to 20 months jail but immediately referred the former officer for an ICO assessment.
If successful, Garner will serve his time in the community under strict conditions.
The matter will return to court in March.