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Former solicitor Doug Winning loses appeal on official corruption charge

A former Central Queensland solicitor convicted of offering police a bribe to pay his way out of a drink driving offence has lost an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The court in Brisbane on Friday dismissed an appeal by Douglas (Doug) John Winning, 67, of Rockhampton against a jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of official corruption arising out of proffering $300 and asking police if he could “buy his way out the situation” he found himself in.

The court was told the incident occurred about 1am on 17 February 2019 when police were patrolling Rockhampton and pulled over a vehicle being driven erratically and seen to have knocked over a street sign.

Justice Philip Morrison, in his written decision, said: “The driver was … Mr Winning. What transpired was recorded on the (police) officer’s body-worn cameras and played at (his Rockhampton District Court) trial (in October 2020).

“Mr Winning identified himself and said, when asked, that he had been drinking. He nominated the amount as “a bottle of rum”, explaining that he had had a sleep since finishing it.

“He was slurring his words. He said (twice to police), ‘You’re not going to pinch me’.”

The court was told one of the two officers advised Mr Winning of her intention to administer a roadside breath test.

“Mr Winning was still sitting in the car,” Justice Morrison said. “His hands were down below his chest, holding his passport and $300 in cash, made up of six $50 notes.

“At the conclusion of the roadside breath test, Mr Winning lifted his hands. He put his passport down on the seat beside him, and held up his right hand with the notes in it, saying: ‘Can’t pay my way out this, can I?’.”

The court was told both officers – Senior Constable Parkin and Constable Davies – told Winning there was definitely no way he could pay his was out of the situation.

Justice Morrison said that, as the officers transferred Winning out of his vehicle to their police car, the following conversation was recorded:

Snr Const. Parkin: “Do you wanna put your cash in the car or do you wanna leave it on you possession.”

Winning: “I’ll leave it on my possession.”

Snr Const. Parkin: “Ok. Alright.”

Winning: “You wa-, you wanna lazy quid?”

Snr Const. Parkin: “No, no, no.”

Winning: “Give you a lazy quid-”

Const. Davies: “No, no, no.”

Snr Const. Parkin: “No, no, no. No, not at all. Come on, Mr Winning, we’ll get you in the back of the car. Come on, sir, this way.”

Winning blew 0.191 percent blood alcohol reading at the roadside breath test and later recorded 0.146 percent when his breath was analysed by machine at the police station.

Winning did not appeal the drink driving offence, but challenged the official corruption offence on three grounds including the verdict was unreasonable and could not be supported by the evidence.

The Court of Appeal, comprising Justices Morrison and Mullins JJA and Boddice J, unanimously dismissed Winning’s appeal.

Winning’s practising certificated was cancelled by Queensland Law Society 25 November 2020, which took effect on 16 January 2021.

Read the decision.

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