Police officer accused of theft pleads not guilty

THE Queanbeyan police officer accused of stealing $24,000 in cash from an evidence safe at Queanbeyan Police Station has pleaded not guilty on all charges.

Sergeant Stuart Ross Young, 55, did not appear before Queanbeyan Local Court on Friday as pleas were entered.

Mr Young has been charged with 14 counts of theft which police allege took place over an 11 month period between September, 2011 and August, 2012.

News Limited has reported that a police audit in August, 2011 allegedly uncovered a number of irregularities in the banking of money held at the station.

After the money was found missing, police began an internal investigation.

It has also been reported that Mr Young was allegedly one of only two police officers who had a key to the safe in question.

The other officer has not been charged and there are no accusations of illegality on his part.

The amount of money that is alleged to have been stolen ranges from sums as high as $5655 to as low as $2.40 on any one occasion.

It is believed the money that is alleged to have been stolen was mostly seized from police drug operations. 

Mr Young first appeared before Queanbeyan Local Court on July 8, 2013 with the case having since been put over on numerous occasions.

On Friday, magistrate Chris Bone granted another adjournment but directed a hearing date to be set at the next available opportunity.

In granting the adjournment, magistrate Bone acknowledged the length of time the matter had already been before the courts.

“This has been before the court for seven months now,” he said. “It’s been before the court far too long.”

“Your honour, the brief consists of 14 volumes. It is a significant matter,” replied Mr Ross Young’s lawyer Andrew Herring.

“The prosecution has had more than enough time to serve the brief,” magistrate Bone added later in proceedings.

The case has been adjourned until April 11 when a hearing date will be set. 

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