Former cop in court for pre-sentencing for sex with girl

Susanna Freymark

A Northern Rivers former copper Troy Cridland sat handcuffed in the dock at Lismore Court on Friday, December 15.

The prosecution and defence presented their cases to the judge on Cridland’s culpability in committing sexual offences with a girl aged under 16.

The judge gives her decision on his sentence on February 16.

A jury has already found Cridland guilty on three counts of sexual intercourse, the first being when the girl was 14 years old.

Yesterday’s court session focussed on the creation of a fake Tinder profile to pervert the course of justice and how Cridland drove to Ballina to get a new phone once the girl had reported the fake profile at Tabulam Police Station in May 2021.

Given Cridland has already been found guilty, the prosecution asked – “Does it matter now?”

Psychiatrist Dr Chew gave his testimony via a live screen. He said Cridland had post traumatic stress disorder and alcohol abuse disorder that contributed to his poor judgement and risk taking.

He said Cridland had been traumatised in his duties as a police officer and cited an incident that involved the death of a two year old.

The prosecution pointed out that that incident happened one month after the first sexual offence.

Cridland was 28 at the time of the sexual offences and the girl was 14 turning 15.

Cridland’s defence said his client did not have a record and was a person of good character and unlikely to reoffend.

Cridland joined the police force in 2013. He left school when he was 15 and had had a less than ideal childhood. He is still in a relationship with his partner and has a young child. Cridland is in segregated custody in prison with limited time outside. He is studying a uni degree while in custody.

“Sentencing should not be fulltime imprisonment,” the defence said.

The prosecution argued against this.

“She (the girl) was being bullied at school. He (Cridland) knew about this.

“He chose to embark on sexual relations – it is a predatory situation.”

It did not matter if the sex was consensual or not, the prosecution said.

“It’s predatory because there is an imbalance in their positions of power.”

The judge listened to all presentations and will decide what fate awaits Cridland next year.

Cridland wearing a dark suit, his head closely shaved, was led from the court in handcuffs.

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