St George policeman accused of neglecting duty over sexual predator did what was required, court told

Sex offender Anthony Sampieri (centre). Picture: Seven News
Sex offender Anthony Sampieri (centre). Picture: Seven News

A Sydney woman who received harassing phone calls from a notorious paedophile says she was left fearing for her life after discovering his history of rape.

Leading Senior Constable Andrew Michael Bruce, 32, has been charged with two counts of neglecting his duty for failing to properly investigate the perpetrator - 55-year-old Anthony Peter Sampieri - while he was a leading senior constable at Kogarah in October 2018

The Crown alleges Senior Constable Bruce neglected his duty by failing to look at Sampieri's full criminal record - which contained serious sex offences - when he investigated the phone calls.

He is also accused of failing to notify community corrections staff about the allegations.

Senior Constable Bruce, who is suspended with pay, has pleaded not guilty.

The woman complained to police on October 26, 2018, after receiving menacing phone calls from Sampieri.

Senior Constable Bruce allegedly ignored warnings on a police database that he was on parole for the rape of a 60-year-old woman.

Less than two weeks later, Sampieri sexually assaulted a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a dance studio in the Arena Building in Derby Street, Kogarah, and stabbed a man who came to the child's aid.

The dance studio located in the top level of the Arena Building in Kogarah. Picture: John Veage

The dance studio located in the top level of the Arena Building in Kogarah. Picture: John Veage

Sampieri in July pleaded guilty to raping the girl as he held her captive in the bathroom of the dance studio on November 15, 2018.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a child and seven other offences related to the attack.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, first complained to police on October 26, 2018, after receiving menacing phone calls.

"How he said it was very creepy," she told the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday.

"I've been harassed before, but not like this."

She said she told Senior Constable Bruce that if the caller had no criminal history, she wanted him to be warned over the calls.

However if he did have past offences on his record, she wanted him to be charged.

Senior Constable Bruce interviewed Sampieri at his unit on November 7, eight days before the attack at the Kogarah dance studio.

On November 12, Senior Constable Bruce contacted the victim of the harassing phone calls to again interview her.

"I asked if he had a criminal history. (Bruce) said he had a minor history but he's not very well," she told the court.

The woman also said Bruce gave her Sampieri's name, and she did a Google search of him.

She said that when she discovered he was on parole for the rape of a woman in Wollongong, she was a "mess".

"I had a feeling this guy was bad. I was shaking and crying," she said. "I feared for my life."

Andrew Bruce leaves court on Tuesday. Picture: Kate Geraghty, Nine

Andrew Bruce leaves court on Tuesday. Picture: Kate Geraghty, Nine

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that Bruce's barrister told the court that Bruce did what was required of him.

A hearing in Downing Centre Local Court was told Senior Constable Bruce and another officer went to Sampieri's home eight days before the girl was assaulted and warned him to stop making explicit calls to a female real estate agent.

"Cut it out and there won't be any more issues," the officer was recorded saying on his body camera. "You won't see me again."

The officers also told Sampieri's mother he wasn't in trouble.

Crown prosecutor Sally Stuart said on Tuesday a warning appeared on Sampieri's profile in the police database system, which detailed that he was on parole and any "adverse contact" with him should be reported to community corrections, the Herald reported.

She said Senior Constable Bruce in effect admitted he did not read Sampieri's history properly because he said he was not in trouble, and told the phone call complainant Sampieri had a "minor" criminal history.

"Nobody, having read the criminal history, could say that the man had a minor record," Ms Stuart said.

But defence barrister Linda Barnes said none of the things her client did were admissions and he could not have revealed Sampieri's criminal record due to privacy laws.

Ms Barnes said the Crown could not prove Senior Constable Bruce had a "positive duty" to act on the request from community corrections.

"It's going to come down to legal meanings of words, but at the moment there is no evidence that there is a duty," Ms Barnes said.

She said her client went out to speak to Sampieri "knowing that the complainant just wants the calls to stop" and proceeded to ask Sampieri to stop.

"It's exactly what [the woman] wanted done," Ms Barnes said. "Everything here, he's done what's required of him."

The Herald reported that Ms Barnes said there are "flaws" in the Crown case in relation to the allegation that her client failed to properly investigate, and those flaws flowed on to the allegation of failing to inform Corrective Services.

Sampieri's parole officer told the court on Monday that she contacted NSW Police several times in 2018 to ask for an "intel check" on him, which would reveal contact he had with officers.

The last check was requested and delivered on October 29, several days after the calls were reported. However, police had not yet identified Sampieri as the culprit.

The hearing continues.

- with AAP