Former police officer jailed


Liam McNally

A man has been jailed for raping two young girls in Melton while working as a police officer in the 1980s.

On October 10 Gregory Booth, who joined Victoria Police in 1984 after leaving Melton Secondary School, was sentenced to six years and four months’ imprisonment, with a non parole period of three years and six months after being found guilty of multiple charges.

The court heard that Booth’s first victim remembers his hands “being all over [her] like an octopus” when he indecently assaulted her at a Melton house party in 1985 when she was 12 years old and he was 20.

In 1988 Booth raped the same victim in his ute, after which he dropped her off and said “‘orooroo, thanks for that”.

Booth was found guilty of raping her twice more over the following year, once in a private backyard, and once in a public reserve when she was walking home. He was also charged with attempted rape in the victim’s home, while his pants holding his holstered gun hung at the end of the bed.

In her victim impact statement she asked Booth why he made her life a living hell?

“For almost 40 years now I have lived with what you did to me,” she said.

“For almost 40 years I have watched over my shoulder and tried not to let you find where I live or am. For almost 40 years I have been silent because no one listened, no one helped, and no one stood up for me.”

In 1988, Booth also raped a different 16-year-old girl.The court heard the pair had consensual sex outside a party but later Booth allegedly broke into her house as she slept.

In April 2016 Booth, a married father of two, entered his first victim’s place of work to give her her daughter’s purse that he had apparently found on a train.

In October that year, the victim made her first statement to the police.

Booth’s defence said the accused was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder, separation anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and alcohol-use disorder.

Once he was charged, and after almost 35 years of service, Booth was suspended from Victoria Police without pay. In 2022 he resigned.

Booth was found guilty of 10 charges but acquitted of a further 24.