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Ray Hadley's Son Has Drug Charge Dismissed On Mental Health Grounds

When Senior Constable Daniel Hadley was stopped by fellow officers in the carpark of a Sydney pub and asked whether he had just purchased drugs, he immediately opened his wallet and showed them a plastic bag of white powder.

“Yeah, I’ve got a bit of a habit,” he told them.

But as the officers pulled out a video camera and started filming, the son of veteran broadcaster Ray Hadley became agitated.

“Seriously, take me off film. I’m telling ya take me off f**king film,” he said to them.

They took photographs instead.

Hadley’s purchase of 0.66g of cocaine for $200 at the Australian Hotel and Brewery on August 3, 2018 was the start of the end of his career as a police officer.

But Parramatta Court heard on Wednesday the issues which lead to his drug abuse started before that.

He’d spoken to his GP about his mental health two weeks earlier, but had been becoming increasingly unwell since 2016.

A visit to the Northside Clinic after his arrest confirmed a diagnosis of PTSD and depression.

Those two conditions, along with an alcohol use disorder and a cocaine use disorder, were the basis for an application by Hadley’s lawyer to have his drug possession charge dismissed on mental health grounds.

On Wednesday, he succeeded.

The charge will be dropped. In exchange, he will have to undergo a six-month treatment program, which will include group therapy and consultations with his GP and other specialist doctors.

Ray Hadley was in court to support his son, and outside argued the court dealt with Daniel appropriately.

“He’s been splashed on the front page of newspapers, he’s on your news bulletins tonight,” he said.

"I’m the one who is in the media spotlight, not my son, so he’s got to get on with his life as best he can.”

Daniel Hadley quit the NSW Police Force after he was charged.

The broadcaster was circumspect when asked about his son’s future prospects.

“Hopefully bright. But if you read the psychiatric report... this is going to take a long time. He’s not going to walk out there and say ‘You beauty! I got a Section 32, I’m better!’ because he’s not better. He battles.”

Ray Hadley also called for a complete rethink in the way emergency services deal with PTSD.

“As a community, we have to respond better than we have previously. And as a father of a former police officer, I didn’t respond like I should have.”

“I didn’t pick up on those signals like I should have."

Contact the author: dsutton@networkten.com.au