A detective who helped rescue kidnap victim Cleo Smith shared confidential police information about the case with a young journalist he was dating, a scathing corruption report has found.

But Detective Senior Sergeant Cameron Blaine quit the force before the report was published, which means he will not face further action.

In a 39-page report published on Thursday, Western Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission noted a 22-year-old reporter, referred to as “Ms A”, claimed she developed an intimate relationship with Mr Blaine in Carnarvon.

Mr Blaine admitted sharing confidential information with her but denied they had an intimate relationship.

The CCC determined allegations about his conduct, as outlined by Ms A, were supported by “a wealth of corroborative material”.

“The relationship was unwise. She is young, in the early stages of a career as a journalist. It is her job to ask questions and seek out information,” the report read.

“(Mr) Blaine had an obligation to keep matters confidential and failed to do so.”

It was also noted the journalist did not seek out some of the information.

“The information disclosed was obviously a potential benefit to a journalist,” the report read.

“Fortunately, for the most part, she recognised the material was sensitive and did not use it.”

The CCC said the relationship appeared to end in February or March 2022, although contact was maintained between them until June 24 last year.

The CCC further found Mr Blaine misused a police vehicle.

“In each case, his behaviour could constitute reasonable grounds for the termination of his employment,” the report read.

“The Commission has formed an opinion of police misconduct.”

There was no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Ms A, the CCC found.

However, it was also noted that for much of his professional career, Mr Blaine was a “capable and respected officer”.

“His rise to the rank of Detective Senior Sergeant and repeated secondments to the Homicide Squad are testament to this,” the report read.

“Whether PTSD has severely affected his judgment, and is a cause of his extraordinary behaviour, is beyond the scope of this investigation.”

Mr Blaine became an international hero when footage was released showing him asking the four-year-old girl her name as she was carried out of a Carnarvon house in November 2021.

Cleo was rescued 18 days after she was taken from her family’s tent at the Quobba Blowholes campsite on October 16, 2021.

Detectives forced their way into a house and found her in a bedroom.

Talking to media the next day, the detective said it was “absolutely fantastic to see her sitting there … it was incredible.”

“I asked her what her name was. One of the guys jumped in front of me and picked her up and I just wanted to be absolutely sure that … it was her,” he said at the time.

“I said, ‘What is your name?’ She didn’t answer … I asked three times and then she looked at me and said ‘My name is Cleo’.”

He said it was the best moment of his career.

Cleo’s kidnapper Terence Kelly was sentenced in April to 13 years and six months in jail.


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By Rahul

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