A male nurse worked for years on the pediatric ward of a Tasmanian hospital while "credible" Australian Federal Police intel about him discussing child abuse online sat dormant.
An inquiry into child sexual abuse allegations in the state service has previously been told of "catastrophic" system failures relating to James Geoffrey Griffin, and red flags ignored by the Launceston General Hospital.
Griffin took his own life in October 2019 while on bail after being charged with multiple child sexual abuse offences.
Tasmania Police Commissioner Darren Hine on Wednesday apologised to survivors for missing opportunities to prevent Griffin from offending.
Griffin's 18-year career at the hospital ended in July 2019 when his working with vulnerable people accreditation was suspended after survivor Tiffany Skeggs came forward to police.
The inquiry was told Tasmania Police received "credible information" in 2015 from the Australian Federal Police that Griffin had discussed child abuse online.
Comm Hine said nothing was done with the information, which was supposed to be followed up.
"It was filed inappropriately and no further action was taken," he told the inquiry on Wednesday.
"There were a number of issues. It wasn't done out of malice, it was done out of not paying the particular attention."
Tasmania Police Detective Senior Constable Glenn Hindle, who investigated Griffin, said he first opened the nurse's file on July 19, 2019.
He described the Australian Federal Police entry on the file as being "unresolved".
"If the context of what was mentioned was true ... there should have been a conviction against his name," Const Hindle said.
In February 2021, Tasmania Police apologised to survivors after an internal review found deficiencies in earlier probes into complaints about Griffin.
Griffin was in 2009 accused of taking photos up the skirts of young girls on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry, something Const Hindle told the inquiry couldn't be corroborated.
Social worker Kylee Pearn informed hospital human resources representatives in 2011 she had been abused by Griffin as a child but was told nothing could be done without a conviction.
Ms Pearn and another survivor spoke to police off the record on the basis the information could be used if another victim came forward.
Const Hindle said their disclosures hadn't been recorded but should have been.
Comm Hine acknowledged failures to properly investigate a notification in 2011 about historical abuse and another in 2013 relating to then-teenager Ms Skeggs.
Ms Skeggs was groomed and abused by Griffin for years after meeting him at her netball club where he volunteered.
"(It was) written off in relation to the advice of the (child safety) worker and we didn't go back and investigate," Comm Hine said.
"It wasn't acceptable then and it isn't acceptable now."
Comm Hine said in the early 2000s, pictures of young girls wearing bikinis were found on Griffin's old computer, but the case was closed as it didn't fit the definition of child exploitation material.
Several survivors have told the inquiry about being abused by Griffin, who was the subject of documented boundary breaches for kissing and cuddling young hospital patients.
Comm Hine said police processes have improved since the internal review.
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Australian Associated Press
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