Sunday, May 03, 2009

Australian police goons again: Ordered to pay $55,000 for wrongful arrest

POLICE have been ordered to pay $55,000 in compensation to a man for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment over a minor traffic infringement.

The payout to Brendan William Stocks came in the same week the NSW Police were ordered to pay $306,000 in damages to another man because officers abused their powers of arrest. On April 20 in Downing Centre District Court, Judge Kevin Coorey found that constables Brent Dutoit and Shaun Skehan of Quakers Hill acted unlawfully in arresting and falsely detaining Mr Stocks at his Riverstone home when investigating a traffic breach on March 21, 2004. The officers asked who was driving the car when the offence occurred.

In a statement of claim presented to the court, Mr Stocks's lawyer said that, at the time of his client's arrest, his jaw had been medically wired shut so it could heal from a fracture caused by an incident unrelated to the traffic offence.

Mr Stocks told the officers that his car was not involved in the incident a month earlier but, instead of police dealing with the case by issuing an infringement notice or summons, he was placed under arrest for refusing to disclose the identity of the driver. He was dragged struggling from the house.

Judge Coorey heard that, during the three hours Mr Stocks was held at Quakers Hill police station, officers refused to hand over surgical wire cutters issued to him by a doctor to cut the wiring in an emergency if he vomited or gagged on food. Mr Stocks has declined to comment about the award.

On April 23 Allan Frederick Hathaway was awarded $306,000 in the Supreme Court by Justice Carolyn Simpson after she found Wagga Wagga police had assaulted and maliciously prosecuted him in what she described as a "misuse and abuse of police power". The case involved an incident in February 2003 in which police assaulted Mr Hathaway with a baton, fracturing his face and arm.

Original report here. (Via Australian Politics)

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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