Friday, June 03, 2016
NSW, Australia: Protester awarded $13,400 after police officer made up charge at Martin Place rally
Did you ever see such a goon as officer Wasko? Wasko is a Polish name. Poles must be deeply ashamed of him
Several NSW Police officers have been savaged in court for allegedly grabbing the breasts and neck of an anti-Reclaim Australia protester, then covering their actions up by deleting evidence, making up a false charge against her, lying under oath and attacking her in court.
Simone Renae White, 41, a social worker, attended Martin Place last July for a counter rally to the Reclaim Australia demonstration.
She was arrested by Senior Constable John Wasko who alleged Ms White had assaulted him in the execution of his duty.
He said that, as a line of police were shepherding a line of protesters through Martin Place, Ms White turned back at him with her elbow up.
However, after a year-long court battle, a magistrate has thrown out the charge and taken the unusual step of forcing the police to pay Ms White's legal costs because their arrest, investigation and subsequent prosecution were so improper.
Ms White said that one police officer had groped her breasts and another, Senior Constable Wasko, had grabbed her neck as they walked behind her.
She turned around to take a photo of the officer who she believed had indecently assaulted her by grabbing her breasts.
However, Senior Constable Wasko grabbed and arrested her. Her phone was taken by another officer who appeared to delete the photo, magistrate Geoffrey Bradd found in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.
The police case against Ms White relied entirely on Senior Constable Wasko's testimony and contained no footage from CCTV cameras in Martin Place nor police officers who were filming the rally.
When Ms White's legal team subpoenaed police for the footage, it showed Ms White being pushed and shoved in the back by Senior Constable Wasko as the protesters walked through Martin Place.
The footage showed Ms White taking a photo of an officer on her phone, proving that her evidence was deleted by police.
She is seen holding a water bottle in one hand, making the allegation of raising her elbow at Senior Constable Wasko "inconsistent", Mr Bradd found.
The alleged indecent assault was not captured on camera but Mr Bradd said "the evidence strongly indicates" it happened. Medical records showed bruising on her breasts and neck pain.
When Ms White gave evidence during a hearing, a prosecutor repeatedly accused her of lying.
Her barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, told the court on Tuesday that police had "escaped any form of investigation for perverting the course of justice".
"The only reason why [the photo] would be deleted would be to make it more difficult for the complainant to say something in court," he said.
Mr Bradd ruled that the investigation was "unreasonable and improper" and ordered the police to pay her $13,400 in legal costs.
Outside court, Ms White said she was just relieved it was over.
Her solicitor, Lydia Shelly, said police treated a protester as a criminal.
"The court confirmed today that my client is not a criminal. It has taken her nearly 12 months of litigation to prove that," she said.
"This decision sends a very clear message to the police. It is not a criminal offence to protest nor is it an offence to film police if you are not hindering their duties. The NSW public expect more from NSW Police."
A NSW Police spokeswoman said: "The outcome of the case is noted; the circumstances surrounding the incident will be reviewed."
Original report here. (Via Australian Politics)
(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress. If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where posts appear as well as on the primary site. I have reposted the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts HERE or HERE
Posted by bussorah at 8:56 AM