Thursday, December 16, 2010

False facts used to charge man, West Australian cop admits

A detective has admitted he knew the facts used to charge Taser victim Kevin Spratt with obstructing police were false, but he did nothing to change them, an inquiry has been told. Detective Constable Brett Fowler today gave evidence to a Corruption and Crime Commission hearing into the alleged abuse of Mr Spratt, who was Tasered up to 41 times in seven days.

Detective Fowler was at the original police call-out in Bayswater on August 31, 2008, and handcuffed 41-year-old Mr Spratt. He was also present at certain points while he was Tasered 14 times at the East Perth Watch House later that day. He later wrote up the statement of material facts used by police to bring the charges including obstructing public officers against Mr Spratt.

The charge was one of four over which Mr Spratt faced court and for which he was sentenced to jail. The statement claimed Mr Spratt was acting violently before he was Tasered. "He again became violent and aggressive towards police who were attempting to restrain him by kicking and flailing his arms towards police as they approached him," it stated. "Taser was deployed to prevent any injury to the police or the accused..."

Detective Fowler agreed that the chain of events did not match with CCTV footage of the incident he was later shown, but said he did not know that when he prepared the statement. He said he wrote the document after consulting with other officers, including Sergeant Aaron Grant Strahan, who Tasered Mr Spratt 10 times. He said writing a statement upon consulting with officers was common practice.

He told Commissioner Len Roberts-Smith he did not recall confirming the events he was not present to witness. "You may have notes, but given how soon after we were preparing it I think it was done from what I was told from memory," Detective Fowler said.

Mr Spratt pleaded guilty on January 30, 2009, and earlier this week told the CCC he did so because he could not remember the incident and trusted the statement. He was sentenced to a cumulative jail term.

At a police internal investigation on September 25, 2008, Detective Fowler was shown the CCTV footage of the incident and said he later raised the discrepancies with officers. "It's stuck in my head that I remember asking about whether I needed to now go and amend it after seeing the footage," he said. "I was told to leave it as the inquiry was ongoing."

Earlier today Senior Constable Emanuel Bakovic, who was working in the East Perth Watch House that day, described Mr Spratt as violent and frightening. "In my nine years of policing, he was definitely the most violent aggressive detainee that I've ever come across," Bakovic said. "He was out of control, everybody was, well I'll speak for myself, I was scared due to his behaviour, due to his demeanour. 'It was a frightening experience, I've never seen anything like it."

Constable Bakovic can be seen on the CCTV footage of the incident backing away from Mr Spratt as he threw his earring towards the reception counter. "That's when I became extremely cautious because in my experience in the Watch House when people start doing that kind of action you've got to watch out for your own safety."


1 comment:

  1. My name is George Rek from St.Andrews Sydney.
    I had similar story to tell.
    On August 24 2006 I was stopped on the road by two very aggressive police officers .When they aggression for no reason whatsoever was getting ballistic I called 000 for help.Help did not arrived but the boys in blue could wait to teach me a lesson and attacked me while I was still talking to the police officer from 00.
    Those precious 2 min 36 seconds save me later from going to jail.
    Pro-con Neville and const.cIntire from Green Valley police Station in Sydney trashed me properly,broke my denture ,arrested me-in this order- and-when I lodge the complaint about their brutality -charge me with 2 counts of assaulting the policeman o duty,resisting arrest,using faulty language in public ,(during my conversation with 000 I said:They treat me like shit and I don't like it).
    When my barrister applied for the records from 000 we have been told that they don't have any.
    Lucky for me on 11.07.2007 ,2 days before the final hearing in court I've got the CD which saved me.
    Both McIntyre and Neville were not aware of it.
    During the court they testified first.
    When they were done with their lies my barrister presented the CD.
    Case was not only dismissed but trashed by the judge.
    It took another 3 years to recive some justice.
    On December 6,2010 in District court in Sydney my barrister and the barristers representing the police settled out of court the compensation for me.

    2 officers who were caught BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT lying under the oath in court are still at Green Valley Police Station looking for another-less lucky then me-victim.
    My name is George Rek
    My phone number 9820 3690
    I live at St.Andrews NSW


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