Friday, December 24, 2010

Thug cops escape justice again

They should have been put in front of a jury on a manslaughter charge

THE mother of a Queensland teenager run over and killed after police handcuffed him and forced him to lie on a road is disgusted no charges will be laid.

Andrew Bornen, 16, was lying restrained and face down on a busy suburban roadway in the Ipswich suburb of Brassall when he was struck and killed by a car on February 7, 2009. His heart, aorta and pulmonary trunk were ruptured and he died before an ambulance arrived six minutes later.

Officers had forced the Ipswich teen to lie on the road after reports a youth was armed with a machete in the area. However, Mr Bornen was carrying only a baseball bat when confronted by police and an inquest found he had not been acting aggressively.

Mr Bornen's mother, Helen Donaldson, said the Department of Public Prosecutions told her yesterday no charges would be laid over her son's death. She said the news, delivered just before Christmas, had put her "over the cliff".

"I was a bit disgusted," Ms Donaldson said. "I was very upset, very emotional. I'm down anyway, but for them to ring me two days before Christmas, that is what tops the cake."

Ms Donaldson said she took comfort that the inquest had found her son was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and had not deserved such treatment. But she said she doubted police had learnt anything from the tragedy. "I at least thought they should have been charged with something," she said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan, SC, said he had carefully considered evidence that would be admissible in any trial. "There is no suggestion that the police officers were acting unlawfully or not in the execution of their duty in arresting Andrew Bornen, who was intoxicated and armed in public," he said in a statement.

"Given the momentary opportunity the police officers had to assess and act in this situation, the efforts made to alert the driver of the vehicle and the contribution of the driver of the vehicle which ran over and killed Mr Bornen, there is no reasonable prospect of a conviction."

A coroner's inquest found the female driver bore no responsibility for the death.

State Coroner Michael Barnes told the inquest in July he could not accept the evidence of then Senior Constable Anthony Brett and Senior Constable Robert Ward that Bornen, who was drunk, acted aggressively towards them, warranting him being handcuffed on the street.

He said the officers had made a "terrible error of judgment" in leaving the teenager lying there.


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