Tasered man sues West Australian police
THE man suing bashed policeman Matt Butcher claims he has lost $140,000 in income and will never be able to return to work after the constable tasered him in a pub car park.
For the first time, details of 59-year-old Robert McLeod's civil action against the maimed policeman and the State Government can be revealed.
In a statement of claim filed with the District Court and obtained by The Sunday Times this week, Mr McLeod claims Constable Butcher is liable for the loss and damages arising from "wrongful battery" when the officer fired his police-issue Taser at him during a brawl outside the Old Bailey Tavern in Joondalup in 2008.
He claims Constable Butcher was not legally allowed to use force "likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm".
Mr McLeod says he has suffered post-traumatic stress and has needed counselling since the brawl involving himself, his sons Barry and Scott, and patrons.
Constable Butcher was one of several officers called to the scene. He was left partially paralysed after Barry McLeod felled him with a "flying headbutt".
Barry McLeod escaped a conviction for assault despite his actions being recorded on a mobile phone, claiming he had acted in defence of his father, fearing he would die from the Taser because he had a heart condition. His father and brother were also acquitted of assault charges.
Lawyers for the McLeods argued the police used "unnecessary and excessive force" against them.
Though Constable Butcher deployed a Taser on Robert McLeod, who has a history of heart trouble, police have maintained it did not activate. Mr McLeod later suffered a heart attack.
The statement of claim seeks:
* Unspecified special damages and personal injury damages.
* Interest of 6 per cent on any damages payout dating back to February 4, 2008
* All costs of the court action.
Mr McLeod also is claiming other special damages, but those details will not be provided until prior to the trial, which is due in coming months.
The claim says Mr McLeod was the proprietor of a business that earned $35,000 a year before the incident and since then he has been unable to do his job and will remain unfit to work "until his normal date of retirement".
It says he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after he received eight fractured ribs, puncture wounds to his left abdomen and was three days in a coma.