Friday, April 20, 2012

Charming North Queensland cop

Cairns police constable guilty of stomping on prisoner's neck. Fortunately there were some other conscientious cops around. Note the involvement of a female officer in blowing the whistle again. Bree Sonter was the one who dobbed total thug Benjamin Price

A POLICE officer has been found guilty of stamping on the neck of a female prisoner in far north Queensland.

Constable Alex Alexander, 52, pleaded not guilty to a charge of common assault, after it was alleged he stamped on Melanie Burgoyne's head or neck after restraining her in the Cairns watchhouse on August 30 last year.

Ms Burgoyne had been arrested on a charge of public nuisance in central Cairns. Ms Burgoyne, who was heavily intoxicated at the time, had used her bra in an attempt to choke herself in the back of the police wagon. As she was being brought to the watchhouse, Ms Burgoyne flicked her bra at Alexander.

He then grabbed Ms Burgoyne by the neck and right arm and threw her to the ground, placing his knee on her back to restrain her.

Watchhouse officer Mark Webb and shift supervisor Sergeant Melanie Flynn both testified to seeing Alexander strike Ms Burgoyne twice to the neck or head with his boot. Alexander said any contact with Ms Burgoyne's head had been accidental.

In the Cairns Magistrates Court today, Alexander was found guilty. Magistrate Jane Bentley said she accepted Officer Webb and Sgt Flynn's version of events.

She said Ms Burgoyne throwing the bra at Alexander was an assault, but said it was "fleeting", and was complete before he reacted to it. "The throwing of the bra was not such that it would induce an ordinary person to lose control," Ms Bentley said.

Ms Bentley said Alexander had stepped outside the reasonable actions of a police officer. "The defendant was not acting under any lawful justification," she said. Alexander, who was stood down from duty, will be sentenced in the same court on Tuesday.


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