Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ballina cop admits 'wrong' evidence

A POLICE officer who allegedly beat and falsely accused an Aboriginal man has admitted he twice gave wrong evidence about the incident.

Constable Luke Mewing is the first of six officers to give evidence to the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) in Sydney about the arrest and prosecution of 24-year-old Corey Barker.

The PIC heard on Thursday that Const Mewing made a written statement about the arrest of Mr Barker, who had attempted to intervene during a violent street confrontation between police and two of his friends at Ballina, on the NSW north coast, in January 2011.

During Mr Barker's prosecution, Cnst Mewing gave evidence that Mr Barker yelled obscenities, threatened violence and refused to comply with directions from officers while in custody in Ballina police station.

Const Mewing said he, Sen Const David Hill and three other officers approached a perspex holding cage and told Mr Barker to turn around and put his hands behind his head so he could be handcuffed and walked to a cell at the rear of the station.

He was subsequently shown CCTV evidence of the incident at the PIC last year which showed Mr Barker did turn around twice in the cage.

On Thursday, Cnst Mewing admitted his evidence on both previous occasions was incorrect.

"What you told the magistrate was wrong," counsel assisting the PIC Stephen Rushton, SC, asked.

"It's possible," Cnst Mewing replied.  "It's not possible, it's a fact," Mr Rushton said.  "It appears that way," Cnst Mewing said.

The PIC has heard that the CCTV inside the station was originally thought to be damaged but was later repaired.

As the officers walked Mr Barker to the cells he was thrown against the wall and wrestled to the ground before he was kicked in the head and kneed in the side.

A total of six officers said Mr Barker had triggered the fracas by punching Snr Cnst Hill.

Mr Barker was charged with various offences from attempting to intervening at the street incident and assaulting police.

All the charges against Mr Barker were eventually dropped and magistrate David Heilpern said the officers' evidence had conflicted with the CCTV footage.

He also described Snr Const Hill as a liar.

The hearing continues.

1 comment:

  1. The NSW Police Service should feel ashamed with the actions of these police officers.

    Is it no wonder why people do not trust the NSWPS.

    They give the comminities very valid reasons not to feel safe.

    Unfortunately these officers (& I use the term "officers" very loosely) give other officers who are trying to do good down with them.


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