Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Australian woman says police assaulted her at home after call to counselling service

A 60-YEAR-OLD woman who claims police officers burst into her Erindale home and assaulted her after she rang a counselling service has lodged an official complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

Denyse, who did not want her surname published, alleges she was physically assaulted, verbally abused and forced to urinate on the floor when five officers attended her eastern-suburbs house on the morning of April 9.

Police confirmed that officers had attended the home and the Ombudsman was now investigating Denyse's complaint.

"SAPOL cannot, and will not, make comment on the nature of the investigation or allegations," an SA Police statement said.

Denyse said the "nightmare" incident happened after she rang a sexual assault counselling service and an apparent misunderstanding led to police being dispatched to check on her welfare.

She alleged she was sexually assaulted more than a month ago, but has provided The Advertiser with written consent to identify her so she can seek justice.

Denyse said she had never before spoken with the counsellor she dealt with on April 9 and believed the person may have misinterpreted her distress as a threat to harm herself.

She alleged she was doing housework when two male police officers burst through her front door and jumped on her without identifying themselves or explaining why they were there.

"I was washing the floors and the next minute someone jumped on me. I thought it was a home invasion," she said. "They started beating me up, they started belting me. I screamed and I screamed."

Over the next two hours, during which five police officers - four males and one female - were in her house, Denyse alleged police:

TOLD her she was not allowed to phone her husband and had no rights.

PREVENTED her from going to the toilet and forced her to urinate where she lay.

KICKED her in the hip, hit her in the face, twisted her arms and pushed her to the floor.

CONFISCATED her mobile phone, which was only made apparent when her husband Andrew recognised its ringtone and an officer took it out of his pocket.

Andrew said he arrived home about 90 minutes after police entered the home. "I'm not sure why it takes so many people to subdue a 60-year-old woman," he said.

Royal Adelaide Hospital notes provided to The Advertiser detail bruising on Denyse's arms and determined there was no evidence of psychosis.

Victims' Rights Commissioner Michael O'Connell said police management of cases such as this could be complex, but "all citizens have fundamental rights that should be at the forefront of police interventions".


1 comment:

  1. This is a particularly troubling incident in so many ways...


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