Thursday, May 30, 2013

Second man accuses Victoria police officer of assaulting him

A POLICE officer accused of bashing a suspect with a torch pepper-sprayed a handcuffed man less than two months earlier.

Internal investigations cleared Leading Senior Constable Nathan Warrick of wrongdoing in both incidents, although the use of the spray was deemed "a poor option".

Leigh Harnden contacted the Herald Sun after reading a report about Geoffrey Craig Barnes' claim that his cheek was torn open by the torch-wielding officer and he was humiliated by being paraded in his underwear.

Mr Barnes is suing the state and Sen-Constable Warrick and another officer, claiming he was repeatedly assaulted, falsely imprisoned, humiliated, threatened, and locked in a cell for more than five hours, and then freed without being questioned about any offence or being legally arrested.

Mr Harnden said he was arrested after a disagreement with his ex-partner about his children's housing but was not charged. He is seeking legal advice about launching his own action.

Mr Harnden complained at the time to Victoria Police's ethical standards division about his treatment by police at Wyndham Vale in February 2010, saying Sen-Constable Warrick sprayed him in the face while he was handcuffed and under arrest; deliberately pushed him backwards into the rear of the divisional van, causing to him to hit his face on the door; and injured his left thumb and wrist while handcuffing him.

Mr Harnden's complaint was forwarded to local detectives, who found none of the allegations to be substantiated. They said Sen-Constable Warrick "acted in accordance with the law and accepted police practices, with the exception of (his) use of the OC spray".

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Steve Daniliuk found Mr Harnden's injures were the result of his lawful arrest, with no evidence they were due to deliberate acts.

"The use of OC spray on this occasion was in response to a perceived threat of violence. However, its use would appear to be a poor option and one that I have recommended should be addressed through workplace guidance and training," he said.

Sen-Constable Warrick remains on active duty and will defend any case brought by Mr Barnes.

Police spokeswoman Natalie Webster said police managers had given the officer guidance about the use of OC spray.

1 comment:

  1. Leigh didn't threaten violence at all. What a load of rubbish this Nathan Warrick has told and his off sider resigned not long after. My partner and myself were threatened, I was pushed by Nathan Warrick and had a bruise, we were also told to "fuck off" by Nathan Warrick. This was all investigated by the Police Ethical Board but nothing came of it as per paper article. Bad Police are protected I guess. I am Leigh's mother and I know what happened.


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