Thursday, June 2, 2016


<i>Four current articles below</i>

<b>NSW: Protester awarded $13,400 after police officer made up charge at Martin Place rally</b>

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<i>Did you ever see such a goon as officer Wasko?  Wasko is a Polish name.  Poles must be deeply ashamed of him</i>

Several NSW Police officers have been savaged in court for allegedly grabbing the breasts and neck of an anti-Reclaim Australia protester, then covering their actions up by deleting evidence, making up a false charge against her, lying under oath and attacking her in court.

Simone Renae White, 41, a social worker, attended Martin Place last July for a counter rally to the Reclaim Australia demonstration.

She was arrested by Senior Constable John Wasko who alleged Ms White had assaulted him in the execution of his duty.

He said that, as a line of police were shepherding a line of protesters through Martin Place, Ms White turned back at him with her elbow up.

However, after a year-long court battle, a magistrate has thrown out the charge and taken the unusual step of forcing the police to pay Ms White's legal costs because their arrest, investigation and subsequent prosecution were so improper.

Ms White said that one police officer had groped her breasts and another, Senior Constable Wasko, had grabbed her neck as they walked behind her.

She turned around to take a photo of the officer who she believed had indecently assaulted her by grabbing her breasts.

However, Senior Constable Wasko grabbed and arrested her. Her phone was taken by another officer who appeared to delete the photo, magistrate Geoffrey Bradd found in the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday.

The police case against Ms White relied entirely on Senior Constable Wasko's testimony and contained no footage from CCTV cameras in Martin Place nor police officers who were filming the rally.

When Ms White's legal team subpoenaed police for the footage, it showed Ms White being pushed and shoved in the back by Senior Constable Wasko as the protesters walked through Martin Place.

The footage showed Ms White taking a photo of an officer on her phone, proving that her evidence was deleted by police.

She is seen holding a water bottle in one hand, making the allegation of raising her elbow at Senior Constable Wasko "inconsistent", Mr Bradd found.

The alleged indecent assault was not captured on camera but Mr Bradd said "the evidence strongly indicates" it happened.  Medical records showed bruising on her breasts and neck pain.

When Ms White gave evidence during a hearing, a prosecutor repeatedly accused her of lying.

Her barrister, Phillip Boulten, SC, told the court on Tuesday that police had "escaped any form of investigation for perverting the course of justice".

"The only reason why [the photo] would be deleted would be to make it more difficult for the complainant to say something in court," he said.

Mr Bradd ruled that the investigation was "unreasonable and improper" and ordered the police to pay her $13,400 in legal costs.

Outside court, Ms White said she was just relieved it was over.

Her solicitor, Lydia Shelly, said police treated a protester as a criminal.

"The court confirmed today that my client is not a criminal. It has taken her nearly 12 months of litigation to prove that," she said.

"This decision sends a very clear message to the police. It is not a criminal offence to protest nor is it an offence to film police if you are not hindering their duties. The NSW public expect more from NSW Police."

A NSW Police spokeswoman said: "The outcome of the case is noted; the circumstances surrounding the incident will be reviewed."

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

<b>Qld.: Civil liberties boss Terry O’Gorman calls for inquiry in to Surfers Paradise police basement bashing</b>

CIVIL liberties crusader Terry O’Gorman will ask the Crime and Corruption Commission launch a complete inquiry into the infamous basement bashing at Surfers Paradise police station.

Mr O’Gorman implored the peak watchdog to review the case last year but now wants a complete reinvestigation after details emerged of Police Commissioner Ian Stewart’s personal relationship with one of the officers involved who escaped sanction.

Mr Stewart has confirmed he is related through marriage to former senior sergeant Dave Joachim, who was seen in video footage washing away a pool of blood during the 2012 bashing of chef Noa Begic.

Mr Stewart said he was distantly related to Mr Joachim and had removed himself from the investigation to ensure impartiality.

The Courier-Mail does not suggest Mr Stewart acted improperly or used any influence to affect the outcome of the investigation into Mr Joachim and three other officers involved in the scandal.

Mr O’Gorman, president of the Australian Council of Civil Liberties, wants the CCC to investigate whether Mr Stewart played any role in the investigation or the decision to press charges against Sergeant Rick Flori, who now stands accused of leaking the video to The Courier-Mail.  "It adds yet another nail in the coffin to the whole handling of this matter," he said.

Mr O’Gorman said he would write to the CCC with his request as early as this week.

Meanwhile, Police Minister Bill Byrne said yesterday he was "confident" Mr Stewart had handled the matter correctly. "I have been advised that the Commissioner, who was Deputy Commissioner at the time, excluded himself from the investigation," he said.

Mr Joachim retired before findings in the investigation were released and his file was closed with no further action.

Last week Sgt Flori was committed to stand trial on charges of misconduct in office.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

<b>Qld. Busy schedule for controversial Gold Coast cop Chris Hurley</b>

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<i>Big goon Hurley. He is over 2 metres tall.  An Aborigine, Mulrunji, died on the floor of a police cell on Palm Island after some conflict with Hurley.  Hurley appears to have dropped his big knee onto the Aborigine, splitting his liver and killing him.  Hurley's demeanor after he realized the man was dead showed that he knew that it was his doing -- but after a very flawed police investigation, his mates got him off a murder charge.  He appears to have learnt nothing - confident that he will always escape justice</i>

CONTROVERSIAL cop Chris Hurley faces five separate court hearings in coming months, after a magistrate set a trial timetable for multiple charges against the Gold Coast officer.

Senior-Sergeant Hurley was charged with two counts of common assault in March over an alleged altercation with a female officer at Robina Town Centre late last year, and during the arrest of a motorist at Robina in November 2013.

He was suspended from duty last December over charges unrelated to his job. He had already been stood down in May over a wild chase in which police allegedly opened fire on a getaway car containing two violent armed robbers.

The charge related to the alleged assault on the motorist has been set down for a four-day hearing in August.

Southport magistrate Colin Strofield today set down an October hearing for the other common assault charge, and November trial dates for the other three charges which do not relate to his job as a police officer.

Mr Strofield said he would not be able to hear the cases ‘given my past life’. He is a former Queensland Police Service solicitor.

Queensland Police Union lawyers are representing Sen-Sgt Hurley on the assault charge involving the motorist but are no longer acting for him on the other charges.

He has launched separate Supreme Court action to have his pay reinstated after it was revoked by Police Commissioner Ian Stewart following Sen-Sgt Hurley’s suspension.

Sen-Sgt Hurley was the officer at the centre of the 2004 Palm Island death in custody. He was acquitted of manslaughter over the death of Palm Island man Cameron ‘Mulrunji’ Doomadgee, whose demise in the island’s police watch-house triggered wild riots.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

<b>S. Australia: Election candidate for Makin Mark Aldridge to sue police over gun raid</b>

A FEDERAL election candidate in Adelaide’s north says he will sue SA Police for $500,000 over its bungled handling of a firearms raid on his home.

A Police Ombudsman report, released this month, found there was no "reasonable basis" for officers to pursue a gun charge against independent candidate for Makin Mark Aldridge.

Officers attended Mr Aldridge’s Penfield Gardens home in May 2013 and cautioned him for having three insecure rifles.

A day later, on the instructions of a senior officer, police returned and confiscated the rifles and two pistols, reporting him for failing to secure his weapons.  The rifles were stored in a locked cellar. The pistols were in a safe.

Police dropped the case in May 2014 because Mr Aldridge would likely successfully argue his cellar acted as a "strong room" for his weapons. Mr Aldridge complained to Police Ombudsman Michael Grant.

Police inspected Mr Aldridge’s firearms based on allegations he had threatened RSPCA officers during a separate incident. The RSPCA never lodged a complaint with police and Mr Aldridge denied the allegations.

Mr Grant said police had no "reasonable basis" to seize the firearms or grounds to suspect Mr Aldridge was "an undue danger".

His report showed a sergeant justified the seizure by saying officers may have suspected Mr Aldridge was not a fit and proper person to have guns, he made a false statement on his 2013 gun licence renewal and may be a threat to public safety. All reasons were found to be baseless.

Mr Grant considered the arrest warrant should not have been issued but that any negligence by SAPOL officers in relation to that warrant was not sufficient to amount to misconduct.  He recommended the sergeant receive "managerial guidance".

Mr Aldridge said he would sue the government for $500,000.  "It’s just going to change how officers treat people, which I’m glad about," he said.

A police spokeswoman said the Ombudsman’s recommendations had been implemented.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

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