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Civil Liberties

In the matter of the Police v Jackson Elliott, it was alleged that our client had seriously assaulted a police officer. In fact what had happened, was that JE went to the aide of his mate on the streets of Brisbane one evening, who was being dealt with excessively by two police, screaming in pain due to the handcuffs.

All our client did was to gently place his hand on his friend to see if he was ok. He was then roughly shoved by an officer, who then repeatedly told him he’d be arrested and in cuffs, if he did not get back. Due to his concern for his friend’s welfare, our client refused. The worst he did was use bad language in public, an offence he was ultimately guilty of. None of that justified what happened next.

He was then shoved so hard that he fell backwards somersaulting and coming back to his feet. Presenting no threat, he was then sprayed with OC spray directly in the face. Clearly at this point, the officer intended to arrest him, and began to do so. However, he failed to provide him with his mandatory right to information, which required him to tell him he was under arrest, and the reason for the arrest (such as you are under arrest for public nuisance). This breach of his duties (leaving aside the excessive and unwarranted force) was fatal to the arrest, rendering it unlawful.

Blinded, and being assaulted by Police, JE defended himself ineffectively. He was entitled to do so, using reasonable force to escape the unlawful custody. He was then tasered, an oft used accoutrement by the police, which is supposed to be reserved for the most serious occasions. He was charged with serious assault police. Eventually another officer who came upon the scene as support, told him he was under arrest for assault police. Unfortunately that officer hadn’t even seen the incident. Following a trial spanning several days, it was found JE had no case to answer on the serious assault charges. Following our cross examination of the police officers, findings were made that the ‘arresting officer’ lacked credibility. This was the right outcome.

What our client had to say about the outcome:

I thought my life was over and career ruined before hiring Justin. I was under serious investigation by HR due to working in government. I was charged with assaulting three police officers and public nuisance. Ultimately, I was guilty of the public nuisance offence and chose not to appeal due to financial burden. However, Justin managed to have the 3 serious charges dismissed and I did not incur a penalty for the public nuisance offence. Justin worked very hard and achieved my desired outcome. I would definitely hire Justin again if need be. Thank-you Justin!

As former police, we are intimately aware of the duties of police. We are often struck by the frequency with which they don’t comply with their duties. We’ve had many clients acquitted in similar circumstances. Call us now if you have been charged with public nuisance, assault or obstruct police, or dealt with unfairly by the Police during your arrest.