The NSW Police Integrity Commission (PIC) inquiry into the alleged police bashing of 24-year-old Aboriginal man Corey Barker in the Ballina watchhouse closed on Friday after two weeks of hearings.
The hearing has looked into the actions of four officers, currently on restricted duties, who were alleged to have brutally mistreated and assaulted Mr Barker at Ballina police station on January 14, 2011, after an altercation with police, and that those and other officers then falsely accused the young man of assaulting them.
Their actions were captured on the watchhouse security video camera.
The PIC launched a misconduct investigation into allegations of assault, lying under oath, tampering with evidence and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
Police originally said they had seen Mr Barker punch a fellow officer and then told the hearing they had been ‘mistaken’.
APN Media reported that the four police officers admitted the footage contained evidence that senior constable Ryan Eckersley had kicked Mr Barker in the head, constable Luke Mewing inflicted a’knee strike’ and senior constable David Hill pushed him up against a wall.
Snr Const Hill maintained he was hit by Mr Barker but this week admitted that it was ‘improbable’, based on the footage presented,.
The commissioner will examine not just whether police treated Barker unfairly, but whether the legal loophole allowing officers to view each other’s statements encourages cross-contamination of evidence within the police force.
Findings are expected to be handed down later next month.