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June 2, 2023

Police charged over Ballina station bashing

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Corey Barker outside Ballina court house. (file pic)
Corey Barker outside Ballina court house. (file pic)

Six former and serving NSW police officers have been charged with perjury and assault for lying to the police watchdog over the ‘violent’ arrest of a young man.

The charges come after the Police Integrity Commission (PIC) found the north coast officers subjected then-23-year-old Corey Barker to ‘brutal and violent’ treatment, but instead claimed Mr Barker had hit an officer.

The fresh charges stem from Barker’s arrest in January 2011 after a late night confrontation between his mates and police in a Ballina street.

Barker was later charged with a string of offences, including assaulting Senior Constable David Hill.

However, the credibility of the evidence from six officers about what happened that night came into question after Ballina Magistrate David Heilpern viewed CCTV footage – initially thought to be damaged.

Mr Heilpern referred the case to the PIC after finding the footage from the police station did not show Mr Barker throwing a punch.

Mr Barker’s assault case was also thrown out of court.

In a damning report last year, the PIC stated the officers slammed Mr Barker into a bin and a chair before swinging him into a machine.

He was then allegedly forced to the ground and kicked in the head.

Mr Barker was handcuffed and dragged along the floor on his stomach by his arms to a cell where he was left in handcuffs for more than hour, according to the PIC report.

The PIC found that Senior Constable David Hill and Constables Lee Walmsley, Ryan Eckersley and Luke Mewing used excessive force against Mr Barker.

The watchdog also alleged the officers lied about the arrest, alongside Senior Constable Mark Woolven and former Sergeant Robert McCubben.

The PIC confirmed on Tuesday that charges had been laid.

Walmsley and Mewing, who are no longer police officers, have been charged with five and six offences respectively, including perjury and common assault.

Eckersley is facing similar charges.

Hill has been charged with eight offences, including perjury and assault.

Woolven and McCubben are charged with perverting the course of justice and fabricating evidence.

All men will appear in Downing Centre Local Court on July 17.

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  1. And then there is the matter of compensation to Mr.Barker. Has that been dealt with ? The question as to why a total of six Police agents, in one location, felt confident that they could get away with with a blatant disregard for procedures and law needs to be addressed. Mr.Commissioner ? Culture perhaps ?

  2. Justice for Corey!
    Let’s hope this sends out a sign to all those in authority, that everyone is anwserable to the law!

  3. No wonder the local police force is becoming depleted. How much investigation has been done into the plaintiff’s background?

    • What … does the “plaintiffs background” have to do with these vicious actions … ? And why in the world would anybody want a police force of this calibre ? I’d prefer the honest criminals any day …

  4. It shouldn’t matter what the plaintiff’s background is, Police Officers are meant to “Up Hold” the Law Not not dish out so called ‘punishment’. Otherwise the police are no better than the thugs on the street . The police in this case are very lucky to have not left this young man a vegetable or worse (dead) . Just a shame 6 of our local officers put their livelihoods and careers on the line

  5. I watch the up and coming trial and the result of the accused police officers with great anticipation, as I like Cory Barker believed that [evidence] supplied to the court by officers of the Richmond local command had been [fabricated] to misrepresent and mislead the judge, into what actually happened, in order to achieve a conviction. I have had experiences (directly) with 3 of the accused officers,Eckersley,Woolven and McCubben ,and do not wish to comment on their integrity at the moment, but I do wish Cory the best with the result and hope that justice prevails.

  6. One of these ex police is now a student paramedic in Queensland. I don’t think his ambulance career will go far after all this is over.

    It always amazes me how ex police, who have nobody to blame but themselves when they get into trouble, end up in other jobs where uniforms are worn, prior to having any charges laid against them, and possibly convictions recorded against them for behavior when employed as a police officer.

    I certainly wouldn’t want any paramedic with the background of one of these ex coppers looking after me or any member of my family. And any ambulance service that employs this idiot should hang their heads in shame.

  7. I’m not suggesting for one moment that all ex police working in the ambulance service come from “questionable” careers when police officers. That is far from the case.
    But if one of the ex police in question here manages to leave NSW and obtain a student paramedic position in another state whilst still under investigation for criminal and internal police offences, that raises serious concerns. One could be cynical and say that the “new job” one of the ex police somehow managed to obtain is purely to make the person ‘look good” in front of a Magistrate or Judge, if these charges are proven in future. I also strongly believe that the HR department of any ambulance service should investigate the history of any ex police who apply for that government position, no matter what state it is in. Clearly the Qld Ambulance has failed here, as a simple Google search tells the story of all these police and what they have done, not to mention the video which is online for all the world to see. The alarm bells should have been ringing at the Qld. ambulance HR department long ago, and I would be surprised if they would even be aware now about the history of one of their “recruits”. Poor in the extreme.2505


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