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July 31, 2021

Alleged youth victim of Northern Rivers police assault testifies

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A young man allegedly assaulted as a teenager by a Northern Rivers policeman in Byron Bay nearly three years ago says the officer also called him a ‘wog cunt’.

Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, was transferred from Byron Bay police station to Lismore some time after a controversial arrest in the pre-dawn hours of January 11, 2018 that led to a police watchdog inquiry.

He and three other policemen feature in footage of the arrest in Lateen Lane, where a sixteen-year-old boy had been wandering naked and screaming for water.

Holiday nightmare

Witness Daniel Thomas has described watching the boy earlier from an apartment overlooking Lateen Lane with his female partner, who would later film the final part of the arrest on her mobile phone.

‘He was calling out for help… asking for water,’ Mr Thomas told Lismore Court on Monday, via video link from Melbourne.

Mr Thomas said the alleged victim, who cannot be legally named, was crying out that he ‘wanted the experience to end’ and looking up at the sky a lot.

The now-nineteen-year-old TAFE student told the court he had asked his parents for permission to hang out with some other young people after dinner in Byron Bay with his family on the tenth of January 2018.

His mother testified there was an all-ages silent disco happening nearby.

He remembers accepting a Corona beer before shortly noticing ‘everything was getting bright’.

‘My heart started racing and I started sweating,’ he told the court, which also heard he hadn’t asked for any drugs.

Family drove ‘all over Byron’ searching for son

The young man remembers later being lost and dehydrated in the Byron CBD, searching for his family’s holiday apartment.

He remembers taking off his top but not his pants, where his mobile and wallet were kept and his mother says she lost phone contact with him just before midnight.

She told the court she and the family drove ‘all over Byron’ looking for her son, who was diagnosed with Aspergers around age five, to no avail.

Final six baton blows under scrutiny

A backpackers’ hostel manager reported the naked male in Lateen Lane to Byron Bay police.

The court has heard police sprayed the youth in the face with capsicum spray before twice tasing him and hitting him at least eighteen times with a baton.

The alleged victim said he felt something like a pinch in the middle part of his chest and fell to his side after a second pinch.

It’s the final six baton blows that are under scrutiny in this week’s trial, due to continue four days.

In the video evidence, the boy is heard screaming ‘I’m not resisting’ after earlier being told ‘cunt, give me your hand’.

He has described what he remembers of the arrest, including its end when he was ‘thrown into a little dark box’.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh is pleading not guilty to the one count of assault laid against him.

The prosecution must prove the blows constituted unreasonable force.


Related trial stories:

Northern Rivers policeman accused of assaulting youth on trial

Alleged youth victim of Northern Rivers police assault testifies

Alleged police assault youth victim needed to be ‘detained, taken to hospital’, says Byron officer

 


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10 COMMENTS

  1. We have all seen the video of Greenhalgh hitting a naked 16-year-old child 19 times, while 4 other officers held the child down.
    So why does the Echo say the boy was “allegedly assaulted”?
    Which part of the assault was alleged in the video? Or is it now an “alleged video recording”?
    Why does the Echo say the boy was an “alleged victim”?
    Especially after this: “The court has heard police sprayed the youth in the face with capsicum spray before twice tasing him and hitting him at least eighteen times with a baton.”
    So what is alleged about that?
    Of these 3 actions, which one is NOT unreasonable force.?
    “The prosecution must prove the blows constituted unreasonable force.”
    Why? the man is guilty of hitting a child 19 times as seen in the video. When does the force become unreasonable? On the first hit? The first spray of capsicum? The first taser? Not the last six hits of his swinging baton. That is saying that the first 13 hits were in accordance with the law. Really? …
    Why does he only have one count against him? If he wasn’t a policeman, there would be 6 at least to ensure that he goes to jail where he belongs.
    How can he plead not guilty when there is a video of him plainly [showing his actions]?
    Why aren’t the other officers on trial?
    … The video says it all. He does not need a trial to waste our taxpayer money. ….

    • The police are allowed to use reasonable force to arrest someone. What is reasonable force will depend on the circumstances of the arrest. If the police use unreasonable force to arrest someone they can be charged with assault. The case is deciding whether it was an ‘assault’ within the legal definition (so it’s merely an alleged assault at present), or merely an arrest using reasonable force. So, obviously he’s pleading ‘not guilty’ to the legal offence – whether what is shown on the video is actually breaking the law is what the court is deciding. You’d have to look at the Law Enforcement Commission article to see why the other officers are not on trial.

      • Police NEVER use “reasonable force” Police use violence and terrorism. Full stop.
        Terrorism – “Violence, or the threat of violence carried out against civilians as a means of coercion, often for political reasons” – Oxford English Dictionary … the police are a violence gang of sociopaths, often too stupid to make it in a crime gang so the police force was the next best option. The armed police gangs that terrorize our streets are the biggest threat to the safety of the people in Australia and always have been

  2. I doubt it would have gone to court without the video evidence. It would have been the cops word against anyone else’s and I’ve seen enough to know there have been a few rogue Byron cops over the years who usually get away with excessive use of capsicum spray, batons or their fists.

  3. How absolutely vulgar. Just following orders again were you? You morons. The bunch of you should be in gaol already. What’s wrong with you? Resign you scum creeps.

  4. We know our police have a difficult job to do at times. But so many deaths in custody and the awful, unnecessary violence inflicted on so many young people, and people with a mental illness in the name of ‘law enforcement’ clearly shows there is something terribly wrong with the training of our police force, and the attitude of some in the force. It needs to change now.

    • “How can we get good people to join the Police?
      A question for the ages.”

      Answer: good people get filtered out in the Police recruitment and selection process as unsuitable

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