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.
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.
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