A naked, 16 year old boy was handcuffed and struck repeatedly by police in Lateen Lane, Byron Bay on 11 January, 2018. The youth was capsicum sprayed, tasered and struck with a baton more than 18 times, including a number of strikes that occurred after he was in handcuffs. The incident left the boy with a fractured rib. The question was, were the actions of police in that incident justified? Was it a matter of reasonable force, or not?
Following an investigation by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC), which provides independent oversight of the NSW Police Force, a charge of common assault was laid against Senior Constable Michael Greenhalgh.
Magistrate Michael Dakin found in favour of Greenhalgh and the charges were dropped in February 2021.
However, the case was appealed to the NSW Supreme Court in July 2022 where NSW Supreme Court, Justice Mark Lerace, upheld the appeal and found there was a key error of law according to the ABC report by Mayeta Clark and Mario Christodoulou.
The case has now been sent back to Magistrate Dakin in Lismore court to be redetermined, and is scheduled for a judge-alone summary hearing in February 2023.
The NSW Police confirmed that the officer involved is no longer employed by the NSW Police Force.