Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gold Coast surf shop worker claims to be second man brutally bashed at Surfers Paradise police station

A GOLD Coast surf shop worker claims to be the second man brutally bashed while handcuffed in the bowels of Surfers Paradise police station.

Josh Gowdie, 21, is suing the Queensland Police Service for tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

He claims he was assaulted and thrown into a brick wall inside the Orchid Ave police station in December, 2011.

CCTV footage of the incident, obtained by Mr Gowdie's lawyers, was broadcast last night by Channel 9.

Mr Gowdie was allegedly bashed a month before chef Noah Begic claims to have been subjected to similar police brutality in the basement of the Surfers police station. He, too, is suing the police service for a six-figure sum.

"The police can't be allowed to get away with this sort of thing," Mr Gowdie told The Courier-Mail last night. "The two officers who did this to me are not fit to be in the police service."

Mr Gowdie said the incident happened in Surfers in the early hours of December 5, 2011, when he was "standing up for a female who got arrested".

He said police pushed, shoved and punched him in the street before hurling him against a brick wall in a passageway inside the police station.  "I didn't do a single thing to deserve it," he said.

"I told them I'd had shoulder surgery and they (police) said they'd dislocate my shoulder again.  "I suffered multiple injuries including cuts and bruising, grazes, claw marks and a chipped tooth and I still get flashbacks."

Mr Gowdie said he was speaking out now because he was frustrated at the slow pace of the police investigation.

A QPS spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Man bashed by Qld police to sue

A MAN allegedly bashed by police under the Surfers Paradise police station has launched legal action against the state of Queensland.

Noa Begic was arrested after a night out in Surfers Paradise in January last year and taken to the basement of the local police station, where CCTV footage appeared to show him being punched and thrown to the ground by officers.

The Courier-Mail posted exclusive footage of the incident on its website and all charges against Mr Begic were later dropped.

However, he has now taken legal action, engaging high-profile law firm Maurice Blackburn to sue the state of Queensland in a civil suit.  He is believed to be seeking a six-figure settlement.

A close friend of Mr Begic said it was taking a long time for the mental scars to heal after the ordeal.  "He was very anxious about police for a long while as you can imagine," said the friend. "He is trying to get on with his life and sees this as a chance to close the door on that chapter."

Two of the four officers allegedly involved in the incident remain suspended from duty while the Queensland Police Service's Ethical Standards Command runs its own investigation.

Mr Begic had been drinking with friends after finishing his shift at a Surfers Paradise restaurant when he was approached by police officers.  He was arrested and taken to the basement of the nearby police station.

CCTV then appears to show a handcuffed Mr Begic being flung to the ground before being punched several times in the head by one of the officers as he is pushed into the back of a police wagon.

One of the officers is then shown pouring a bucket of water over what looks to be a puddle of blood on the basement floor.

Mr Begic was charged with being a public nuisance and obstructing police after he allegedly directed numerous loud and abusive comments towards officers patrolling the Surfers nightclub strip.

The charges against Mr Begic were thrown out last June. Mr Begic has also asked the Queensland Police Service to pay his legal costs from that court action.

The ethical standards investigation into the affair continues, while an investigation is also under way into an officer accused of leaking the CCTV footage to the newspaper.