Thursday, April 2, 2009

Another Queensland police goon

Court told police officer bashed tourist, shoved hose in his mouth. Lucky the guy survived. Mulrunji Doomadgee didn't

A FORMER Queensland police officer allegedly bashed and kicked a handcuffed tourist unconscious before nearly drowning him by jamming a fire hose into his mouth. Former senior constable Benjamin Thomas Price, 32, yesterday faced Proserpine Court for committal on six counts of assault on three victims.

Police whistleblower Constable Bree Sonter broke down in tears as video of the alleged attack outside Airlie Beach police station was shown to the court, The Courier-Mail reports.

The emotional father of the alleged victim stunned the court as he stood and yelled: "You're a brave man Price, I hope you get a fire hose jammed up your arse in jail."

Timothy Steele, 24, a plasterer from NSW, suffered a broken nose, black eyes, a head wound, hearing problems, memory loss and lack of sensation in his arms and hands after his arrest in the popular Whitsundays tourist town on May 24 last year. He told the court he was trying to break-up a fight between two mates when he was capsicum sprayed by Sonter. It is alleged Price led the handcuffed Steele to a police car before saying "watch your head" and smashing his face into the vehicle, knocking him unconscious.

Price allegedly dragged Steele from the car outside Airlie Beach watchhouse, repeatedly punched him and "kicked him with his boots" in the face, breaking his nose.

CCTV video footage from the police station shows a dazed, heavily bleeding Steele being dragged into an alley beside the watchhouse. It shows the handcuffed man being punched in the head before having a fire hose jammed into his mouth, where it was held for up to 90 seconds as another officer watches.

Steele screams and groans in agony and blood can be seen sheeting down the concrete path as the policeman stands on the handcuffs, pressing his hand into the back of the man's neck, forcing his head into his lap in a brutal spine lock.

"I felt like I was going to drown," Steele told the court. "He jammed the hose into my mouth. I couldn't breathe. I was coughing and spluttering blood. It was pretty scary. It went on for a long time. "I called him a pussy. He knocked me about. I was pretty dazed, I'd had a boot to my face, my nose was broken. I was choking on my own blood, I felt like I was drowning."

Constable Sonter, now based at Sandgate, broke down as she told how she could hear Steele screaming for help. "I could hear Price yelling 'You like that?' and then a smack sound, it sounded like a punch, and Steele went quiet," she told the court.

The strongly built former officer, who now works as a tree-cutter, also allegedly repeatedly punched another man in the face during an argument about urinating in public. He also is accused of assaulting tourist Renee Tomms. Price, who has not yet entered a plea, is represented by Queensland Police Union barrister Steve Zillman.



Unknown said...

And the silent police culture continues. This is the one in a million incidents that get revealed. I would hate to be so insecure that I had to hide behind a blue shirt, a badge on my shoulder and a gun at my hip. Fucking prick should have gotten the maximum jail time x 2 because he was a public servant and abused his position.

Unknown said...

you are dead right mate, corrupt bob atkinson is worse than any commissioner in states history. he is a true fullblood criminal protecting his many many criminal scum that he encourages within his corrupt ranks, but this gets him another contract, makes sense doesn't it