Friday, September 16, 2011

Constable Barry John Donnelly and State of Queensland to pay Renee Eaves, 35, damages for harrassment, intimidation

A QUEENSLAND traffic policeman and the State Government have been ordered to the pay a former model $93,000 in damages for harassment and intimidation more than five years ago.

Brisbane District Court judge Nick Samios ordered Constable Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland pay Renee Terri Eaves, 35, damages after she was arrested and falsely imprisoned amid allegations she drove while disqualified on March 16, 2009.

Judge Samios, in a 21-page written judgment, said he accepted Constable Donnelly demonstrated he "did not like'' Ms Eaves, then more than four months pregnant, when he led her away in handcuffs past fellow residents at her Vernon Tce apartments at Teneriffe.

Ms Eaves was seeking $200,000 in damages after she claimed Constable Donnelly arrested her despite her protestations that her partner had driven from the Royal Brisbane Hospital -- where she was treated for pregnancy-related nausea.

She claimed Constable Donnelly took her to the Brisbane Watchhouse and that she was denied medication or a container to vomit in and was abused by another female prisoner for being sick in the cell.

Ms Eaves, in her statement, alleged that before the arrest Constable Donelly had regularly parked outside her unit and called her intercom. She said he intercepted her on 15 to 20 occasions between May 2004 and March 2006. Ms Eaves was later found not guilty of unlicensed driving.

During a four day civil trial in the District Court early last month, Ms Eaves testified Constable Donnelly, after placing her in handcuffs about 5.45pm on March 16, had paraded her through her building, down a lift, past cafes, shops, people and neighbours.

"(Ms Eaves) said (that) along the way she was sick and she was dry-retching and then once in the police vehicle she felt sick and needed to vomit,'' Judge Samios said.

"(Ms Eaves) was then transported to the Roma Street Watchhouse where she was taken into custody ... charged with the offence of disqualified driving ... (and later) before a magistrate ... was found not guilty of the charge.''

The court was told Ms Eaves, who represented herself during the hearing, felt her arrest was a malicious act and that she was "really scared about being put in the lock-up while pregnant.''

Ms Eaves testified Constable Donnelly had subjected her to ongoing harassment prior to the 2006 incident, saying the officer had approached her on between "15 and 20 occasions.''

Constable Donnelly testified he had "rarely made mistakes in his working life'' as a police officer.

Under cross-examination by Ms Eaves, Constable Donnelly denied acting in a "spiteful'' manner at the time he arrested her. "(However Constable Donnelly) agreed there had been verbal slanging-matches between (Ms Eaves) and (himself) but he said it was from (Ms Eaves') side not from his,'' Judge Samios said.

The court was told Ms Eaves' "traffic history was appalling'' and that she had racked up 30 traffic offences between January 7, 2000 and October 26, 2004. Judge Samios said Ms Eaves finally regained her driver's licence on July 31, 2008, but was booked for speeding the following day and caught driving while using a mobile phone on September 5, 2008.

In handing down his findings, Judge Samios said: "I consider (Constable Donnelly) was not even-handed about (Ms Eaves) ... (and) appeared to be adverse to (her).'' "I find (Constable Donnelly) made a mistake when he identified (Ms Eaves) as the driver of the vehicle ... (and) I do not accept he made an honest mistake.''

Judge Samios said he accepted Ms Eaves to be a "truthful witness'' and in particular "her evidence about her past dealings'' with Constable Donnelly. "(Constable Donnelly) handcuffed her with her hands behind her back and laughed at her when she was vomiting,'' he said.

"I find (Constable Donnelly) guilty of false imprisonment of (Ms Eaves) ... (and) I find the (State of Queensland) vicariously liable.''

Judge Samios awarded Ms Eaves $30,000 in compensatory damages, $10,000 in exemplary damages, $20,000 in aggravated damages and $33,000 interest.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amazing case: Single mother sues slimy cop -- and wins

She represented herself in court against a range of top legal brains and beat them all

I have in front of me a copy of the District Court judgment of today's date in the matter of Eaves v. Donnelly in which Renee Eaves was awarded the sum of $93,000 against Barry John Donnelly and the State of Queensland.

Ms Eaves is a very attractive blonde model from whom (I surmise) constable Donnelly wanted sex. He apparently was such a low character that he thought he could coerce her into it. She did not oblige him.

So he launched a campaign of harassment against her, secure in the assumption that a dumb blonde could never do anything to touch a Queensland cop.

He arrested her repeatedly on trumped up charges, all of which were thrown out when they came to court.

It was then that Renee showed her steel. She was NOT just a pretty face but a woman determined to get justice against the scum concerned.

And she stuck at it for years. She of course complained to the CMC -- where police investigate police -- and they rejected her complaint.

She then began to get media coverage of the matter, hoping that would shake some action loose. It didn't but it stressed out the cop. He went on stress leave for a year and then resigned.

But Renee still felt that the police had to be held to account -- to discourage oppression of other women by police. So she launched a damages claim in the District Court, where she showed she is not only a steely blonde but a smart one. She repeatedly cross-examined successfully.

During her long battle to get into the District Court, however, Renee ran out of money. Everything about the law is expensive and her means were slender. She in fact ran out just before the matter was due to come up so it looked as if her long battle was going to be for nought.

At that point I stepped in and paid her legal costs from that point on. I had never even met her but I have had a loathing against scum police ever since the extraordinary Barry Mannix case -- where the corrupt police got off Scot-free.

The real villain in this case, however is not the scum cop but rather the police service and the CMC who did nothing to pull him into line or attempt to make amends for his deeds. Except for the extraordinary courage of Ms Eaves, the guilt of the cop in the matter would never have been established.

And in the end it is the taxpayer who will pay -- well over $100,000 all up when legal costs are included.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More than 600 Queensland police officers caught breaking traffic laws in two years

A POLICE sergeant who let an unlicensed young woman drive his marked patrol car while he changed gears is one of more than 600 officers who have been caught breaking traffic laws in the past two years.

The officer from Dimbulah in far north Queensland was reported by a witness after the car swerved to miss a kangaroo and hit a tree, then drove off. He had been seen drinking at the Chillagoe Hotel, about 100km away, before the crash.

The Ethical Standards Command investigated the case, along with 44 others relating to police weaving through bus lanes, talking on mobile phones while driving, drink-driving on the job and even driving unlicensed.

Another 557 police were made to pay speeding or red-light offences out of their own pocket after it was found they had no valid excuse for breaking traffic laws.

In three more cases, the police service could not identify the driver and had to pay the "corporate" fine.

A Queensland Police Service spokesman said the infringements officers had to pay themselves amounted to "fewer than one a day".

He said police could only speed while responding to priority one or two jobs and go through a red light after stopping to ensure it was safe to do so.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said the fines showed police were treated no differently to others who broke traffic laws.

"If anything, police face more scrutiny and harsher treatment because of their role in the community," Mr Leavers said.

"Given there's more than 10,000 police in Queensland driving millions of kilometres a year, the numbers are really very small."

But Terry O'Gorman from the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties said it was appalling so many police were breaking traffic laws and escaping fines or disciplinary action.

Of the 45 cases investigated by ESC, 29 resulted in the lowest form of police discipline "managerial guidance" for the officers involved.

They included a motorcycle officer who drove at 146km/h in an 80km/h zone on the Sunshine Coast to catch another rider exceeding the speed limit by 28km/h.

A senior constable spotted talking on her mobile phone while escorting a long wide load was also given managerial guidance, as was an officer who used a police car for personal jobs, leaving his station and being unable to respond to an urgent case.

Mr Leavers said managerial guidance was a "valuable tool" in the disciplinary system.

Mr O'Gorman said their light-handed treatment reflected the attitude among police that there was "one law for them and another for the rest of us".

The Dimbulah sergeant was ordered to pay $9000 restitution to cover vehicle repairs and had his pay docked by about $40 a week.

* A constable whose licence had been suspended by SPER was caught on camera speeding despite not being on the way to a job.

* A policewoman was spotted talking on her mobile phone while escorting a long-wide load.

* A policeman talking on his mobile while driving told a civilian who questioned him that police were exempt from traffic laws.

* An off-duty constable pulled over by police when he was seen talking on his mobile phone then blew a blood-alcohol reading of 0.051 per cent.

* A police officer on the way to a disturbance at Woorabinda hit a kangaroo and then recorded an alcometer reading of 0.057 per cent after reporting the incident.

* A police car struck a woman walking through Brunswick Street Mall and offered her no assistance.

* An officer who dobbed in a police recruit applicant for speeding was disciplined himself for doing 143 in a 70km/h zone in an unauthorised pursuit while off-duty.