Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of common assault over the 2018 detention of a 16-year-old boy in Byron Bay. He is defending the allegation before a hearing this week. Picture: Liana Boss
Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of common assault over the 2018 detention of a 16-year-old boy in Byron Bay. He is defending the allegation before a hearing this week. Picture: Liana Boss

Cop tells court teen swung at him before laneway struggle

A COURT has heard a drug-affected teen took a swing at a police officer before he was allegedly assaulted in Byron Bay.

Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, is defending a charge of common assault in a hearing expected to span four days.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh was one of four officers to attend Lateen Lane in Byron Bay in response to reports of a naked male acting erratically and yelling in the early morning on January 11, 2018.

Senior Constable Matthew Roach, who attended the scene as the partner of the accused, gave evidence before Lismore Local Court on Tuesday afternoon.

He told the court the 16-year-old boy "seemed disorientated" and was yelling when they arrived in the laneway about 2.30am.

Sen-Constable Roach said the teen was walking toward them in a "zigzag" pattern and he held his OC spray as a precaution.

He said the boy took a "haymaker-like swing" toward him, which didn't connect and he released a one-second burst of OC spray but this had little effect.

After a second burst of spray, the defendant used his Taser on the teen.

Sen-Constable Roach said he initially believed the Taser was used once, but after viewing a video played to the court he said: "it sounds like it was about three, two or three".

He said the teen almost slipped out of a first pair of handcuffs and when a second pair was secured, he stood on the cuffs to control him.

He recalled the accused striking the teen with a baton, possibly five or six times, while they were trying to secure the cuffs.

He told the court he heard, but did not see, further strikes after he was cuffed and restrained.

Witness Shane Marion, who was staying in a holiday unit overlooking Lateen Lane, told the court the boy kept asking for help and for water and calling to God.

Mr Marion said the teen appeared more "agitated" and "confused" rather than aggressive.

While being cross-examined by defence barrister Brent Haverfield, Mr Marion agreed he said the teen "became a little bit aggressive" during an earlier interview.

The prosecution has argued the final six strikes allegedly inflicted by the accused amount to an unreasonable use of force.
The hearing continues.


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