Michial Luke Greenhalgh and a Police Association of NSW representative leaving Lismore Court.
Michial Luke Greenhalgh and a Police Association of NSW representative leaving Lismore Court.

Cop was 'almost crying' after alleged assault, court hears

ONE of four police officers involved in an alleged violent struggle with a teen in Byron Bay appeared distressed afterwards, a court has heard.

The second day of a hearing into the alleged violent arrest of a teen in Byron Bay will be held in Lismore today.

Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, is defending a charge of common assault before Lismore Local Court.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh is charged with assault over the detention of a 16-year-old boy in Lateen Lane in the early hours of January 11, 2018.

Four police officers attended the laneway in response to reports of the teen, who had removed his clothes and was acting erratically, yelling and apparently drug-affected.

The court yesterday heard evidence OC spray, Tasers and police-issue batons were used on the teen before he was placed in a police vehicle.

The DPP has alleged Sen-Constable Greenhalgh struck the teen with his baton at least 18 times.

They will rely on the final six strikes, allegedly inflicted while the boy was handcuffed and restrained on the ground by three officers, were an unreasonable use of force.

The defence will rely on LEPRA legislation and self-defence to defend the charge.

The court yesterday heard evidence from the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, his mother, and Daniel Thomas, a man who was living in a nearby unit with his partner at the time of the alleged incident.

Mr Thomas told the court his apartment had a balcony which backed onto Lateen Lane.

His partner filmed a mobile phone video of part of the struggle between police and the boy.

After it aired on television, that footage sparked a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Mr Thomas recalled waking to the sound of the teen "in some distress" in the street.

"He was screaming, walking up and down the street," Mr Thomas said.

"He was calling out for help a lot.

"He was saying that he wanted this experience to end.

"He was asking for help, for water."

Mr Thomas said the teen was "pacing" along the laneway and appeared confused.

After some time the pair went back to bed, but was later alerted to police arriving from flashing lights entering his unit.

Mr Thomas described his view of the struggle and the video taken by his partner was played to the court.

After the teen was placed in a police vehicle, Mr Thomas said one of the police officers appeared distressed.

"It almost looked like he was crying," he said.

He said another officer told people standing nearby words to the effect of: "you better not have f---ing recorded this".

The hearing is expected to run until Thursday.


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