Fu­ture lies with jurors

Cop ac­cused of bru­tal bash­ing awaits fate

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - GRACE MA­SON grace.ma­son@news.com.au

THE fate of a Cairns po­lice of­fi­cer charged with as­sault­ing a Bri­tish back­packer lies in the hands of a jury who are ex­pected to be­gin de­lib­er­a­tions in his trial this morn­ing.

Con­sta­ble Matthew McKin­nar, 42, has de­nied he used ex­ces­sive force to ar­rest English­man Leigh Baker, 24, and cause him griev­ous bod­ily harm in a Sheri­dan St al­ley way in April last year. Mr Baker suf­fered fa­cial frac­tures to his jaw, eye socket and cheek. Con­sta­ble McKin­nar has ad­mit­ted punch­ing him three times, but claims it was in self de­fence af­ter be­ing at­tacked.

Dur­ing his clos­ing sub­mis­sion, Crown prose­cu­tor Nathan Crane said Con­sta­ble McKin­nar went in “all guns blaz­ing”, sug­gest­ing he de­lib­er­ately switched off his body­worn cam­era be­fore en­ter­ing the al­ley.

“The im­por­tant thing is (Baker) went into that al­ley way clean faced and he came out re­quir­ing a sur­geon,” he said.

He also backed damn­ing ev­i­dence of Con­sta­ble McKin­nar’s part­ner, Se­nior Con­sta­ble Bret Chadwick, de­spite him ad­mit­ting in court he had lied to pro­tect his col­league.

“Bret Chadwick is in this po­si­tion be­cause he made the en­tirely stupid de­ci­sion to cover his mate’s back," he said.

“He is a bro­ken hu­man be­ing if ever I’ve seen one.”

But de­fence bar­ris­ter Stephen Zill­man said SenCon­sta­ble Chadwick “couldn’t even lie straight in bed” and his ev­i­dence was un­trust­wor­thy.

He said it “beg­gars be­lief” Con­sta­ble McKin­nar would choose to as­sault Mr Baker, who had only com­mit­ted a triv­ial of­fence prior.

“(Baker) lashed out with sig­nif­i­cant force.” he said. “(Con­sta­ble McKin­nar) struck him ... to sub­due him.”

The trial con­tin­ues to­day.


SOUND EX­PE­RI­ENCE: Nine-year-old Kody Bell from Smith­field en­joys lis­ten­ing to mu­sic while fish­ing on the Palm Cove jetty.

SELF DE­FENCE: Con­sta­ble Matthew McKin­nar.

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