Future lies with jurors
Cop accused of brutal bashing awaits fate
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.