Top of­fi­cer’s $50k stuff up

The Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - Tim Howard tim.howard@dai­lyex­am­

ONE OF the most se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers in the Coffs Clarence Lo­cal Area Com­mand was at the cen­tre of a court case which con­cluded this week, cost­ing NSW Po­lice more than $50,000.

Coffs Clarence LAC crime man­ager De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Dar­ren Jame­son was un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion in a civil case in Dis­trict Court in Coffs Har­bour ex­am­in­ing claims of as­sault, wrong­ful ar­rest, false im­pris­on­ment and ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion when both par­ties agreed to halt pro­ceed­ings.

Af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions both par­ties agreed to a $50,000 pay­out for Coffs Har­bour woman Amanda Strud­wick and an undis­closed amount for a 17-year-old girl.

The young girl sought dam­ages for as­sault, wrong­ful ar­rest and false im­pris­on­ment, and Strud­wick also re­ceived com­pen­sa­tion for ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion.

The case arose from an in­ci­dent in which the women were ar­rested and charged in 2014.

The solic­i­tor in­struct­ing the bar­ris­ters en­gaged by the women, lead­ing civil rights lawyer Joe Fa­hey, said the women sued po­lice af­ter a lo­cal court mag­is­trate dis­missed charges brought against them by Det Insp Jame­son in 2014.

The mag­is­trate or­dered po­lice to pay costs for that mat­ter and the girl was found guilty of swear­ing.

He said Det Insp Jame­son had charged Ms Strud­wick with hin­der­ing po­lice, claim­ing she at­tempted to stop him ar­rest­ing the younger girl.

“Both the woman and the girl, who was 14 at the time, had been charged in re­la­tion to an in­ci­dent with Det Insp Jame­son in 2014,” Mr Fa­hey said. “In par­tic­u­lar, Jame­son made al­le­ga­tions that the 26-year-old had hin­dered the ar­rest of the girl.

“Sub­se­quent to the charges be­ing laid, CCTV footage was ob­tained by NSW Le­gal Aid which showed the in­ci­dent that oc­curred was vastly dif­fer­ent to that al­leged by the de­tec­tive in­spec­tor.”

Mr Fa­hey said bar­ris­ters Do­minic Toomey SC and Dean Wood­bury were cross ex­am­in­ing Det Insp Jame­son at length about the fail­ure to ob­tain the CCTV footage and why he had not com­plied with pro­to­cols in the Po­lice Hand­book, when the case was halted.

Mr Fa­hey de­scribed the out­come as “pleas­ing”.

“It’s al­ways pleas­ing to get a good re­sult for the bat­tler, they de­serve a fair go.”

NSW Po­lice were tight-lipped about the out­come.

“The mat­ter was re­solved by con­sent agree­ment be­tween the par­ties,” a po­lice spokesper­son said.

“NSW Po­lice will not com­ment fur­ther on the mat­ter.”

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