News

At least four to stand trial over Ballina cell block bashing

AT least four of the six former and serving Ballina police charged over the bashing of Aboriginal man Corey Barker will stand trial in 2015.

The trial relates to the January 2011 assault of the then 23-year-old at Ballina police station.

When Mr Barker went to the aid of two friends having a domestic dispute on Tamar St, Ballina, he was arrested and taken to Ballina police station where the assault is alleged to have occurred.

For more than 12 months Mr Barker faced charges including assault police over the claimed assault of a senior constable.

Corey Barker pictured outside Ballina Local Court in 2013, after the conduct of officers who allegedly bashed him was referred to the Police Integrity Commission.
Corey Barker pictured outside Ballina Local Court in 2013, after the conduct of officers who allegedly bashed him was referred to the Police Integrity Commission. Rodney Stevens

In August 2012, everything changed for Mr Barker when footage was aired in Ballina Local Court showing the violent assault of Mr Barker in the police station by officers.

The footage showed Mr Barker being punched, kicked and thrown on the ground by officers.

When this evidence emerged, Magistrate David Heilpern referred the officers to the Police Integrity Commission.

The commission launched a misconduct investigation into allegations of assault, lying under oath, tampering with evidence and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

The misconduct investigation resulted in 25 charges including assault, fabricating evidence and lying under oath, being laid against the six officers.

This morning Constable Lee Walmsley, Constable Ryan Eckersley, former Sergeant Robert McCubben and Senior Constable Mark Woolven appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court.

All four entered not guilty pleas and waived their right to a committal hearing.

They will stand trial in 2015 on a date yet to be set.

David Hill and former constable Luke Mewing are due to appear in the Downing Centre Local Court today over the matter.

Topics:  ballina police, corey barker



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