Appeal rejected, but fine reduced

SHANNON BROOK man Ben Pearce has lost his appeal before the Lismore District Court in which he claimed his arrest by Casino police had been unlawful.

Pearce, 21, was fined $1500 in the CasinoLocal Court in January after being found guilty of assaulting Sgt Thomas Kirk on May 29 last year; and resisting Snr Const Christopher Brien. Pearce had also claimed Sgt Kirk used a Taser on him when already handcuffed.

Appeal lawyer Ralph James argued before Judge James Black that at no stage before police made physical contact with Pearce, when Sgt Kirk grabbed hold of his arm, had his client committed any offence.

Pearce had been walking behind another officer when Sgt Kirk grabbed him from behind and placed him in a headlock.

At the time police were dealing with a group of intoxicated people in Barker Street.

Pearce punched Sgt Kirk in the mouth causing a lip injury requiring stitches when the officer removed Pearce's wallet from a pocket. Mr James maintained that prior to the physical contact police had not identified themselves or told Pearce he was being arrested.

After considering the facts, Judge Black said it was not a straightforward issue, but he found the arrest to be lawful. Judge Black reduced Pearce's fines to $1000.



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