A “petit” teenage skater from the Blue Mountains who was swung to the ground by a police officer after calling him a “dog” has won a six-figure payout.
A District Court judge awarded the now 21-year-old man $124,000 after ruling he was assaulted and wrongly arrested by police while waiting to be picked up by a friend's sister following a Blue Mountains house party on April 14, 2014.
The youth was then 17 and “moderately affected” by alcohol at the time he told Constable Russell Budin to “f--- off dog, c---” when he and his friends were approached by police while at a bench outside a Glenbrook bakery late at night.
The skater told the court Constable Budin, now a senior constable, grabbed him by the front of the shirt and swung him around before he hit the ground heavily.
In his lengthy August 3 judgment, Judge Garry Neilson said Constable Budin was “insulted by this personal and professional slight” and overreacted by arresting the diminutive teen, who looked about “12 or 13” at the time.
The teen was arrested and charged with assault, resisting arrest, using offensive language in public and failing to obey a move on direction. A Children's Court magistrate found the offensive language charge proven, but used his power to dismiss it. All other charges were dismissed.
The skater sued the state for assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, claiming to have felt “humiliated, embarrassed, (and) scared” by the arrest.
Judge Neilson found the skater's claims of assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution were made out. He said Constable Budin was, at least, reckless to inflicting pain and probably believed “that he could pass what he did off under the colour of his office.” He awarded $25,000 for assault and battery, $30,000 for false imprisonment, and $45,000 for malicious prosecution, plus interest.