Court hears ‘copper booted’ child in head

A POLICE constable accused of assaulting a juvenile will wait for a magistrate to decide his fate.

Magistrate Terry Browne has reserved his judgment as to the guilt or innocence of Garrison Kasimir McIlwain, 29, who has pleaded not guilty to assault. He stood trial before Mr Browne in Cairns Magistrates Court.

Police allege the constable kicked a juvenile suspect shortly after his arrest in November last year.

It is alleged the assault occurred after the defendant crossed a busy street.

The complainant juvenile alleged "the copper booted him in the head," specifically, a blow to the left forehead.

Garrison McIlwain has been charged with one count of common assault. He appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court on December 11, 2018.
Garrison McIlwain has been charged with one count of common assault. He appeared in Cairns Magistrates Court on December 11, 2018.

The prosecution described the alleged blow as a "hard kick" that caused the youth's head to snap back.

Both sides of the bar this week argued that video, including body camera footage Const McIlwain recorded prior to the alleged assault, proved their cases. The video evidence was central to whether the impact with the juvenile could be considered a "willed act."

Queensland Police Union barrister Troy Schmidt told the court the footage showed his client slowing down as he approached the kerb.

Mr Schmidt argued Const McIlwain was slowing from running to walking and that his foot was "nowhere near the complainant's head".

"While the footage does not look good, it is consistent with this being an unintentional collision," Mr Schmidt said.

"He came on too fast and was concentrating on traffic."

Mr Schmidt argued that the prosecution had the onus of "negatising" the defence and that Mr Browne "should be satisfied that the contact was accidental".

"It is inherently improbable that he would do that in front of colleagues and potential witnesses in motor vehicles."

But prosecutor Michael Nicholson told the court the "video footage did not depict and act of stopping, but an act of striking".

Mr Browne reserved his decision for a date to be determined.

The Queensland Police Union would not comment while the matter remains before the court. Const McIlwain remains on bail.



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