– Police will reopen a professional standards investigation after a court found a senior constable from Stawell had assaulted a young Somali man – punching him in the face and fracturing his jaw.
A magistrate found that Mohamed Hassan, then 20, was the victim of an unlawful assault by a police officer when he was punched, forced to the ground and handcuffed after the car he was in was pulled over for speeding.
Initially it was Mr Hassan who faced seven charges, including disturbing the “good order or management of the police gaol” for spitting blood on the floor of a holding cell.
However, almost all the charges were dismissed and Mr Hassan is now considering a civil compensation claim against the police officer.
Senior Constable Timothy McAdie dragged Mr Hassan from the driver’s seat of car that had been clocked travelling at 136km/h on the Western Highway near Stawell in the early hours of November 14th, 2010.
Police had seen the occupants of the vehicle swapping seats and Senior Constable McAdie later told his partner – who did not see the punch but heard a “thump” – that he hit Mr Hassan while trying to ascertain who had been driving.
Mr Hassan was still bleeding when he was taken to Stawell police station and put in a holding cell.
He spat blood towards a drain, but at least two 50 cent-sized globules on the floor were pointed out to him by police, which he then tried to wipe up with his shirt.
A visit to the Royal Adelaide Hospital later in the day confirmed that Mr Hassan’s jaw was fractured.
Local police investigated an initial ethical standards complaint against Senior Constable McAdie, which was not substantiated.
Then, in November 2012, Mr Hassan was almost completely cleared of seven charges, included assaulting and threatening police, at a three-day trial at the Horsham Magistrates Court.
Magistrate Peter Couzens – who has since been made a judge of the County Court and president of the Children’s Court of Victoria – told Mr Hassan: “I’m satisfied that you were a victim of an assault on that day by a police officer.”
He found that Senior Constable McAdie had acted unlawfully and outside the execution of his duty.
Police initially claimed Mr Hassan threw an elbow at Senior Constable McAdie, but that charge collapsed for lack of evidence when the prosecution argued the policeman was unfit to take the stand because of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by two unrelated incidents.
During the trial Senior Constable McAdie was on holiday in Thailand.
Mr Couzens found Mr Hassan “all but 100% successful” in defending the charges, save for using threatening words in a public place. No conviction was recorded and Mr Hassan was fined $300 for telling Senior Constable McAdie that next time he saw him he would get a gun and shoot him.
“[Mr Hassan] was pissed off and he had every reason to be,” Mr Couzens said. “Those words we uttered in that state of mind by a young person who was suffering a serious injury, inflicted by a police officer who had no right to act in the way he did.”
The assistant commissioner of Victoria Police’s a Professional Standards a Command has ordered its detectives to re investigate the matter.
Mr Hassan was born in Somalia and arrived in Australia in 2002 after spending his early life in refugee camps in Africa.
At the trial it emerged that Senior Constable McAdie had been the subject of previous assault allegations and was acquitted of assault charges in the County Court in 2001. He is currently on leave.
Mr Couzens said he was “troubled” by the police decision to charge Mr Hassan with disturbing the good order of the jail, given that he was put in a cell while bleeding, in an agitated state, and without any means of stopping the flow of blood. “What’s he supposed to do?” Mr Couzens asked. “He can’t possibly be expected to prevent every droplet of blood from getting onto an open surface.”
Mr Hassan was represented by Fitzroy Legal Service and high-profile barrister Dyson Hore-Lacy, SC.
When Mr Hore-Lacy suggested to police investigator Sergeant Janne Kennedy that she had conducted a prosecution aimed to charge Mr Hassan with as many offences as possible, she replied: “I think there were probably other charges I probably should have considered.”
The parties are in talks after costs were awarded against Victoria Police.
Mr Couzens noted that police had rejected a settlement offer from Mr Hassan’s lawyers, and must have known Senior Constable McAdie would not be called as a witness.
“Why not proceed without him? Why not roll over?” Mr Couzens asked.
The prosecutor replied: “I am guided by my managers.” – Vince Chadwick


About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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