BRYN Hutchinson has criticised NSW Police for a decision to appeal the recent dismissal of charges against him where he was accused of assaulting officers and resisting arrest soon after the end of this year’s Mardi Gras parade.
Hutchinson had all charges thrown out of court on November 28 after Magistrate Eve Wynhausen determined the former Community Action Against Homophobia co-convener was acting in self-defence during the altercation with police shortly before 11.30pm on March 2 and that there was also not enough evidence to prove he had resisted arrest.
Ever since the incident, Hutchinson had been adamant it was he who was the victim of an assault by several police officers from Parramatta and Fairfield local area commands.
A letter dated December 5 from the Public Prosecution solicitor Stephen Kavanagh suggested police were keen to appeal the court’s decision.
“Police Legal Services have requested that the Director of Public Prosecutions give consideration to commencing proceedings in the Supreme Court in respect of the decision of the Magistrate on 28 November 2013 at the Downing Centre Local Court,” the letter reads.
“An appeal may or may not be lodged.”
Hutchinson, 32, told the Star Observer the appeal was symptomatic of an “unaccountable police service wasting further public funds” on a case that had already been decided by the courts as having little or no merit.
“The DPP will have no interest in appealing. It’s clear the police media unit’s standard response to police misconduct is to conduct a PR exercise,” he said.
“Both myself and my legal team are considering all options in response to the vexatious charges and their subsequent dismissal by the courts.”
A police spokesperson told the Star Observer they had requested the DPP consider an appeal but existing laws meant that it could not direct the DPP in any way.
“The DPP is considering an appeal of the court’s decision,” the spokesperson said.
The timing of the intended appeal by police coincided with the announcement last week by the Police Integrity Commission that four officers involved in the taser death of Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti in Sydney’s CBD in March 2012 would face charges of assault.
Greens state upper house MP David Shoebridge, who has been vocal on both the Curti and Hutchinson incidents, told the Star Observer he remained worried by the actions of police – on the night of the Mardi Gras itself as well as their actions following the incident involving Hutchinson.
“It looks very much like, having comprehensively failed to convince the magistrate that their actions were reasonable, the police want a second bite at the cherry,” he said.
“This young man has already been through months of trauma as a result of the police’s actions and this will only be exacerbated by any appeal.”
Hutchinson said the police focus on him was a distraction from the real issues, including the need for independent oversight of complaints regarding police violence and corruption.
“The police commissioner [Andrew Scipione] stated when this began that we need to wait for all the evidence to be in before jumping to conclusions. Well it’s now in – the charges had no substance,” he said.
“The real focus should now be what is the police commissioner and the minister now doing about what appears to be an out-of-control police service?”