A Mackay criminal has filed a $2 million damaged claim against police.
A Mackay criminal has filed a $2 million damaged claim against police.

CQ man files $2m claim against police for wrongful arrest

A CONVICTED Mackay criminal acquitted of the grievous assault of a cop is pushing for a $2 million payout from Queensland Police over allegations of wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Brendan James Zemek has also alleged a Rockhampton Child Protection and Investigation Unit detective sergeant tampered with evidence played during a District Court trial against him.

Lawyers for the Queensland Police Service are fighting the lawsuit labelling some of the allegations as "embarrassing" and likely to "prejudice or delay the fair trial of the proceeding".

A convicted Mackay criminal is suing Queensland Police for more than $2 million in damages. Picture: Alix Sweeney
A convicted Mackay criminal is suing Queensland Police for more than $2 million in damages. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

In a claim against State of Queensland, filed in Mackay Supreme Court, Mr Zemek alleged he was "acting in self-defence" when he pushed off-duty policeman Glenn Powell in December 2015, causing him to fall and the bones in the officer's wrist to snap.

As a result of the incident in Rockhampton, Mr Zemek was arrested by Det Sgt Angus Kerr and charged with grievous bodily harm. He appeared in the Magistrates Court where bail was denied and he was sent to Capricornia Correctional Centre.

The case went to trial and Mr Zemek, who has a three-page criminal history that includes entries for stealing, fraud, wilful damage, assault/obstruct police and possessing dangerous drugs, was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm on October 7, 2016.

"I claim the arrest was unlawful as I was acting in self-defence and was thereafter the subject of false imprisonment," the 24-year-old stated in court documents obtained by the Daily Mercury.

"I state that (Det Sgt Kerr) acted maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause in bringing and maintaining the charge.

"I state that (Det Sgt Kerr) deliberately and intentionally tampered with the CCTV footage of the incident (by editing, cropping and freeze-framing the footage) and used it as evidence to mislead judicial proceedings."

 

Brendan James Zemek claims his arrest in December 2015 was unlawful.
Brendan James Zemek claims his arrest in December 2015 was unlawful.

 

Mr Zemek, of Andergrove, further stated Det Sgt Kerr "intentionally ignored" evidence from other cameras and refused to get statements from other witnesses. He is seeking $2 million, plus $200,000 interest, $24,500 loss of income and $1000 in costs.

In paperwork lodged in May last year, Mr Zemek claimed he lost "stable, long-term employment as a result of my imprisonment", which resulted in "severe mental anguish that I am still recovering from".

Lawyers for QPS lodged a notice of intention to defend the proceeding the following month.

Paperwork stated the QPS denied the allegations "as they are untrue as they are contrary to fact and law".

QPS maintained the arrest was lawful as Mr Zemek was "reasonably suspected" of having committed an indictable offence.

Lawyers also did not admit to claims Mr Zemek lost work as "despite reasonable inquiries it remains uncertain of the truth of the allegations".



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