Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of common assault over the 2018 detention of a 16-year-old boy in Byron Bay. He is defending the allegation before a hearing. Picture: Liana Boss
Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 39, has pleaded not guilty to one charge of common assault over the 2018 detention of a 16-year-old boy in Byron Bay. He is defending the allegation before a hearing. Picture: Liana Boss

Cop’s Byron laneway assault hearing to continue this week

The hearing of a Northern Rivers police officer charged with assaulting a teen in Byron Bay is set to continue this week.

Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh faced a partial hearing before Lismore Local Court last November.

But more time was required for the airing of the case and it was, at that time, adjourned to continue this week.

The prosecution will allege Sen-Constable Greenhalgh's actions during the January 11, 2018 detention of a drug-affected teen in Lateen Lane in Byron Bay amount to common assault.

The officer, who worked out of the Tweed Byron Police District at the time, has pleaded not guilty.

In the four days the hearing went before the court in November, the court heard from various witnesses as part of the prosecution case.

The court heard police were called to the laneway about 2.30am in response to reports of a young man, naked and acting erratically.

The court heard Sen-Constable Greenhalgh is alleged to have struck the teen with his baton at least 18 times.

The prosecution is relying on six particular baton strikes, inflicted while the boy was handcuffed and restrained on the ground.

They have alleged those six strikes "were an unreasonable use of force".

While evidence in the defence case has not yet been heard by the court, defence barrister said in his opening submissions he would rely on two pieces of legislation as well as self defence provisions in fighting the charge.

As part of the prosecution case, the court has heard evidence from the alleged victim and his mother, people who were living and staying in the vicinity at the time of the incident, the then-night manager of the Nomads Byron Bay Backpackers - who made the initial call to police - and a paramedic as well as other police officers involved in the detention of the boy.

Tragically, one of the officers involved in the incident could not give evidence as he had become too ill to appear in court.

The circumstances around the alleged incident were subject to a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission inquiry, prior to the common assault charge being laid.

The hearing is scheduled to continue on Tuesday morning.



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