Police may face assault complaint over quake arrest

10:16 am on 10 March 2011

A lawyer representing a man with Asperger's syndrome facing looting charges following the earthquake is considering laying a complaint against police over injuries his client received.

Cornelius Arie Smith-Voorkamp was arrested after the quake on 22 February for stealing light bulbs and an antique fitting from a damaged home - an act his lawyer argues was due to his mental condition.

Mr Smith-Voorkamp, 25, captured media attention when his face was published sporting a black eye which he claims was the result of heavy-handed police officers.

His lawyer Simon Buckingham, who also has Asperger's syndrome, says police have told him they will investigate the claims.

Mr Buckingham says it is possible the incident was witnessed by military personnel.

Mr Smith-Voorkamp is to reappear in Christchurch District Court on 28 March.