18 Nov 2013

Police officers found guilty of assault in arrest incident

10:00 am on 18 November 2013

Two police officers found guilty of assaulting a woman in her home have avoided criminal convictions.

Court documents show Constables Brent Liddle and Gerard Russell were discharged without conviction in the North Shore District Court in April. Constable Russell was also found guilty of trespass.

Police visited the woman's home after she was involved in a minor car crash in December 2010.

When no-one answered the door, they entered her house and Constable Russell forced his way into her bedroom and arrested the woman.

The woman brought a private prosecution.

Judge Lawrence Hinton found the two officers did not have permission to be in the house and the arrest constituted assault.

But he said both officers acted in good faith after checking with a superior officer. He ordered them to pay the woman $7000 in reparation payments and $8000 in court costs.

The lawyer who represented the woman, Peter Johnson, says the case shows there are fundamental failings in police training.