Grandfather ‘bashed by cops’ sues for $1.5m
A BRISBANE grandfather and Justice of the Peace who was allegedly bashed by police in a violent Australia Day arrest in Surfers Paradise is suing the State Government for over $1.5 million for unlawful assault and battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Ray Currier, 53, was a youth worker with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General when he was arrested outside Melba's nightclub on January 26, 2015.
Video of the incident, captured on smartphone by a Melbourne tourist, appeared to show officers grabbing Mr Currier around the throat before knocking him to the ground and punching him several times in the head and stomach.
He and three co-accused were charged with offences including assault and obstructing police, but the prosecution was withdrawn in November 2015.
"The expectation from the community is that (police) brutality shouldn't be happening in our city," Mr Currier said outside Southport Magistrates Court after the charges were dropped.
In a statement of claim filed recently in the Brisbane Supreme Court, Mr Currier is claiming $1,517,895.30 cents in damages over the incident.
The claim alleges he was the victim of 11 separate assaults by police during the arrest, including being grabbed by the throat and punched in the chest and jaw.
After being "wrestled to the ground" by two officers, Mr Currier had his head allegedly punched into the pavement three times, despite him posing "no threat" to police, the claim states.
It alleges that after being "manhandled" into a police van, Mr Currier was pepper-sprayed in the face and genitalia.
Mr Currier was also assaulted in the cell at Surfers Paradise police station, the claim alleges.
The claim alleges he was falsely imprisoned and that the prosecution was malicious because he had not committed an offence and police ought to have known that a successful prosecution would not occur because of the video evidence.
The claim also accuses the state of negligence in that police used excessive force, including manhandling him when it was unnecessary to do so, and arresting him without reasonable authority.
Mr Currier allegedly suffered a head injury, major depression and post-traumatic stress, and lost his job six months after the incident.
The claim states he has lost "amenity of life and has otherwise been damnified".
The claim seeks damages including over $1 million for loss of income and superannuation, and aggravated damages of $200,000.