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Watch-house assault officer to be re-sentenced

johnboy 30 September 2008 122

The ABC reports that John Arthur Birch, the former police officer who was found guilty of nine counts of administering a substance to cause pain and discomfort in the Civic watch-house has had his three month suspended sentence overturned on the ground that it was “manifestly inadequate” according to the visiting Justice Steven Rares who heard the appeal.

Birch will now be re-sentenced.


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122 Responses to Watch-house assault officer to be re-sentenced
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tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:56 am 02 Oct 08

not sure about that, I’ve seen some big cops.

although: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/13/2188881.htm

I love how the story ends in “Police are investigating the death.”

Yeah – I wonder what came out of that investigation. It’ll tell you – f**kin’ zilch!

Ari Ari 9:27 am 02 Oct 08

“Bangs”?

Stop it, Aurelius.

Aurelius Aurelius 9:13 am 02 Oct 08

Nutters with sword + coppers with guns = loud bangy bangs

And as much as I criticise cops in this forum, I’d agree with that equation

Tooks Tooks 9:02 am 02 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

As for using spray when someone is going crazy with a sword…ummm. No.

Exactly what are suggesting then Tooks?

Have a guess! I bet you’ll get it right 😉

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:02 am 02 Oct 08

Oh yeah, I’m right with you there Ingeegoodbee, and you addressed the issues much better than I ever could have. Spot on mate!

Tooks Tooks 9:01 am 02 Oct 08

Ingeegoodbee said :

With any luck this pathetic sh!t eating maggot will get a decent stint in the big house sharing a bunk room with “bubba” instead of the koala stamp that he got from Canberra’s pathertic justice system last time he swung through the revolving doors.

Who gives a flying rats ar$e what this jumped up little douche-bag has to put up with when he’s on a shift – he happily took the money. He’s just another example of the quality of policing you get when the intellectual level is set at peanut rates.

Nice try, but you’re too late. JB already awarded nutter of the month yesterday. Guess you’ll have to wait till November. Good luck!

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 8:59 am 02 Oct 08

As for using spray when someone is going crazy with a sword…ummm. No.

Exactly what are suggesting then Tooks?

Doctor Evil Doctor Evil 8:37 am 02 Oct 08

Oh look, David Eastman Jnr is back…….

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 12:21 am 02 Oct 08

With any luck this pathetic sh!t eating maggot will get a decent stint in the big house sharing a bunk room with “bubba” instead of the koala stamp that he got from Canberra’s pathertic justice system last time he swung through the revolving doors.

Who gives a flying rats ar$e what this jumped up little douche-bag has to put up with when he’s on a shift – he happily took the money. He’s just another example of the quality of policing you get when the intellectual level is set at peanut rates.

Tooks Tooks 10:34 pm 01 Oct 08

Sleaz274 said :

A guy went a little mental in Melb with a sword and they drove a truck up to him sprayed him with that stuff and jumped him, job done. Well job done after an hour long stand off.

Anyway I wasn’t arguing the semantics just bringing up the overall point that providing easy access to “non-lethal” force simply increases the likelihood it will be abused as we’ve seen by the gallant Mr Birch.

I’ve seen some puny cops to.

Sounds like they were able to contain the situation (with sword guy) so were able to go for that option; definately a good result. Would have been different had he tried to attack a member of the public with the sword.

Regarding your other point: are you saying police should have less use of force options? Maybe just have a baton instead of the spray?

mutley mutley 10:15 pm 01 Oct 08

Farq, he did have other injuries following self harm attempts when he was sprayed so that probably played a major part.

Although knowing all about the Victorian cops…

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 10:12 pm 01 Oct 08

Wow I just read the article and was thinking of bringing up just how long it is until someone especially a severely intoxicated/drugged up someone has a very bad reaction to the chemical spray.

Beaten to the punch there for sure

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 10:10 pm 01 Oct 08

A guy went a little mental in Melb with a sword and they drove a truck up to him sprayed him with that stuff and jumped him, job done. Well job done after an hour long stand off.

Anyway I wasn’t arguing the semantics just bringing up the overall point that providing easy access to “non-lethal” force simply increases the likelihood it will be abused as we’ve seen by the gallant Mr Birch.

I’ve seen some puny cops to.

farq farq 9:39 pm 01 Oct 08

Sleaz274 said :

I think I’d prefer a swift series of punches to the chops than a face full of that muck.

not sure about that, I’ve seen some big cops.

although: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/03/13/2188881.htm

Aurelius Aurelius 9:36 pm 01 Oct 08

Farq, are magistrate’s rulings available online?
I didn’t think they were, and only on certain legal databases?

Tooks Tooks 9:34 pm 01 Oct 08

Sleaz274 said :

One question that hasn’t been brought up during all this is why they need the stuff in the first place.

As far as the watch house goes, members do not carry anything on their belts, so OC spray is an option available to them if and when appropriate.

In other situations (ie. on the street), it is a simple, effective (on most people) and harmless way to subdue an aggressive person. The alternative to spray is more hands on (take-downs, pain compliance holds, strikes etc), greatly increasing the risk of injury to both the offender, and the officers involved. It’s worth noting that there are a lot of people out there with infectious diseases like Hep C, HIV,etc.

A short burst of spray and a quick decontamination is preferable to the alternative. It is a great tool when used appropriately.

As for using spray when someone is going crazy with a sword…ummm. No.

Sleaz274 Sleaz274 9:17 pm 01 Oct 08

One question that hasn’t been brought up during all this is why they need the stuff in the first place. I’m sure I’ve read reports/studies arguing against the easy availability of “non-lethal” force for police because it actually increases the number of assaults/inappropriate use of force by police themselves. Tasers have been a huge hot topic in the US and simply because officers are taught “it has no lasting harmful effect” they seem more inclined to use force in situations which do not require it. A watch house with 7 officers nearby hardly seems like the place a face full of very nasty chemicals is warranted, a riot maybe or when some nutter is going awol with a sword, or sure if an officer is directly threatened. A punch in the face has “no last effects” either (bones mend, cuts heal, bruises go down) but we still consider that assault and personally I think I’d prefer a swift series of punches to the chops than a face full of that muck.

Anyway the non-lethal force issue should probably enter the discussion hence my contribution…and personally I think most sentences in the ACT are woefully inadequate.

Tooks Tooks 8:59 pm 01 Oct 08

Had a very quick search earlier, but couldn’t find it.

farq farq 8:55 pm 01 Oct 08

Would the magistrate’s judgment from the trial be available? Can not seem to find it.

Tooks Tooks 8:49 pm 01 Oct 08

farq said :

Special G: sorry, could just elaborate on what you mean by “…succumbed to his own culture.”?

Tooks: The Ombudsman’s report sounds interesting. Think I’ve found it (8.9 mb):

http://www.comb.gov.au/commonwealth/publish.nsf/AttachmentsByTitle/reports_2007_06/$FILE/watchhouse_2007_06.pdf

Waiting for it download now.

Will have a good looksee at it myself, when a get the chance. Cheers 🙂

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