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Watch-house assaulter gets 500 hours community service.

johnboy 11 November 2008 18

The ABC reports that John Arthur Birch has had his three month suspended sentence upgraded to 500 hours of community service on appeal.

    “John Arthur Birch pleaded guilty to nine offences, which occurred over a seven month period in 2006 while he was the city watch-house sergeant…

    Justice Steven Rares found that the original sentence was manifestly inadequate.

    Today he gave Birch a 12 month suspended jail sentence and ordered him to serve the 500 hours of community service.

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18 Responses to Watch-house assaulter gets 500 hours community service.
dexi dexi 11:28 am 12 Nov 08

Sorry, yes I should have dropped standard. Guess I just didn’t like the comparison with being punched in civic and being sprayed. I think one is random and the other orchestrated. I guess I just think the sentence should have reflected the breach of trust and the emotional scars of the victim’s more. Flesh heals but the mind is a strange unpredictable thing. My apologies.

smack smack 11:12 am 12 Nov 08

Read my post again dexi. I never said it was a standard assault.

dexi dexi 11:04 am 12 Nov 08

Except than this is more than a standard assault. Its a breach of trust as well.

smack smack 10:31 am 12 Nov 08

I was sprayed with OC spray as part of some training in the Army many years ago, so I know what its like to be sprayed. It hurt me a fair bit for about 15 minutes, and got less and less over the next 45 minutes. An hour after the spraying I was back to normal, with no injury or side effects.

I’m not saying what he did was right, however getting punched in the face is a lot worse (bruising, cuts, ongoing pain), and it happens regulary in Civic, will little punishment (from what i’ve read) from the courts.

This sort of sentence should be a standard for assaults, not an exception.

TAD TAD 10:28 am 12 Nov 08


That matter is still before the courts.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 9:22 am 12 Nov 08

farnarkler said :

Hmmm I wonder if the people he assualted were little angels. I suspect they weren’t.

So it’s okay for the police to repeatedly assault handcuffed people, just so long as they aren’t ‘angels’?

WTF is wrong with you?

farq farq 9:03 am 12 Nov 08

Of course this was a completely isolated event and in no way reflects badly on the culture of the AFP.

Birch was just a bad egg, the fact that he got away this for so long in no way suggests insufficient supervisor/oversight. Right? (He was caught in the end, after at least 7months of this behaviour. See the system works!)

Also, the fact that a number of other officers stood around and did nothing, never reported him means nothing. Statistical blip, somehow we got all the bad cops working at the one place on the same shift. AFP officers would never treat someone in custody badly. ALL these guys were just abnormal bad guys.

This has nothing to do with the culture of the AFP, nothing at all.

dexi dexi 8:55 am 12 Nov 08

What ever happened to the policemen that stripped naked a young female drug user and verbally abused her in the watch house. It must have been a couple of years ago.

aronde aronde 8:04 am 12 Nov 08

Ex cops seem to be treated harsher overseas – they send them to prison for having sex on the job!,27574,24639431-23109,00.html

And did anyone catch ABC news re this story last night? In one of the video shots from the watchhouse it appeared the victim was in handcuffs. Can anyone confirm for my own curiosity?

Special G Special G 7:02 am 12 Nov 08

He has received far more than any other person has received for this type of assault in the ACT Courts. Which incidently would be against the human rights bill to treat him any differently because of his employment.

That aside I would like to see more of this type of sentence where if they don’t go to gaol then they do plenty of hours of community service. Any suspended gaol time should automatically have community service attached.

farnarkler farnarkler 6:26 am 12 Nov 08

Eveyrone, even the most placid, have breaking points but I take your point. I know one AFP constable who, at school, was thick as a brick. The thought of him carrying a loaded gun is scary!!!

Morgan Morgan 11:16 pm 11 Nov 08

That doesn’t matter, the Police’s claim to uphold the law must stem from their holding themselves to a higher standard of behaviour. If the Police are not beyond reproach then they have no credibility whatsoever.

farnarkler said :

Hmmm I wonder if the people he assualted were little angels. I suspect they weren’t.

farnarkler farnarkler 10:31 pm 11 Nov 08

Hmmm I wonder if the people he assualted were little angels. I suspect they weren’t.

Tooks Tooks 8:45 pm 11 Nov 08

Spam Box said :

I wonder what I’d get for assaulting several people over a number of months, people who were under my control “completely”

You’d get the same as everyone else who is convicted of common assault in this city. Bugger all (and that includes recidivist offenders).

sunshine sunshine 8:19 pm 11 Nov 08

even 500 Hrs of community service is a disgrace – send him to prison – whilst he’d probably be in protection for his time there, at least he’d see things from a criminals perspective – which is of course what he is.

shiny flu shiny flu 7:35 pm 11 Nov 08

I don’t use this term often and I don’t call normal Policeman this, but seriously. Pig.

500 hours community service, The Pig will probably threaten to pepper-spray his supervisor and get off doing anything. That scumbag should serve his 500 hours as a ‘human test candidate’ for taser guns and pepper spray.

aronde aronde 6:36 pm 11 Nov 08

Just wondering can prosecutors appeal the new manifestly inadequate sentence put in place of the original manifestly inadequate sentence?

Spam Box Spam Box 6:20 pm 11 Nov 08

I wonder what I’d get for assaulting several people over a number of months, people who were under my control “completely”

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