cops wa tasers assault court

like many others, isja has been following the tasering incident of kevin spratt in september 2008 with much interest. we, along with others, sought a just outcome from that tasering incident by two over-zealous officers and their unnecessary but extreme use of the tasers issued to them.

we need to have a serious review of the reportage of that incident before looking at the report below.

the actual incident did not become public until october, 2010 when the wa corruption and crime commission released its report on the wa police use of tasers. police attempted to block the public release of the video footage of the incident and when it did, it went viral. much to the chagrin of the wa police association and its members.

the ccc report sets out in great detail the proper use of tasers, the problems of misuse of tasers and the spratt incident, including the video, can be found at 3.3.3, paragraph 228. see

kevin was tasered by the two police officers who have been finally charged but media reports state that ‘9 or 10 officers stood around’ whilst the tasering occurred 13 times! i don’t care how uncompliant kevin was alleged to have been, surely 10 officers can subdue the most rowdiest person under their control without the use of torture to that person.

one week later wa gaol guards tasered kevin 11 times. 24 electrical shocks to his nervous system must cause some damage. isja pointed out at that time that both the physical and mental health of kevin needed to be monitored.

on both occasions kevin was excessively tasered for ‘non-compliance’ of an order by police/gaol guards to go to a cell. does kevin have a hearing problem? does he have a psychological fear of police or gaol cells? i don’t know but there obviously is some underlying issue we know little of. any action against the wa gaols by kevin for compensation is also unknown to me.

the two senior constables who knowingly tortured kevin were, after some time, disciplined and fined internal to the police. what this disciplinary action was i am unsure but one has now risen to the rank of sergeant whilst the other has been demoted to an auxiliary officer for an unrelated offence i am told.

as for the fines, no big deal here either. these are generally paid by a police association payment or by a then-s/s chris hurley type collection from all wa police. no abstentions possible. the ‘culture’ does not allow for it.

the lack of ethics by police in the use of tasers, world-wide, is the point that annoys me the most. police know full well that tasers kill and the ccc report goes into much detail on these deaths, both here and overseas. yet this knowledge is tested every time a police officer (or wa gaol guard) uses a taser. they just do not care enough to weigh the possible odds of a death occurring. that selfish and uncaring attitude must change. and change quickly.

the overuse of tasers increases the likelihood of death by taser exponentially as witnessed by the death of roberto laudisio curti in nsw. those nsw police involved have been sent by the nsw dpp to face court on his death. but not before the s/s involved was promoted to an inspector, very much despite his alleged and total incompetence, as stated by the coroner presiding, on the day roberto died by means of torture by taser.

and so to the report below.

of the 10 officers involved we see that only 2 faced court, why? where were the senior officers on duty that night who should have controlled their junior officers zeal to punish kevin for his alleged non-compliance? we have only their version of events, as usual. maybe kevin was just slow in complying. surely the senior person on duty during that event should also have faced a court. he or she allowed it to happen after all.

kevin has now 10 charges against him but one seriously needs to consider the veracity of those charges, especially the trifecta-type charges of four counts of assaulting a public officer, two of obstructing police, two of stealing and one each of aggravated burglary and assault occasioning bodily harm.

the first six are standard procedural charges against a person that the police need to ‘load-up’ in an effort to convince a magistrate, judge or jury of the ‘dangerous and violent criminality’ of the offender in question. the other four will be tested in a court of law, based however on a police brief of the incidents.

one good thing about the judiciary these days is for them to be much more discerning and investigative of police evidence. the position of the wa police association is standard hypocrisy and is of no further interest.

the wash-up is that two police officers were found guilty as charged and hopefully this phenomenon will grow until all police in australia learn that they are most definitely not above the law that we ordinary citizens are bound by. excruciatingly slowly this fact will become aware to them. once they realise their employment is on the line, or even their freedom, then, and only then, will we get the professional police we crave.

of course, in death in custody events especially, we have a long road yet to travel. but we have made another first step. magistrate bromfield’s decision of 8 month gaol suspended, whilst disappointing and not really brave enough, will send a clear message that police must stop their corrupt ‘bully-man’ tactics. if either cop transgresses the law of the land then they shall automatically go to gaol.

and that is as it should be.


ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017

winner of the french human rights award, 2013

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty treaty social justice

Kevin Spratt sent for mental health assessment after alleged crime spree

  • From: PerthNow
  • January 24, 2014 3:46PM

Spratt arrest over alleged burglaries, assault

Kevin Spratt, who has been arrested in connection with burglaries and an assault. Source: News Limited

KEVIN Spratt, the man at the centre of the infamous taser affair, has faced court over an alleged crime spree overnight and was remanded for a week-long mental health assessment.

Spratt, 44, is facing 10 charges including assaulting a public officer, obstructing police and stealing.

PerthNow understands Spratt was arrested in the south eastern suburb of Brookdale last night abd charged by police this morning.

The charges are four counts of assaulting a public officer, two of obstructing police, two of stealing and one each of aggravated burglary and assault occasioning bodily harm.

Just this week, two WA police officers were found guilty of unlawfully tasering Spratt in the Perth Watch House in 2008.

Spratt’s alleged offences took place last night and the early hours of this morning in Rockingham, Bentley and Cloverdale.

Spratt was refused bail and taken to Royal Perth Hospital for a medical assessment.

Lawyers for Kevin Spratt today said a week in which former senior constables Aaron Grant Strahan and Troy Gregory Tomlin had been convicted of assaulting him five years ago had “taken a considerable toll”.

Officers who responded to the incident last night reportedly drew their tasers, while a police dog was also in attendance.

A brief appearance in Perth Magistrate’s Court saw Spratt sent to the Frankland Centre – Perth’s maximum-security psychiatric hospital – until another appearance next Friday.

The court was told Spratt was not well enough to be read the list of charges.

Lawyer Mal Cook said outside court his client was “obviously not well”.

His tasering attracted international headlines when the Corruption and Crime Commission released CCTV vision of the September 2008 incident.

Strahan, 45, and Tomlin, 34, were on Wednesday given suspended jail terms and fined after being convicted in Perth Magistrates Court of unlawfully assaulting Spratt.

CCTV footage showed Mr Spratt crying out as the constables tasered him nine times in just over a minute.

While defence lawyer Karen Vernon had asked the magistrate to impose a good behaviour bond or a fine, Magistrate Bromfield said imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.

Tomlin and Strahan were given eight-month prison sentences, suspended for six months.

Tomlin also received a $3800 fine while Strahan must pay a fine of $3250.

A spokeswoman for WA Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said one or both of the officers were considering appealing their convictions, while the police union criticised the verdict, saying they had been “wrongly convicted”.

“Officers should not be backed into a corner like this. They should be able to use all reasonable force options required in the circumstances and should not be scared to use their taser when needed,” president George Tilbury said.

Spratt said this week he was seeking compensation for the incident.

ray jackson
indigenous social justice association

(m) 0450 651 063
(p) 02 9318 0947
address 1303/200 pitt street waterloo 2017

we live and work on the stolen lands of the gadigal people.

sovereignty treaty social justice

2 thoughts on “cops wa tasers assault court

  1. Halle Browne says:

    Such a shame that the author of this article did not mention the Queensland case of the man tasered to death 28 times by police. Queensland, like New South Wales and Western Australia is a state of Australia. Including all the incidents identifies that bad culture of covering up for themselves is endemic everywhere in Australia.

    It also identifies how a weapon of torture has been unleashed on the Australian community without appropriate and authentic research studies in place. Research undertaken by taser companies cannot be included as valid as they are only there to protect their interests. This weapon of torture has also been unleashed on the community as target practice.

    In the name of ethics people with mental illness or drug affected are not allowed to be tasered in a controlled environment.

    It simply makes no difference if there was no recording when the Queensland man was killed, it just brings to the fore how evidence was tampered with and hidden, and officers attending as witnesses acted as if they had no memory – more like they were told to do this. Their supposed Intelligence which should be used when investigating the death of someone in custody was not included in this case.

    It is suspected that this was done deliberately, so that many other things such as excited delirium, heart disease, psychosis and others could be blamed for the Queensland man’s death.

    The Queensland investigation into this man’s death is the most disgraceful in Australia’s history, and it has shown how people in powerful positions help to protect their own regardless of the lives they take.

    They tampered with most of the evidence and the officer’s personal tape recorder was wiped so that the truth could not be heard on what happened that night. This conduct will always be viewed as disgraceful, unethical and unprofessional. And the saddest thing is that this will continue and people will continue to die…

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