A still from camera phone footage taken of the alleged violent January 11, 2018 arrest of a 16-year-old boy in Lateen Lane, Byron Bay. One of the officers is expected to defend an assault allegation.
A still from camera phone footage taken of the alleged violent January 11, 2018 arrest of a 16-year-old boy in Lateen Lane, Byron Bay. One of the officers is expected to defend an assault allegation.

Cop accused of violent assault to face Byron court

A HEARING date has been set for a police officer charged with assaulting a teen in Byron Bay.

Senior constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 38, has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of common assault over the alleged violent arrest of a boy, then aged 16, in Lateen Lane on January 11, 2018.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh was charged late last year following a Law Enforcement Conduct Commission inquiry into the circumstances of the boy's arrest and subsequent detention,

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh, who is yet to front court in person, was not required to appear when the case went before Byron Bay Local Court today.

The court heard assistance had been sought from the Chief Magistrate's Office to send a judicial officer from Sydney to hear the case.

Defence solicitor Sally McPherson said barrister, Sheridan Goodwin, who represented Sen-Constable Greenhalgh at the LECC hearings, was planned to appear for him in this hearing.

But the court heard Ms Goodwin was unavailable on the only dates another magistrate could travel to the region to hear the case, which is expected to span four days.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said there was "limited assistance that can be offered in these sorts of cases".

"If you need four days it needs to be four days where … Byron Bay is not sitting from Tuesday to Friday - that's only one week a month - when there is a magistrate in Sydney who can fly up at that time," Ms Stafford said.

While a visiting magistrate will help the case to be heard on consecutive days, Ms Stafford said also meant the judicial officer would not have dealt with the accused in the course of his policing work, unlike local magistrates.

"There is very limited assistance that can be offered from Sydney," she said,

"I don't propose to relist it because defence counsel is unavailable."

The court heard one eye witness would be overseas during the hearing, but the DPP will propose to have him appear in court by video link.

After a brief break during which Ms McPherson confirmed another barrister could be obtained, Ms Stafford scheduled the hearing for May 12-15.

The case will be mentioned on March 30, when the parties must confirm whether there will be any pre-hearing legal arguments.



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