Rugby league star Curtis Scott has had his police assault allegations dropped after a magistrate described them as “dreamily raising his arms”
Scott pleaded guilty to two minor charges but had five other serious allegations of assaulting police and resisting arrest withdrawn.
The Crown prosecution case collapsed on Wednesday after CCTV played to the court showed Scott being handcuffed while he was passed out under a tree.
His barrister Murugan Thangaraj SC told the court that because Scott was not told he was under arrest before he was handcuffed, the rest of the prosecution case could not go ahead.
“There is no power for police to handcuff someone who is not under arrest,” Mr Thangaraj said.
“If the police do handcuff someone, then they have been arrested because they have been detained.”
Scott was arrested after he was found passed out underneath a tree at Moore Park following boozy Australia Day celebrations earlier this year.
Police bodycam footage shows Scott slumped up against a tree and passed out.
When police arrived they shone a spotlight on his face and attempted to rouse him by pinching his nose and rubbing his sternum three times.
The Raiders outside back then waves their hands away before one of the officers says “stop, don’t resist mate”.
He is then handcuffed while his eyes are closed and still passed out.
Mr Thangaraj pointed out that at no point was Mr Scott told he was under arrest and argued it was therefore unlawful for him to be placed in handcuffs.
He said therefore the rest of the prosecution case had to be thrown out because he could not assault police or resist arrest if he wasn’t under arrest in the first place.
Magistrate Jennifer Giles said one of the allegations of police assault amounted to Scott “dreamily” using his arms to brush away one attempt by the police to wake him.
“It is drawing a very long and frightening bow to argue the police can handcuff someone they’re trying to wake up who is sleeping underneath a tree that is not under arrest,” Ms Giles said.
The police prosecution withdrew their case after Ms Giles ruled Scott was not under arrest.
The court was played 72 seconds of police bodycam footage; however, it did not capture the entirety of the incident.
The court heard that later on one of the officers stood on Mr Scott’s ankle while it was resting on a tree root, causing him to kick out.
“He was clearly acting in self defence,” Mr Thangaraj said.
Scott bad already been pepper sprayed, with Mr Thangaraj arguing he was already “writhing in tears and pain”
Scott was then punched in the back several times by a male officer which Mr Thangaraj said amounted to Scott being assaulted by police.
The Crown prosecution said that police were called after a man approached a taxi at nearby Paddington and began acting in an aggressive manner.
He was soon after seen in the middle of the roadway and threw a mobile phone at a passing car.
Just after midnight Scott was found by an SCG Trust security passed out underneath a tree on the grounds of Centennial Park.
He pleaded guilty to two minor charges of behaving in an offensive manner.