The accused was asked to leave licensed premises and was leaving when security ‘gave him a hand’ by taking hold of one of his arms and twisting it up behind his back. It was totally unnecessary and amounted to an assault by the security guard upon our client.
The client pushed the security guard causing him to fall. The security guard then detained the client, called police, and the accused was arrested and subsequently charged with common assault.
Neither police nor security guards have the right to assault you unless the law allows them to do so. We took instructions from our client and appeared in the local court in relation to the police charges, entered a plea of not guilty and sought orders for the brief of evidence containing the police witness statements to be served. Upon receiving the brief of evidence, we completed and filed a notice of listing and set the case down for defended hearing.
At the hearing, the security guard was cross examined about the assault upon our client and the fact that he had no right to take hold of the accused and twist his arm behind his back in circumstances where he was obviously complying with the request to leave the licensed premises. The guard was unable to articulate the powers that he had to take hold of someone and was an unconvincing witness.
Our client gave evidence that the actions of the security guard caused him intense pain and he reacted instinctively by pushing the guard in self defence. Once self defence is raised, it is up to the prosecution to establish that the accused did not believe it was necessary to do what he did in self defence, or that what he did was not reasonable in the circumstances as he perceived them. The magistrate found that our client acted in self defence and the police charge of common assault was dismissed.