Officer who pulled gun on couple appeals conviction
A WESTERN Queensland police officer who pulled his gun on a couple during a traffic stop has appealed his conviction claiming the initial trial court "went off the rails”.
Senior Constable Stephen Flanaganwas fined $1500 in Brisbane Magistrates Court earlier this year, after being found guilty of assault and deprivation of liberty in an arrest outside Longreach. He has been stood down from duty without pay.
In May 2015, Flanagan pulled over Mt Isa couple Lee Poveyand Anna Lisa Cruse on the Landsborough Hwy.
At trial, Flanagan said his police car's lights and sirens were not working so he resorted to flashing his headlights and honking his horn.
Mr Povey initially did not pull the car over, but when he did, Flanagan pulled his gun on the couple, swore at them and put Mr Povey in handcuffs.
The intercept and arrest were captured on the police car's dashcam.
The court heard Flanagan believed the car was stolen and Mr Povey had a gun - but this was not the case.
Sentencing Magistrate Paul Kluck dismissed Flanagan's claims he truly believed Mr Povey was armed and had stolen the car and that his sirens were not working.
On Tuesday, Flanagan appealed the sentence in Brisbane District Court. His barrister Jeffrey Hunter told the court Mr Kluck had concentrated on the wrong areas of law and the trial "went off the rails”.
Mr Hunter said, as an officer, Flanagan had a right to pull Mr Povey over and use necessary force if he truly suspected he was armed and in a stolen car.
Mr Hunter said that belief, that give Flanagan the right to pull his gun and handcuff Mr Povey.
But prosecutor Glen Cashtold the court Mr Kluck had not erred when he dismissed Flanagan's evidence.
"The magistrate rejected that (Flanagan) honestly held the belief that the car was stolen and the driver had a firearm,” he said.
Mr Cash said that decision was open to Mr Kluck.
Judge Julie Ryriewill publish her judgment at a later date.