Key words: Assault – battery – false imprisonment (unlawful arrest) – malicious prosecution – successful court action
JF, an Indigenous Australian man, was filming various events and scenery in the Wyong area. He was doing so to make a documentary to show his son, who was in the care of the Department of Community Services at the time.
JF filmed a number of stage events at a Christmas festival in Budgewoi Park. Some of the performers were children. A number of parents confronted JF and asked why he was filming. He explained it was for his son. The parents did not accept JF’s explanation, and some called the police while others assaulted him.
When the police arrived, JF believed that they would protect him. Instead, they also assaulted him, pushing and shoving him while searching him for his camera.
After arresting him, the police charged him with possessing child abuse material. Despite not finding anything incriminating after searching his camera, phone, and house, they refused to release him on bail. As a result, JF was kept in the Silverwater Correctional Complex for a month before the Director of Public Prosecutions withdrew all charges against JF in the Local Court.
JF approached O’Brien Solicitors to help him explore any claims of recourse he might have against the police.
O’Brien Solicitors helped JF successfully sue the NSW police for assault, battery, false imprisonment (unlawful arrest), and malicious prosecution. The matter proceeded to hearing at the District Court. A judgment was entered in favour of JF.