Tasered North Coast man sues police for assault

Police were within their rights to shoot the man with a Taser, the court found.
Police were within their rights to shoot the man with a Taser, the court found. DAVE HUNT

A CASINO man has failed in an appeal to sue the State of NSW for damages after he threatened police and was zapped with a Taser.

NSW Appeals Court Justice Fabian Gleeson said police found a drunk and highly agitated Andrew Stephen Benn drinking on a Casino roundabout just after midnight on October 1, 2010.

He was having problems with his girlfriend and told the officers to take him to Richmond Clinic, a mental health facility attached to Lismore Base Hospital.

The officers knew of Mr Benn's mental health issues and history of violence towards police, Justice Gleeson said.

They spoke to Mr Benn for about half an hour and formed the view he needed to be detained for his own safety.

Negotiations continued for about a further 25 minutes, during which Mr Benn threatened to punch police in the face and "start breaking noses" if they came any closer to him.

Officers surrounded Mr Benn and warned him he would be tasered if he did not stop walking away, a threat they carried out, tasering him in the back for a five-second cycle.

He was then apprehended and taken to Richmond Clinic.

Mr Benn's first claim for damages was dismissed in the Local Court in April 2015, with a subsequent appeal also turned down.

Now his third appeal has also been dismissed, with Justice Gleeson ordering him to pay the State of NSW's costs.

"Mr Benn has failed to demonstrate any basis for a grant of leave to appeal," Justice Gleeson said.


EDIT: This story originally incorrectly referred to Justice Murray Gleeson, instead of Justice Fabian Gleeson.

Topics:  assault casino court lismore base hospital police richmond valley taser

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