File photo: Corey Barker outside Ballina Local Court after the conduct of officers who allegedly bashed him was referred to the Police Integrity Commission.
File photo: Corey Barker outside Ballina Local Court after the conduct of officers who allegedly bashed him was referred to the Police Integrity Commission. Rodney Stevens

Court told accused cops shared statements after 'bashing'

POLICE officers accused of lying about a young man being bashed in custody were given copies of another officer's witness statement before they made their own, a court has heard.

Six officers have fronted Sydney District Court after Ballina man Corey Barker, then 22, was arrested and allegedly assaulted at the Ballina police station in January 2011.

Senior Constable David Ryan Hill, 36, Constables Luke Christopher Mewing, 30, and Ryan Charles Eckersley, 36, and Probationary Constable Lee David Walmsley, 26, have been charged with assault, trying to pervert the course of justice and lying in court.

Senior Constable Mark Woolven 45, and Sergeant Robert Campbell McCubben, 49, are charged with trying to pervert the course of justice.

An email sent on March 21, 2011 from a fellow officer Greg Ryan to Const Walmsley, Const Eckersley and Snr Const Woolven was read out in court.

The court heard it was also sent to Mr Mewing but the email failed to deliver.

The email referred to Mr Barker as "the fellow that threw the bottle then carried on” and "carried on back at the police station and attacked Hilly”.

It said the witness statements from Snr Const Hill and the email's sender, Greg Ryan, were attached.

A second email from Mr Ryan, dated April 19, 2011, was also read out.

He again called on officers, including Const Mewing, to send through their witness statements, stating "mine, Hilly's, Walmsley's” were all attached "for reference”.

"He is fighting all charges as, if found guilty, he will breach a suspended sentence for prior obstruction of police and will therefore be on a bus to Grafton Jail,” the email stated.

Snr Const Hill's statement from January 2011 was read out in court earlier in the day.

It claimed Mr Barker had acted in an "extremely aggressive manner”, had threatened to bash him and other officers and had "punched me with a closed right fist to the nose”.

The other accused officers' statements were also read out in court.

Const Walmsley's said Mr Barker threatened to punch officers in the head and "king hit” them before putting up a struggle while being moved to his cell and being taken to the ground.

The jury was played slow-motion CCTV video of the incident from inside the station which appeared to show Mr Barker being pulled to the ground, handcuffed and dragged from the room on his stomach with his hands locked behind his back.

The case continues.

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