- Police Officer should have been given immunity says judge
- 26/10/2019 Make a Comment (1)
- Contributed by: Phil ( 1 article in 2019 )
Police officer who hit teenager with patrol car has sentence overturned
An Adelaide police officer accused of running over a young motorcyclist during a traffic stop has had his guilty verdict overturned after the Supreme Court found he should have received criminal immunity.
Matthew James Lumsden stood trial in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court earlier this year charged with aggravated driving without due care.
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Officer Matthew Lumsden was responding to complaints about hoon motorcycle riders at Parafield Gardens in May 2017 when his patrol car hit 16-year-old Ben Wormwell and pinned him to the kerb.
The court heard he failed to put his patrol car into park.
When it rolled forward, he hit the accelerator instead of the brake and the car rolled over the 17-year old motorcyclist before mounting the kerb.
The teenager's pelvis and right femur were shattered, his collarbone broken and spleen ruptured.
Magistrate Susan O'Connor convicted him of the offence, placed him on a 12-month good behaviour bond and disqualified him from driving for six months.
But in a judgement handed down on Friday, Supreme Court justice Tim Stanley said Magistrate O'Connor was mistaken when she ruled Lumsden did not qualify for immunity.
He said the law affords police officers protection from criminal liability when an incident occurs honestly and in the course of their work, and Magistrate O'Connor found Lumsden had made an genuine mistake.
"He considered it safe to get out of the vehicle," the judgement says.
Justice Stanley set aside the conviction and changed the verdict to not guilty.
The parties will return to court for a costs hearing.