Final Findings in the Case of Three Hāwera Police Officers Charged with Manslaughter | 1 NEWS
The prosecution described the attitude of three Hāwera police officers accused of manslaughter towards a man who died in their care as showing a lack of concern, care and laziness.
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The three policemen are on trial for the death of Allen Ball at Hāwera police station on June 1, 2019. Source: 1 NEWS
The officers, whose name has been deleted, are accused of gross negligence in their duty of care to Allen Ball, who died on the floor of a police cell at Hāwera Police Station ago two years, June 1, 2019.
He had been arrested a few hours earlier while intoxicated.
“Upon his arrest, he immediately became a vulnerable adult,” Crown Attorney Cherie Clarke said in her closing remarks to the trial jury.
“They all knew that he had been an abuser in a family accident, how much he had been drinking and that he was unstable and that he had threatened to kill himself.
“It made him a very vulnerable adult.”
A toxicology report indicates that Ball died of an overdose of alcohol, tramadol and codeine.
Ball told one of the officers that he had been drinking alcohol, but replied “No” when asked if he had taken anything else.
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The defendants are accused of failing to provide medical treatment to a man who died in a police cell in Hāwera. Source: 1 NEWS
Clarke argues that the officers breached their duty of care to Ball so badly that they are guilty of manslaughter.
“Your task is to apply a reasonable test of what a police officer would have done under the circumstances in which he found himself,” she told the jury.
“When Ball didn’t wake up and react to the pain techniques, the reasonable cop would have known it was a medical emergency.”
Instead, after Ball was dragged into a police cell, the top officer charged was overheard saying “Good luck, you did the hard job” to the other officers, Clarke told the jury today. hui.
Clarke argues that officers’ negligence increased as the night wore on, with poor checks on Mr Ball’s condition and some checks not recorded in the police surveillance computer system.
A police directive that emerged as an alert on the surveillance system to take the inmate to hospital, based on information captured about Ball’s condition, was ignored by two of the officers, Clarke claims.
“The Crown says the defense is wrong to suggest that it has never seen Context Alerts before because they have.”
Clarke referred to previous evidence from medical emergency specialist Dr Paul Quigley saying the purpose of this alert is to challenge agents’ confirmation bias.
Clarke said it was “interesting” that none of the officers mentioned pop-up alerts during their interviews with the police.
She said one of the officers initially entered Ball as needing “constant monitoring” in the surveillance system because he knew Ball was not responding, but then changed that assessment.
“We could be crucified a bit because I didn’t put him under constant surveillance due to his level of consciousness…” one of the defendants said in CCTV footage released in court today.
Clarke responded in response that another accused officer said “the idiot was messed up …”
Clarke said the three accused officers knew Ball was never alert inside the police station, never responded, was unconscious and never woke up.
She said the defense argument that the police are advised not to wake sleeping detainees as it has been reported by the United Nations as a form of torture is irrelevant in this situation.
“This only applies to alert people,” Clarke said.
Susan Hughes QC, defense attorney for one of the accused officers, opened her closing remarks by declaring that the accused was an “excellent front line officer” who was committed to serving his community with honesty and integrity .
Hughes said the officer would take Ball to hospital if he felt medical treatment was needed.
She said police viewed Ball as a “sleeping drunk” and were unaware of the codeine and tramadol he had taken.
Hughes said the accused admitted mistakes had been made, but did not believe it was a major deviation in police duty of care to those in custody.
She spoke about the fact that many drunk people sleep soundly and overweight men can snore.
Hughes wondered how the medical system would react if an ambulance was called for every drunk asleep.
She said officers had not received training in using the computer surveillance system that a police directive for Ball’s hospitalization emerged that night.
Andrew Laurenson, defense attorney for another accused officer, said the officer had no responsibility for Ball at any time on the night of his death.
Laurenson asked the jury if they could be sure that a major change in the care required under the circumstances had occurred.
He alleged that the training the officers had received was “insufficient for them to be properly able to do what is required”.
He said the officer would have picked up the phone and called an ambulance if he saw a risk with Ball’s condition.
The lawyer for the third defendant will make his arguments tomorrow morning.