A Wembley man charged with obstructing police after using a homemade sign to warn motorists about a speed trap told Perth Magistrate’s Court he was assaulted by officers and then strip-searched — despite the fact he did not resist being arrested.
On March 21 just after 8am, Darren James Bissaker, 33, attempted to slow down traffic on Grantham Street as it entered a 40kmh school zone. He has been charged with obstructing police.
Testifying yesterday, he claimed it was a spur-of-the-moment decision and that he had not affected the police’s ability to use their speed radar and issue tickets.
Defence lawyer John Hammond submitted that Mr Bissaker had been too far away from the road to pose any risk to traffic and that the sign he had held was not placed beyond the boundaries of the kerb at any stage.
But prosecuting Sgt Roy Newland insisted Mr Bissaker was endangering his own life by standing so close to passing traffic and that his presence was potentially hazardous because vehicles were having to change lanes to avoid him.
Sgt Newland said the two officers on the scene were left with no choice but to handcuff Mr Bissaker because when they attempted to arrest him he resisted and head-butted the fence, which the pair described as a deliberate act of selfharm.
The court was told how Mr Bissaker had a past history of attempting suicide which Sgt Newland said backed the police claim that he had committed selfharm and justified the strip-search while he was in custody.
But Mr Bissaker told the court Sen. Const. Trevor Ault and Sen. Const. Jason Brewer had used brute force to shove him head-first into the fence.
Mr Hammond produced photographs taken by Mr Bissaker’s partner on the day of the alleged offence which revealed bruises to his torso and shoulders and argued they were from where his client had been held by the police and wrestled to the ground.
Mr Hammond asked Magistrate Paul Nicholls to dismiss the case on the grounds that the officers had admitted writing their statements together, in the same office, at the same time, and that as such their evidence should be regarded as a concoction of lies.
The magistrate refused on the grounds that it was fair to expect the police to collaborate before submitting evidence to ensure their facts were accurate, and the joint effort did not necessarily mean their statements were false.
Mr Nicholls adjourned the case until November 3 when he is expected to hand down his decision.