Man severely injured during arrest found guilty in court

FOUND GUILTY: A magistrate has found a man has already suffered after receiving a fractured eye socket and lacerated liver during his arrest.
FOUND GUILTY: A magistrate has found a man has already suffered after receiving a fractured eye socket and lacerated liver during his arrest.

The lacerated liver and broken eye socket a man suffered when police arrested him on February 14, 2015, were taken into account when he was sentenced in Orange Local Court on Friday.

Magistrate Alison Viney found Anthony Tatnell, 30, of Downey Circuit, guilty of resisting police when he attempted to leave a room after being told to stay.

Ms Viney convicted him but didn’t issue any further punishment for that offence, but fined him $600 for punching a police officer.

“It’s never a good idea to swing a fist at a police officer,” she said.

During an all-day trial on Wednesday, the court heard testimonies from the two arresting police officers and Tatnell’s wife Valery Tatnell, who witnessed the incident.

Tatnell’s barrister Philip Boncardo said his client’s face was injured by a police officer “striking him a number of times” with a taser and he said police used excessive force by pushing his client onto a bed and failed to immediately give their names, station and reason for arrest.

However, Ms Viney didn’t find the push excessive, and due to the rapid course of events there was not reasonable time for police to follow usual procedure.

The offences took place after two police officers went to a Byng Street house to arrest Tatnell for an altercation at a club at about 11.30pm.

He was found hiding under a bed and Senior Constable Sam Morgan drew his taser when Tatnell acted aggressively after coming out from under the bed.

During his court testimony, Senior Constable Morgan said he tried to put the taser back into the chest holster but Tatnell attempted to leave the room.

"I put my left hand on his shoulder and said, ‘wait here a minute mate’,” Senior Constable Morgan said.

“I had taken hold of his clothing to try to hold him back to stop him walking past me and we fell on the bed.”

Senior Constable Morgan said Tatnell threw a punch that glanced off his jaw while he was leaning over Tatnell on the bed, and he punched him back with the hand holding the taser.

He said after he hit Tatnell, he pulled Tatnell onto the floor where he and a female constable were unable to place Tatnell’s hands behind his back so he launched a number of “approved knee strikes” to make Tatnell comply.

Ms Viney did not count Tatnell failing to put his hands behind his back while on the floor as resisting arrest saying he would have been in “considerable pain”.