It is not just in the UK where Police Officers can face assault and not see the offenders convicted.
The West Australian Police Union says it is considering taking civil action against three members of a family acquitted of an attack which left a police officer brain-damaged.
Robert Mcleod and his two sons Barry and Scott walked free from the Perth District Court yesterday after a jury took one and a half days to find them not guilty of assulting four police officers.
They were accused of assaulting the officers outside a tavern in the northern Perth suburb of Joondalup in February, 2008.
The attack included a flying headbutt which left 32-year-old Constable Matthew Butcher with brain damage. He is paralysed down his left side and his sight is damaged.
Constable Butcher shook his head at the verdict, and told the media he was ‘absolutely disgusted’ as he left court.
A spokesman for the West Australian Police Union, Chris Cassidy, says the verdict will have a devastating impact on morale and recruiting and warned civil action against the men is a real possibility.
“Because the balance of proof in not beyond reasonable doubt, but in fact on the balance of probabilities,” he said.
Mr Cassidy also wants video footage of the brawl to be released to the public.
“Who can see for themselves the incidents that police deal with on a day to day basis and unfortunately in this case Matt Butcher has been paralysed.”
The Minister for Police, Rob Johnson, says he would back any such move.
“We will not sit back and let these devastating attacks on our police officers go unpunished,” he said.
“The outcome of this case will have a terrible effect on police morale and I can understand that.
“What I fear will happen is that you will see police officers reluctant to go in and do their duty and try and stop a fight for fear of becoming the victim.
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