Man denies he spat blood into constable's mouth
DENG Ajang Riec took to the witness stand in the District Court in Mackay yesterday to deny he spat on Constable Aaron Greenhill following his arrest in March last year.
Riec (right) stands charged with serious assault after allegedly spitting blood and saliva on Const Greenhill while Riec was being led to a police vehicle.
Defence barrister Scott McLennan called his client to the witness stand on day two of the three-day trial.
Mr McLennan said on March 11 last year Riec and his housemates headed to the CBD Hotel where they drank about a jug of beer each.
About 3.45am, as Riec left a club, a male approached him, behaving aggressively and making racial comments.
Mr McLennan said Riec walked away but was later confronted by the same male and was "king hit" in the face.
He said his client was bleeding from cuts to his mouth and upper and lower lips and decided to "take matters into his own hands" after nearby police "didn't seem interested" in the incident.
"He unequivocally denies ever spitting on either of the officers," Mr McLennan said.
Riec told the court he had been waiting for the police to arrest the man who punched him and became angry when they didn't do anything.
He said a police officer "tackled" him to the ground and he said "alright, alright, I give up".
"I was yelling, 'he just hit me'," he said.
"Blood was… coming out of my mouth.
"I was spitting towards the ground.
"As soon as they got me up, I wasn't spitting at all."
Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes questioned the "inconsistencies" in Riec's evidence that police had held his head down.
Mr Hynes asked: "Well then, how did blood and saliva get on Const Greenhill's face?"
Judge Stuart Durward is expected to address members of the jury this morning before they retire.
DENG Ajang Riec allegedly spat blood and saliva directly onto the face and into the mouth of a police constable while being escorted to a vehicle, the District Court in Mackay heard yesterday.
On the first day of a three-day trial, Riec appeared in the dock to answer to one charge of serious assault.
In his opening statement to the jury, Crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes said Constable Aaron Greenhill had been one of two police officers called to provide back-up during an arrest in Mackay's central business district at 4am on March 11.
Mr Hynes said Const Greenhill assisted other officers with the arrest before heading toward the Night Owl convenience store where Riec, who was bleeding from the mouth, was standing and yelling at another man.
He said Const Greenhill asked Riec what was going on and Riec slapped his hands on his chest and yelled "(expletive) come on, I'm not afraid".
As a crowd of people gathered, two officers were forced to restrain Riec and were leading him to a police vehicle when he allegedly turned his head, looked directly at Const Greenhill, who was restraining one of his arms, and spat on the right side of his face, Mr Hynes said.
"Spitting on someone is an assault," Mr Hynes told the jury.
Const Greenhill was called to the witness stand and told the court he'd asked Riec not to spit on him.
"It hit the right side of my cheek and then some of it went into my mouth," he said.
"I was just actually in a bit of shock… and more disgusted than anything."
The trial, before Judge Stuart Durward, continues today.