Cop who pulled gun on speedster is guilty of assault

AN OUTBACK cop who pulled his gun and threatened to shoot a driver during a roadside intercept has been found guilty of assault and deprivation of liberty. 

In May 2016 Stephen Patrick Flanagan attempted to pull over a speeding Holden Colorado on the Landsborough Hwy outside Longreach. 

Senior Constable Flanagan told the court he activated his lights and sirens - but later discovered they were not working. He began beeping his horn and yelling at the Colorado's driver to pull over. 

The Colorado's driver, Mt Isa man Lee Povey , at first did not realise Flanagan wanted him to pull over because the police car's lights and sirens did not activate. 

The court heard Mr Povey slowed and began to pull to the left but did not stop because there was a drop off on the road shoulder.

An "angry and frustrated” Flanagan continued to beep his horn and yell and swear at Mr Povey until the Colorado came to a complete stop. The officer told the court he then saw Mr Povey searching the centre console of the car for something and believed he may have been looking for a gun.

Mr Povey said he was searching for his licence.

Flanagan handcuffed Mr Povey and pointed his service gun into the driver's back.

He did not speak to Mr Povey's partner in the passenger seat until later.

Magistrate Paul Kluck found Flanagan's evidence was "not credible” and inconsistent with his actions on the day.

Mr Kluck said if Flanagan believed Mr Povey had a gun he would have searched for a gun and made sure the passenger did not have access to one.

Mr Kluck said Flanagan did not behave on the day out of a legitimate mistaken belief.

He found him guilty of assault and deprivation of liberty.

Flanagan will be sentenced next year.

ARM NEWSDESK



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