Raymond Neilson-Scott was acting reasonably in the course of his duties when he pushed over two Aboriginal women, a court has heard.
Raymond Neilson-Scott was acting reasonably in the course of his duties when he pushed over two Aboriginal women, a court has heard.

Police officer pushing women over justified: Lawyer

An NT Police officer was acting reasonably in the course of his duties when he pushed over two Aboriginal women during a call-out in Berrimah last year, a court has heard.

Raymond Neilson-Scott pleaded not guilty in the Darwin Local Court last month to assaulting the women and another male relative following the incident on March 23.

Body worn camera footage played to the court showed Neilson-Scott pushing the first woman over after spit from her mouth landed on his face while she was yelling at him.

During closing submissions on Friday, his lawyer, Peter Hanlon, said his client was conducting himself appropriately in the course of his duties and was therefore not guilty of any crime.

The court earlier heard from the officer in charge of NT Police's ethics and integrity unit, Senior Sergeant Andrew Barram, who reviewed the footage and testified that he believed the women posed no threat to Neilson-Scott.

But Mr Hanlon said "only those who are there on the coal face" knew the pressures of dealing with volatile domestic violence incidents and "not another police officer who sits at a desk who has seen the body warn camera footage".

In reply, prosecutor Mary Chalmers said just because Neilson-Scott was on duty did not mean he was automatically considered to be acting in the course of his duties in the eyes of the law

"If he was unlawfully assaulting someone then he wasn't acting in the course of his duties," she said.

"If you're assaulting someone, well that's not reasonable."

Ms Chalmers said Neilson-Scott "snapped" after the first woman "failed the attitude test".

"He just lost it and in anger, in retaliation for her saying 'No you shut up', he just shoves her over pure and simple," she said.

"It was simply an angry reaction because (she) failed the attitude test."

The body worn camera footage showed Neilson-Scott then also pushed the woman's mother over after she approached him and Ms Chalmers said this action was also unwarranted.

"He's lost control of the scene well and truly by now and anyone who's not doing what (he's) saying is going to be subjected to force," she said.

Mr Hanlon said Neilson-Scott was a forthright and credible witness whose evidence had held up under "vigorous" cross examination.

"Not withstanding that baptism of fire, the defendant did not change his version of events," he said.

"He has shown that he has a defence to the three charges."

Judge Elisabeth Armitage will deliver her decision on March 20.



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