Mother describes confrontation between son and police officers
The mother of a man who accused police of beating him described standing between the officers and her son minutes before the alleged attack.
Gina Robinson told Magistrates' Court on Friday that police came to her home on Plaice's Point, in Pembroke, because of an incident with her nephew, but confronted her son, Troy Smith, when he was seen waving a wooden stick.
Mr Smith, 28, pleaded not guilty to charges that he assaulted Pc Richard Geraghty causing bodily harm, resisted arrest and wielded an offensive weapon a 2ft croquet stick during the July 4 incident. He has pleaded guilty to using offensive language.
Pc Geraghty previously told the court that Mr Smith threatened him with a stick, poked him in the eye and threw a rock at him after he attempted to arrest him for violent behaviour.
Mr Smith meanwhile has accused Pc Geraghty of beating him so badly he was left with a broken nose, broken facial bones and a sprained jaw after he had been Tasered. A police investigation found insufficient evidence to prosecute the officer.
Testifying, Mrs Robinson said that she was in her apartment trying to sleep on July 4 when she heard an argument in the home below, where her parents and son live.
She said the argument was between her nephew, Jari Fischbacher, and his father.
“Jari wanted money to catch a taxi or keys to a bike because he wanted to go somewhere,” she said. “I asked him to go inside and stop this noise and nonsense because I had to get up for church.”
A few minutes later, she said she heard another disturbance and when she came outside she saw her son in the road waving a stick in an agitated state.
“I went down to speak to him. He kept saying that he was tired of all the nonsense,” she said.
“The first I knew the police were there was when I saw two red dots on my son, one on his head and the other on his chest.”
She said Mr Smith repeatedly told the officers that he hadn't done anything, while the officers repeatedly ordered him to drop the stick.
At some point, Mrs Robinson said Mr Smith dropped the stick and it struck her in the calf. Around the same time, she said she felt a stinging in her eyes and lips, which she later learned was caused by Captor spray.
She said she went back to her house to take care of her leg, where she stayed until an officer asked her if she wanted to press charges against her son.
Questioned by Crown counsel Nicole Smith, Mrs Robinson denied being coached on what to say by her son's lawyer, Graveney Bannister, and lying to protect her son.
“Mr Bannister asked me to give my statement. It's the same story that I have told the police, it's the same story I'm telling you. It's the truth. I have no reason to lie,” Mrs Robinson said.
Pc Brian MacNab also testified before the court, explaining that after the incident he uploaded video and data from the Taser used, to a computer.
According to the data, the Taser had been fired twice on July 4, once at 59 seconds past 2.27am, and again at 14 seconds past 2.28. Each burst lasted five seconds.
He said the Taser also recorded one minute and 23 seconds of video and audio beginning at 28 seconds past 2.27am, but the recordings were not shown to the court or described.
Pc MacNab said that based on the cartridge, the first shot was fired when the target was 15 to 20ft away from the officer, while the second was a 'dry stun' delivered at point blank range.
Questioned by Mr Bannister, Pc MacNab said that according to the data extracted from the Taser, the device had been tested prior to the incident.
However, while he said he had no difficulty operating the computer, he could not confirm or deny that it had been tested to prove it was operating consistently.
Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo adjourned the matter and released Mr Smith on bail until December 29, when the trial will resume.