Witness says stepson's anger was not directed at police
The stepfather of a man charged with assaulting an officer said he watched from a balcony as his stepson was pepper sprayed and kicked in the head by a policeman.Richard Robinson told Magistrates’ Court he was at his home on Plaice’s Point Road, in Pembroke, when his stepson Troy Smith was involved in an incident with police on July 4.Mr Smith, 28, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Pc Richard Geraghty causing bodily harm, resisting arrest and wielding an offensive weapon, namely a 2ft croquet stick.He has admitted to using offensive language.Pc Geraghty earlier told the court that Mr Smith had threatened him with a stick, poked him in the eye and threw a rock at him while he attempted to arrest him for violent behaviour.Meanwhile Mr Smith has accused the officer of beating him and leaving him with severe injuries including a broken nose, broken facial bones and a sprained jaw. A police investigation found there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the officer.Mr Robinson told the court he was at home sleeping on July 4 when he heard a “ruckus” between his in-laws who lived in the apartment below.He went downstairs and heard his wife’s nephew, Jari Fischbacher, shouting at his mother and father, demanding money and keys to a motorbike.He said his wife, Gina Robinson, told her nephew to leave the house.Mr Robinson said he struck Mr Fischbacher after he became uncontrollable and disrespectful towards his wife.He said his stepson, Mr Smith, came home and grabbed a croquet stick to further defend his mother.“Once the police arrived [two to three minutes later] they immediately swung the [car] doors open and shouted to Troy to ‘throw down the stick, throw down the stick’. They were at least 20 to 30ft away.“Troy wasn’t really worrying about them when they arrived. He was shouting at Jari in the yard, telling him he is tired of all the ignorance he is doing around here, disturbing the house. He never approached the police.”Mr Robinson said the officers continued to ask his stepson to put down the stick, but he carried on cursing at them and telling them “it wasn’t him”.Seconds after that Pc Geraghty started using his pepper spray and Mr Smith put down his stick. It then bounced off the ground and hit his wife in the shin, Mr Robinson said.According to his testimony, he saw the officer run towards Mr Smith and pepper spray him again in the face.He said he also saw the officer pull out his baton and strike Mr Smith across the leg.Mr Robinson said both officers “rushed” his stepson and threw him on top of a car in the driveway.“Troy was handcuffed on his belly, facing down. He was shouting at the officers saying. It wasn’t me [and] cursing at them.“The black officer [Pc Robin Evans] was at his feet or by his knees holding him from that area and the white officer [Pc Geraghty] was at his head and his neck.“Then Pc Geraghty moved off from his face and out of the blue just kicked him in the face right on his cheekbone.”In cross-examination prosecutor Nicole Smith suggested Mr Smith had been out drinking before the incident. His stepfather denied that he was intoxicated.Ms Smith put to the witness that the defendant continued waving the croquet stick and advancing towards the officers and came within two feet of Pc Geraghty.She also suggested Mr Smith was “agitated and angry” at the time of the offence. Mr Robinson said this was true, but denied the anger was directed at the police.According to the prosecutor, Mr Smith did not react to the initial captor spray Mr Robinson denied this.She also said Mr Smith grabbed a rock to use against the officer a point also denied by Mr Robinson.Ms Smith questioned why Mr Robinson who has been married to Mr Smith’s mother for 19 years did not come to his stepson’s aid when the officer was allegedly hitting him.She said: “Everything you said is just an effort to keep him out of trouble because you feel Jari is the one that should be here [in court].”The case will continue before Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo on January 4.