Teens plead guilty despite claim of 'unnecessary force'
THREE young people have been sentenced after an incident in which police were alleged to have been too rough.
Police from the Richmond Target Action Group were patrolling in the vicinity of Lismore Shopping Square on Brewster St about 2pm on October 17 last year when they saw several young people walking along the top of a bench.
According to court documents, police approached the group and observed one man, who was wanted over a break-in in Casino the previous month, before handcuffing him.
As they tried to take him into custody, the three teens, a boy and two girls, became "hostile", were "yelling and swearing" and demanded they let the man go.
Following the incident, family members of the teens involved claimed police used "unnecessary force" and were "heavy handed" during the incident.
Footage of part of the arrest went viral for a time on social media in the days afterwards.
But according to court documents, a number of people surrounded police and became "aggressive" toward them, court documents said.
Police repeatedly identified themselves and made more than 10 requests for the group to disperse, but they did not.
As officers searched the handcuffed man, they found a bag containing a crystal substance along with jewellery believed to be related to his unrelated allegations.
During the furore, the young people attempted to take this bag from police by force, but were not successful.
One officer deployed capsicum spray toward one of the two girls before she retreated.
The group continued to be "hostile and aggressive towards police", according to court documents, and were shouting and attempting to reach the man, and a boy, who were at this stage handcuffed.
The two girls were also arrested after police called for the assistance of more officers.
One of the girls, aged 15, spat at an officer who was placing her under arrest.
This made contact with his mouth and eyes.
Before Lismore Children's Court this week, the boy and one of the girls each pleaded guilty to one count of resisting or hindering police but was spared a conviction and received a caution.
The girl who spat at police pleaded guilty to assaulting police and Magistrate Paul McMahon gave her a nine month good behaviour bond.
Each of the defendants had additional relation charges withdrawn and dismissed.