Cop sues after alleged assault by senior officer at police station

Justice Frank Seepersad. -
Justice Frank Seepersad. -

A POLICE OFFICER who alleged he was assaulted by another police officer in 2019 has sued the State.

PC Colin Audain said he was assigned to the Emergency Response Patrol at the Maloney Police Station, when, on September 15, 2019, when he was punched in the face by a corporal.

His lawsuit alleged the senior officer was intoxicated. It said he lost consciousness and woke up later at the Arima Health Facility with three chipped teeth, a nose full of blood, scratches to his ear and pain in his head. He said he had to breathe through his mouth.

Audain’s case came up for hearing on July 8 before Justice Frank Seepersad who said the pleadings in the case left the court feeling uneasy.

“Given the current climate of uncontrolled crime, citizens should expect that there is an organised and focused approach by those within the TTPS to confront all manner of unlawful activity which may occur outside police stations but one does not expect that a court should have to address assertions of unlawful conduct within a police station."

The judge has fixed a pre-trial review for December 9.

In his lawsuit, Audain said the incident took place after he and his colleague were called back to base by the corporal while they were on patrol.

His lawsuit said he felt uneasy in the presence of the senior police officer. It said after he entered the details of his patrol in the patrol register, he saw another officer make an entry in the station diary which he attempted to read when the corporal shouted at him.

That was when he alleged he was punched repeatedly. Audain alleged he suffered injury, pain, suffering, humiliation, embarrassment and anxiety. The State has denied his claims in its defence. It said Audain was not assaulted and battered nor was he treated in an offensive, hurtful or humiliating manner.

It also alleged that Audain struck the corporal first and any force used against him was reasonably used to subdue him.

The defence, filed by the State, said at around midnight when Audain and his colleague did not return to base when their patrol ended, the corporal phoned him and was told they were in Valsayn getting something to eat.

At 1.30 am, when they still did not return. Audain was allegedly asked to account for the two hours and an entry was made in the station diary on the exchange with a red line drawn next to it so the second division officer in charge of the unit would be aware that something out of the ordinary transpired in keeping with the police service’s standing orders. It also said officers are expected to return to their base stations or stations in the patrol district for their “refresh” period after patrols.

Attorneys Umesh Maharaj and Nerisa Bala represent Audain while Rachael Wright and Candice Alexander represent the State.

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