An End To 18 Months of ‘Pure Hell’: WA Sergeant Cleared of Slapping a Pilbara Teen

Sergeant Mark McKenzie: shown here with $1 million drug bust
Sergeant Mark McKenzie: 2012 photo showing some of a million dollar drug bust
A senior WA police officer has been found not guilty of assaulting a teenager by slapping him across the face when he was handcuffed.

Sergeant Mark McKenzie had been on trial for the past two days over his treatment of the 16-year-old in the Pilbara town of Newman in October 2014.

The teenager was arrested after police were called to a house where a Halloween party had gotten out of control.

It had been alleged Sergeant McKenzie used an open palm to hit the teenager on the left side of the face, after the boy resisted arrest and yelled abuse.

Sergeant McKenzie’s lawyer Darren Jones said there were too many inconsistencies in the evidence given by witnesses to prove the teenager had been slapped.

This afternoon Magistrate Peter Malone ruled prosecutors had not proved their case.

Sergeant McKenzie was stood aside after he was charged with assaulting the teenager and is now expected to return to full duties.

He was awarded legal costs of $15,941.

Acting president of the WA Police Union Brandon Shortland said policing was a difficult job and Sergeant McKenzie had faced a very challenging situation on the night of the teenager’s arrest.

“Unfortunately we’ve seen a few cases recently where WA police and the state have chosen to prosecute their members without there being a case to answer and we’d like to see that stop,” he said.

Mr Shortland described the past 18 months for Sergeant McKenzie as “pure hell” and said he now expected he would be returned to full duties.

Source: ABC News.

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