Monday, March 28, 2011


Policeman denies assault charge.

An Auckland policeman charged with bashing five prisoners, has denied several charges of assault, including one where he allegedly kneed one man, leading to him losing a testicle.

West Auckland police sergeant Martin James Folan pleaded not guilty to six charges of assault and one of injuring with intent to injure in the Auckland District Court yesterday, the New Zealand Herald reported .

Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh told the jury Folan was charged with injuring with intent to injure and an alternative charge of assaulting with intent to injure Joseph McGee, who lost a testicle after the January 8 2010 incident.

Mr McGee was drinking at a west Auckland bar when a fight began and the police and an ambulance were called.

Police restrained Mr McGee while ambulance staff checked him for injuries. He was arrested for disorderly behaviour and taken to the Henderson police station.

While Mr McGee was being processed Folan kneed him "with a good deal of force", Mr Zafirah told the court.

Mr McGee spent the night in a police cell, where he was seen holding his groin in pain. When he got home next morning, he took painkillers, but put off seeing a doctor for three days. His left testicle was later removed in hospital.

Police were allowed to use reasonable force but Folan's use of force was "gratuitous" and he had lost his temper.

There was an issue of credibility as none of the complaints was made at the time of the alleged assaults, defence counsel Richard Earwaker told the court.

Folan is also alleged to have beaten four other prisoners, including Samuel Verdonk who was arrested for disorderly behaviour in November, 2009,

Constable Scott Shearer saw Folan kick Verdonk in the groin, Mr Zarifeh told the court.

Folan was also seen to smash another prisoner's head on the concrete floor and push another prisoner against the wall with both hands around his neck, the court was told.

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