If you were arrested would you trust Police or trust a lawyer?
May 3 2014, I was assaulted at 7 am by my former partner. A blindsided whack to the head, then whipped with the cord from her laptop charger before a large wall mirror was swung at me.
At 9 am that sunny Saturday morning I was arrested without question- charged with MAF by two policeman one from Philippines one from Punjab India. Neither spoke English very well as I only realised I was being arrested after a little speech by the Indian cop from which I was able to make out the words ‘court of law’.
I was allowed to close the windows and put on some shoes while the Indian took photo’s of the broken pieces of mirror still on the carpet in the hallway.
After being told I was charged with Male assaults female.
I said “no assault occurred to her”.
I was frisked next to the cop car while my neighbours pretended not to notice and I was taken to central and sat alone for two hours on a concrete seat.
Then again the Indian cop appeared and told me it was time for a video interview. After which I would be put in a cell for the next 50 hours.
I asked to speak to a lawyer before I made a statement.
The cop preferred that I made a statement first but eventually relented and led me to a very small room with a phone in it and a list of lawyers.
A sharp sounding lawyer answered my call.
I told him I had been attacked and that I was charged with MAF and police intended to put me in a cell till sometime Monday.
He asked if Id been arrested before, I said no and that I haven’t assaulted anyone and this was what his advice was.
He said ” If your charged with MAF it means male assaults female and if your found guilty in court it can have repercussions through the rest of your life.
If you have been charged and you have not assaulted anyone then you are either being stitched up by your accuser or police or both.
Unless a proverbial lightning bolt strikes this charge will remain until court which may be some months from now”.
He Continued “While police work from assumptions or presumption Judges do not, they only consider evidence. If you have not assaulted anyone then police can have no evidence, so you will- almost certainly be found not guilty. My advice to you is this…
Be aware that if you haven’t committed any crime police will still be looking to find some evidence that you have, if you make a statement to police they will only be seeking to find something in your statement that they can use against to support their assumptions or accusations against you, you have no idea what you have been accused of so its best to wait till next week and sit down with a lawyer when you have the paperwork called “initial disclosure” that you will receive next week detailing the accusation.
I strongly suggest you tell them that you do not wish to make a statement so you don’t give them the opportunity to have evidence against you”.
“You will have to sit in a cell until Monday regardless of if you make a statement or not”.
This more or less made sense to me although it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, when I hung up the phone I asked the Indian cop “Is it true that regardless of what I tell you in a statement, I will be put in a cell till Monday”?
He said “yes”.
He asked me to read the notes he had made in his notebook and sign that it was correct.
I read the notes which was just about the fact that I’d been arrested.
I said “This says that I said that ‘no assault occurred’ when my words were ‘no assault occurred to her but he refused to change it so I refused to sign it and took the lawyers advice and made no further statement and sat in a cell alone, bruised and frustrated.
Two reoccurring thoughts dominated the time I spent sat quietly.
The first was – would my accuser recant the accusation as although she had never been violent to such an extent, it wasn’t unusual for her to be agresive and then totally sorry a few hours later not knowing what came over her. (common with borderlines I now understand).
The second was how easily I could have left the police at the front door, left by the back door, over the fence through the abandoned kindergarten then around the golf course at hagley park, up Fendalton rd, through Monavale gardens and doubled back to my van to get my boots to play my second game of the season for Western over 45’s. I had been training hard and this was the first fine weekend for six weeks. The game was to be a grudge match against the teams old nemesis and I was gutted to let them down. I could’ve just wandered into the police station on Monday morning telling them I didn’t recognise or understand these two tiny Asian men at my door. But considering my bruises I wouldn’t have been much good.
I was bailed from the court house Monday afternoon around 2pm. I had been given orders never to return to the apartment that I’d leased, and my possessions therein were no longer my right.
I was ordered to be homeless. I was told I had two hours to collect my work van which I found to be packed to the ceiling with the contents of my garden shed.
A long nine months later after thousands of dollars donated to a lawyer I had a defended hearing in court that took less than a minute.
Police finally admitted “no evidence’ and the charge remains on record as ‘unproven’.
There was no opportunity for me to speak.
I have been trying since then to bring the matter up with police-As yet to no avail but I will keep trying, I’m treated as an ‘annoyance’ at central station these days.
Even though my accusers statement said the incident began when she hit me (because I wouldn’t answer her) and admitted to the assault with the mirror ,violent crimes against men don’t matter somehow.
Police now tell me I should have made a statement and that’s why the situation was all my fault.
They say I would likely have been un-arrested..
Lawyers should not be trusted according to them.
Was I wrong?
What would you have done in that circumstance? Trust police and make a statement or trust a lawyer?
What can change making it less likely to happen to other men assaulted but accused? (by the same woman or others)
Which is worse, overzealous police incriminating men knowing they have no evidence or lawyers out for easy money? Or Both?
I never saw my accuser again or my possessions.
I never played again for my team or heard from them.
I guess its presumed that the lawyer- “got me off”.