By Andy Young

A Sydney man has been awarded $20,000 after the NSW District Court found he had been unlawfully arrested after he was thrown out of a Parramatta pub.

Johnny Raad claimed he had only had one beer at the Albion Hotel when he was taken outside by a security guard and told he would not be allowed back inside because he was intoxicated.

Raad told the court that he was then approached by a second security guard who pushed him in the chest with his chest, grabbed his arm and yelled abuse at Raad. As a result Raad called the police.

When police arrived at the hotel, they told the court that they advised Raad leave the vicinity and when he refused he was issued with an infringement notice for “failure to leave premises when required”. The officers then said that Raad became “argumentative and quarrelsome” which led them to believe he was intoxicated and so he was handcuffed and taken to Parramatta Police Station, and was later released.

While District Court Judge Matthew Dicker said he found it “surprising” that Raad had only consumed one beer during his time at the hotel, given his size and the amount of time he was there and that there was no evidence of Raad drinking water or soft drinks, he did say “in the absence of any compelling conflicting evidence I find that Mr and Mrs Raad had only consumed the amount of alcoholic drink indicated”.

Judge Dicker added: “I find that the plaintiff honestly believed at the time that he was not intoxicated and from his limited consumption of alcohol over the period at which he had been at the Albion Hotel, as found above, it would seem he was not intoxicated. I also find that the plaintiff was upset, indignant and possibly even outraged at the fact that he had been asked to leave the Albion Hotel and had been refused re-entry.

“Contrary to the plaintiff’s evidence, I find that the plaintiff remonstrated with the security guards for some time, was speaking in a loud voice and was waving his arms around as he spoke.”

The judge also said that while the “police conduct in apparently not treating it seriously by not taking notes clearly outraged and upset the plaintiff even further”, Raad had “remained well after he had notified police of the assault and after he had been directed to leave by the police officers”.

Judge Dicker found that Raad had been unlawfully arrested because police had no intention of charging him with the offence of “excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises”.

“An arrest of a person by a police officer will not be a valid arrest merely because the officer believes that an offence has been committed by the person or the person is in the course of committing an offence, in circumstances where the officer has no intention of charging the person arrested or having the person charged with that offence. A person cannot be arrested merely to prevent the continuation of the offence if the police do not intend to charge the arrested person with the offence,” Judge Dicker added.

Although the judge said that Raad had "unwisely chose to remain" at the hotel and that his evidence “should be approached with some caution” he awarded Raad $5,000 for aggravated damages and $15,000 for false imprisonment noting that he had been arrested with the assistance of a number of police officer despite not resisting arrest in any way. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. How would the judge know what Raad had consumed prior to attending the premise?
    This is typical of the justice system these days, not siding with front line law enforcement in a ‘He said, I said’ type issue. Tax payers are the mugs once again.

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