Senior NSW cop in bizarre bullying case

By Miranda Forster

A suburban NSW police chief had a habit of striking a more junior officer in the crotch with the back of his hand when the pair walked past each other at the police station, a court has heard.

Inspector Mathew Edward Lonergan is facing a three-day hearing at Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court charged with one count of common assault against Senior Constable Todd Edward Kirk at Parramatta Police Station.

Giving evidence on the first day of the hearing, Sen Const Kirk said Insp Lonergan had taken aim at his genitals seemingly at random between 12 and 15 times, when the pair passed each other in the station's corridors.

Sen Const Kirk said he'd been standing in a kitchenette area with two other officers the first time it happened.

"As Mr Lonergan walked past he's struck me with his right hand, with the back of his hand, in the groin area," he told the court.

"I immediately felt a bit of pain in my belly ... it was like being struck in the groin area with a cricket ball."

Insp Lonergan just kept walking, but repeated the behaviour 12-15 times over a 12-month period, Sen Const Kirk said.

"It got to the stage where I'd actually turn to my left to protect myself ... there'd be times when I actually put my hands in front to stop it happening."

Sen Const Kirk told the court he felt like he was being targeted and that "there was no need for it" but didn't report the incidents because he was concerned about repercussions.

His father Brian Kirk told the court he made a complaint to NSW police in December 2014 after his son revealed an officer was harassing and bullying him.

"He told me that every time he walked past him, he (Insp Lonergan) flicked him in the nuts," Mr Kirk said.

The complaint sparked an internal police investigation which led to Insp Lonergan being charged.

He has pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer Greg Willis said the defence case was that the working relationship between the officers was such that Insp Lonergan's behaviour was consented to, or at least Insp Lonergan thought it was.

The hearing continues.