A police officer concocted a story about Kevin Spratt threatening to kill him to justify the use of a Taser which otherwise would have been “inexplicable and quite outrageous”, a prosecutor suggested this morning.
The question of whether Mr Spratt uttered the threat took central stage on the final day of evidence in the trial of two officers accused of unlawfully tasering him at the Perth Watch House in August 2008.
Police auxiliary officer Troy Gregory Tomlin admitted he told Mr Spratt to “give me your arm or you’re going to get f...king tasered”, after the prisoner refused to move to a cell for a strip search.
But Mr Tomlin rejected prosecutor James Mactaggart’s suggestion that he then used the Taser because Mr Spratt didn’t obey him, which would have been a clear breach of police guidelines preventing the weapon’s use as a "compliance tool".
The officer said he used the Taser because Mr Spratt had looped his arms around bench seat rails, tensed his body, gnashed his teeth and said, "I am God, I am the devil, I am going to kill you".
“I suggest to you that that plain did not happen at all,” Mr Mactaggart said.
“If Mr Spratt uttered no such threat your response would have been inexplicable and quite outrageous.”
“No,” Mr Tomlin replied.
“He was snapping his teeth. He threatened to kill me.”
After video of the incident was played, Mr Tomlin admitted there was no threat by Mr Spratt on its audio.
He had earlier given evidence that he was “centimetres” from Mr Spratt when he issued the threat.
Under questioning from Magistrate Richard Bromfield, Mr Tomlin admitted Mr Spratt had not been charged with making threats to kill.
Mr Spratt was convicted of assaulting two officers and obstructing police while in the watch house reception area, where he was tasered.
The latter charge was quashed in February 2011 after the Supreme Court ruled there had been a miscarriage of justice because a police statement of material facts alleging the obstruction was false.