The West

Police slam assault loophole
Police slam assault loophole

WA's police union is demanding Government action to close a legal loophole that has resulted in a woman who bit a female police officer on the thigh during an arrest walking free.

A Supreme Court appeal judgment cleared the woman, Daniell Brook Staskos, after she had initially been convicted of assaulting a public officer, which carries a minimum mandatory jail term of six months.

The decision has incensed WA Police Union president George Tilbury, who says the legal conclusion undermines the State Government's tough stance on violence against police.

The incident began when Ms Staskos and her former boyfriend argued near Fremantle police station last year.

As the couple were approached by police, they continued the argument, and were then arrested.

Sen. Const. Kelly Robinson was bitten on the inner thigh and elbowed to the face by Ms Staskos.

She was convicted of disorderly conduct as well as serious assault.

But the Supreme Court found last week that Ms Staskos' actions were not unlawful because police had no legal right to take her to the ground after using excessive force on her former boyfriend.

Attorney-General Michael Mischin said the choice of the charge for Ms Staskos had been crucial.

If she had been charged with common assault, the result may have been different.

The West Australian

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