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State blocks compo bid
State blocks compo bid

Attempts by police brutality victim Kevin Spratt to apply for government compensation have been thwarted by the State's persistent refusal to release crucial medical records.

The stand-off has emerged as WA Police move a step closer to deciding whether to charge two officers who tasered Mr Spratt, confirming it had completed a long review of the case.

A spokeswoman said yesterday WA Police were preparing to hand a brief of evidence including witness statements, depositions and exhibits to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for a final opinion.

Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills signalled the ex gratia bid in April after the Corruption and Crime Commission made four findings of misconduct against the officers and recommended criminal charges be considered.

The CCC found Sen. Const. Troy Tomlin and Sgt Aaron Strahan used "unreasonable and unjustified" force in tasering Mr Spratt nine times in a minute at the Perth Watch House in 2008 in scenes that made world headlines.

Former attorney-general Christian Porter said at the time the Government would consider any compensation application by Mr Spratt.

But Herbert Smith Freehills, which is acting pro bono for Mr Spratt, has been denied access by the Department of Corrective Services to records of treatment at Casuarina Prison after his brush with authorities.

The firm has been forced to request the documents under freedom of information laws, which the DCS has refused, prompting Herbert Smith Freehills to lodge a complaint with Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel.

The backlog for external review decisions by Mr Bluemmel is an average 8½-month wait.

A DCS spokesman said the department could not discuss the outcome of FOI requests.

Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said the delay in considering compensation and criminal charges amounted to the State trying to "freeze out" Mr Spratt.

Mr Spratt was sent to prison in March for crimes committed in August last year, including assaulting a public officer and biting a prison guard, but has since been released.

Corrective Services Minister Murray Cowper said released prisoners could access certain medical documents by requesting "specific information" through DCS.