Police assault case shines light on bail laws

Police assault case shines light on bail laws.THE case of a former policeman granted bail after allegedly assaulting a serving female officer is to be raised with the NSW Police Minister.
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Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said he would take details of the case to his colleague Stuart Ayres, saying the safety of police officers should be a priority for the government.

A female officer was treated for facial injuries after allegedly being assaulted by the former policeman when he was stopped for a random breath test in Lithgow last Friday afternoon.

Ross Lindsay, 68, whose home address is listed as Bathurst on court documents, was kept in custody by Chifley local area command police on Friday night before being granted bail in Bathurst Local Court on Saturday.

He is due to return to court on Monday to face two counts of assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty; one count of assaulting a police officer in the execution of their duty causing actual bodily harm; and two counts of resisting/hindering police in the execution of their duty.

Mr Toole said any alleged attack on serving police officers was a concern.

“Clearly the police in Lithgow were out there doing their job and protecting the safety of others,” he said. “Any attack on police officers is outright thuggery and should not be tolerated.

“Anyone would be horrified to think police officers were seriously injured in the line of duty.

“Those convicted of such a crime should face the full force of the law.”

Mr Toole said his first concern is to ensure the welfare of the police officers involved, and he would also be raising the matter directly with the minister’s office.

Mr Toole also said the case highlighted the need for changes to the state’s bail laws which will come into effect in the new year.

The new changes were passed after the state government introduced sweeping changes to bail laws on May 20 this year, removing the decades-old presumption against bail for a number of serious offences.

But an outcry from the community and law enforcement representatives has seen the same government now fast-track changes to these laws to be introduced on January 28.

Under these new changes, the onus will be on the accused to “show cause” why their detention in custody is not justified. After this date an accused person who is assessed as an “unacceptable risk” will be refused bail.

“It goes towards ensuring people aren’t given a free ride when seeking bail,” Mr Toole said.

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