A still from camera phone footage taken of the violent January 11 arrest of a 16-year-old boy in Lateen Lane, Byron Bay.
A still from camera phone footage taken of the violent January 11 arrest of a 16-year-old boy in Lateen Lane, Byron Bay.

Police officer to face hearing over assault allegations

ALLEGATIONS that a police officer assaulted a teen boy in Byron Bay will be defended in a hearing likely to span four days, a court has heard.

Senior Constable Michial Luke Greenhalgh, 38, was not present when his case was mentioned before Byron Bay Local Court on Monday.

His solicitor, Sally McPherson, confirmed a plea of not guilty to the single charge of common assault, which she originally entered when the matter was first before court in December.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh was working for the Tweed Byron Police District at the time of the alleged incident between 2 and 3am on January 11, 2018.

He's since been transferred to Lismore and it's understood he remains on active duty.

He was charged in October 2019 after a recommendation from the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

The commission investigated the arrest of a boy, 16 at the time, in Lateen Lane, his subsequent detention at Byron Bay Police Station and the actions of the accused and other officers involved.

None of Sen-Constable Greenhalgh's colleagues have been charged in relation to the matter.

Ms McPherson told the court she had prepared a listing advice, which details how many witnesses will be required at the hearing.

While she didn't reveal how many witnesses the defence would call, she said this hearing was expected to require four days before the court.

Magistrate Karen Stafford said the Chief Magistrate's Office would be contacted with a view to having a judicial officer sent from Sydney to oversee the case.

Ms Stafford said such help may allow the case to be heard on consecutive days, something that would otherwise not be possible with the local resources available.

"That will take us a bit of time just to organise, we probably can't get an answer today," Ms Stafford said.

The matter will soon return to court, when formal hearing dates will be allocated.

Sen-Constable Greenhalgh will be excused if legally represented.


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