Former Wagga police officer Michael John Connor defends common assault charges during day three of hearing

Wagga Local Court
Wagga Local Court

A Wagga police officer has testified a colleague told him he "went into a mist" while allegedly assaulting a handcuffed man.

Those were the words recalled by Constable Brenton Casey during an alleged conversation with Michael John Connor, who is defending three assault charges.

Constable Casey was called to the stand as witness number six on day three of the hearing on Thursday. 

Connor, 55, has pleaded not guilty to three common assault charges in relation to the alleged incident on August 27. 

Police claim Connor forcibly punched the alleged victim, Daryl Smith, in the back of the head at least twice and rammed or threw him head-first into a wall before he was pushed down the stairs. 

Constable Casey told the court he witnessed Connor hit Mr Smith two to three times after he was handcuffed and arrested. 

He then told the court he had seen Mr Smith come into contact with the doorway and wall as Connor walked him out of the unit, before witnessing a scuffle where Smith fell down the stairs. 

“I’m unsure whether Mr Smith had dropped to his knees or Connor pushed him, but it looked like he (Smith) was dropping his weight,” Constable Casey said. 

In recalling a conversation between himself and Connor after the alleged incident, Constable Casey said he was asked what would be included in his statement. 

He said he responded that he would be including that Connor had given Mr Smith a “rabbit killer”, to which Connor allegedly said they should have stopped and regrouped once they had control.  

“I told him the job was done now, he’s in the dock – we will deal with the rest later,” Constable Casey said. 

Senior Constable Cameron Ellis also completed his evidence in cross-examination on Thursday. 

Barrister Ray Hood asked Senior Constable Ellis questions in relation to a meeting he had with several officers following the alleged incident. 

“When you were told to tell the others there was to be no further conversation (after the meeting) you didn’t ask why he wanted that?” Mr Hood said. 

“No sir,” Senior Constable Ellis replied. 

“You understood he was seeking to keep a lid on it, yes?” Mr Hood said. 

“I don’t know what his intentions were,” Senior Constable Ellis said. 

With at least two days remaining in the hearing, the case is expected to be completed in April.