ACT News


Accused tells of taser agony

A disabled man - with one good hand and leg - has told a court he endured ''excruciating pain'' while being tasered by police, describing it as the ''most frightening experience of my life''.

Anthony Bruce Gilkes was tasered by police as they responded to an altercation between Gilkes and his father.

The 35-year-old is on trial in the ACT Magistrates Court accused of assaulting his father, causing actual bodily harm, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

He has pleaded not guilty and gave evidence to the court on Monday.

The court heard police were called to the scene after allegations of an assault.

Gilkes, from Newcastle, said he had been asleep when two police officers entered his room and ordered him into the dining area.


The court heard he did as requested and was seated when he saw his father enter a room accompanied by another officer.

Gilkes said he stood to follow his father when he was blocked by the officers and ordered to sit down.

But he was informed he was not under arrest.

The accused told the court an officer then repeatedly ordered him to remove his hands from his pockets. Gilkes said he could not react as instructed as his arms were by his sides and told police they weren't in his pockets.

He told the court he then held up his right hand - effectively a stump - and said, ''I don't have a f---ing hand''.

The father-of-two alleged Sergeant Steven Harris then smirked at his colleague and said ''He's only got one hand.''

Gilkes said he was humiliated and reacted by slapping the officer on the face using the open palm of his good hand.

The court heard a struggle then broke out between Gilkes and another officer in the room.

The accused said he was grabbed from behind by the officer and dragged backwards before both men fell onto the ground.

Gilkes said he was then flipped onto his back and restrained by the officer placing knees into his abdomen.

He told the court the sergeant then yelled ''taser, taser'', before the second officer moved from on top of him.

''Then it was the other guy standing over the top of me with the taser,'' Gilkes said.

''I just sort of froze … I didn't make any movements.''

He said the feeling of being tasered was ''hard to put in words'', but described it as ''excruciating'' and as the most frightening experience of his life.

Gilkes was told he was under arrest for resisting arrest, but argued he could not resist arrest if he hadn't been formally detained.

He was then placed in a police wagon and taken to The Canberra Hospital for examination before being taken to the ACT Watch House.

The hearing continues next month.