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'I'm sure you can remember this fella': policeman told what to write in statement

The custody manager on duty at a north coast police station on the night a young Aboriginal man was allegedly assaulted by police was later advised what to write in his formal statement about the incident by the officer investigating it, the Police Integrity Commission has heard.

This advice included the claim that the young Aboriginal man had assaulted a police officer.

The Police Integrity Commission is conducting an inquiry into allegations that Corey Barker, 24, was assaulted at Ballina police station on January 14, 2011, after an altercation with police, and that officers then falsely accused the young man of assaulting them.

The inquiry heard on Monday that the police officer charged with preparing the brief of evidence against Mr Barker, Sergeant Greg Ryan, wrote an email to Ballina's custody manager, Robert McCubbin, months after the event, telling him, "I need an urgent statement from you."

"I'm sure you can remember this fella as he was carrying on so much punching and hitting the dock we had to close the door to the charge room so we could look," said the email to Robert McCubbin, who has since been medically discharged from the force.

"Also if you can cover that you directed Hilly [Senior Constable David Hill] to take him from the dock to the holding cells, and the subsequent assault on Hilly."


"This case is looking like becoming a complaint issue so we need to cover all basis [sic]."

Senior Constable Ryan then advised Mr McCubbin that his recollection of the time of the incident was wrong, and said to contact himself or Constable Hill "if you have an questions".

Sergeant McCubbin subsequently wrote a statement claiming that Mr Barker had broken free while being moved from the dock and had then begun "swinging his arms, attempting to punch Senior Constable Hill and Constable Walmsley".

Under examination by counsel assisting the commission on Monday, former Sergeant McCubbin admitted that, after viewing CCTV footage of the incident, there had been no attack on police whatsoever.

"I put it to you that that was just totally, totally wrong," Stephen Rushton SC said.

"Yes," Mr McCubbin replied.

Mr McCubbin also conceded that Mr Barker's custody record from the night in question contained no reference to any assault, either on the young man or by him, and contained virtually no detail whatsoever.

He also accepted that he had not made regular checks on Mr Barker after he was transferred to the back cells as required by law.

The inquiry has previously heard that Mr Barker was left handcuffed in a cell for nearly two hours.

The hearing continues.