Cop guilty of assault

A NEWCASTLE police officer has been found guilty of a serious assault on a 17-year-old during the youth’s arrest on the Cowper Street bridge at Carrington in July 2011.

Two witnesses said they saw Senior Constable Scott Michael Dominish, 39, knee the teenager in the head after the boy had been restrained on the ground by another officer.

The boy’s jaw was fractured during the incident requiring surgery to insert two metal plates and eight screws into his jaw.

In a written complaint made to police the following day, one of the witnesses, a nurse who had been returning home from a night out, described the blow as ‘‘particularly brutal’’ and ‘‘completely unnecessary’’, Newcastle Local Court heard yesterday .

The witness said Dominish was also aggressive towards him, grabbing him on the arm when he objected to the youth’s treatment  and warning him that to hinder police was an offence. 

The victim himself said he was struck by Dominish despite complying with orders to get on the ground.

In his defence, Dominish told the court that he collided with the boy and the first officer as they chased the youth down the street, and that any injury resulting was an accident.

That version of events was rejected by Magistrate Mark Buscombe.

The magistrate said the blow delivered by Dominish was intentional and forceful, and that the force used by him was not reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

At the end of a defended hearing, Mr Buscombe found Dominish not guilty of recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm, but guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Dominish, who has been on restricted duty since being charged over the incident, will be sentenced on February 28.

A police spokeswoman said yesterday the officer’s position would be reviewed following the court’s finding.