IN COURT: This man stands accused of seriously assaulting a female police officer. Photo: file
IN COURT: This man stands accused of seriously assaulting a female police officer. Photo: file

Claims cop assault followed alcohol-fuelled street fight

A FEMALE police officer who was allegedly left with facial injuries in a serious assault said the night involved an alcohol-fuelled “melee”, where she was verbally abused and “threatened”.

Craig William Rutledge was allegedly involved in the large street fight two Stanthorpe police officers attended on September 5, 2015, where he and his then-girlfriend allegedly resisted arrest.

The Warwick District Court heard the pair were eventually handcuffed and as the man was escorted to the police car, he allegedly threw his head back into the female officer’s face, causing cuts and bruising.

He pleaded not guilty to one charge of the serious assault of a police officer on duty at the trial’s outset.

Mr Rutledge’s alleged victim was the first witness to testify, describing the 20-strong street fight as a “melee” in which she and her fellow officer “felt outnumbered and threatened”.

The court heard many people involved were intoxicated and coming from a football grand final match.

“ (Mr Rutledge) was calling us ‘f---ing dog c---s’, (saying) ‘you’ve arrested my f---ing girlfriend, you f---ing dogs’, and I think there might have been a threat delivered at one point in time to me directly,” she said.

The policewoman testified Mr Rutledge recorded a blood alcohol concentration of 0.123 when he was processed at the Stanthorpe station later that evening.

Defence counsel suggested the policewoman may have knocked her own head in the course of the arrest but she quickly denied the possibility.

CCTV footage from a nearby business showing Mr Rutledge and his girlfriend being put in handcuffs was played to the court, though it did not include the alleged assault.

Images of the policewoman’s injuries were also submitted as evidence.

The alleged victim’s fellow Stanthorpe police officer and current romantic partner was the second witness to give evidence.

He testified that those involved in the fight, including Mr Rutledge and his girlfriend, were threatening police officers to the extent he “believed (the man) was going to assault one of us.”

The trial will continue today.

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