Thursday, 12 June 2008

Police home detention over prisoner assault

Graeme Kunoth following the assault.

A Northern Territory police officer convicted of kicking a drunk, handcuffed prisoner and trying to destroy evidence of the assault has been sentenced to home detention.

In November 2006, Michael James Bourke was acting sergeant at the Tennant Creek watchhouse when he kicked Graeme Kunoth in the head while the man lay handcuffed on the floor.

Bourke later tried to access a video recording of the assault.

Earlier this year, a Supreme Court jury found him guilty of assault and attempting to destroy evidence.

In sentencing today, justice Dean Mildren said he did not think Bourke's actions were premeditated.

He said Bourke had lost control and his anger had boiled over.

The judge said Bourke had abused the trust of his position and the sentence should serve as a general deterrent.

The 35-year-old was given a nine month suspended sentence on condition of home detention.

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