'Spontaneous confession' after violent run-in chucked out
BLOOD pooled under two men after a violent run-in at a Clermont caravan park.
Police body-worn camera footage of the shocking scene played in Mackay District Court shows one man drenched in blood being supported by a number of people.
Abuse is being hurled at a second man, who is face down on the gravel not far away; his arms restrained behind his back following a citizen's arrest and with multiple injuries to his face.
The footage showed a knife on the ground next to second the man.
This was the scene that confronted two officers as they arrived at Clermont Caravan Park about 2am on September 30 last year.
The second man - Jonathan William Waiomio - was arrested and later charged with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and assault occasioning bodily harm over the incident over allegations he deliberately got a knife and stabbed a man in the neck.
But the "spontaneous confession" Waiomio made before he received medical treatment was yesterday chucked out in a hearing ahead of the trial later this year.
Judge Deborah Richards said a recording in evidence had painted a picture of a man who was suffering from facial and head injuries of unknown severity.
She said his agitated and aggressive behaviour could have indicated indignation, intoxication or a serious head injury.
"The questioning was clearly unfair and the officer has rightly acknowledged as much," she said, noting Waiomio had been in custody for four hours without medical attention.
"The fact (the police officer) was under pressure at the time to decide on which charge to lay does not make it any less unfair to the accused.
"There was no urgency in having to speak to him at all ... he could have introduced himself at Clermont hospital.
"This is a serious charge but it was also a serious breach of the defendant's rights.
"The confession is excluded."
The inadmissible evidence ruling had followed argument in the court about whether a jury should be allowed to hear the "spontaneous admission".
During the pre-trial hearing, barrister Paul Rutledge argued no warning or caution was given to his client, making the interview illegal evidence.
He also criticised the police response in taking hours to admit his client to hospital despite the obvious injuries to his face and the fact he had complained about being jumped by 15 men.
Crown prosecutor Ben Jackson said this was not a case of police "displaying wilful disregard to an injured man".
"Mr Waiomio (allegedly) injured someone seriously and it was quite frankly his misfortune that because of the resources at the time that other person received a level of priority over him," Mr Jackson said.
Mr Jackson argued Mr Waiomio's spontaneous admissions were under circumstances where he had been previously warned.
He said one of the officers was unwavering in his evidence that he gave Mr Waiomio the appropriate warning at 2.15am and it was acknowledged and understood.
Judge Richards commended the officer in question for his memory and reflection about how he should have handled the situation.
"When I look at the whole situation .. how it played out to me, it could have been handled differently," she quoted the transcript of him reflecting.
"He said 'it would be completely and utterly wrong of me to interview him or question him thoroughly ... prior to him receiving medical treatment'.
"It was my pure intention to say this is why you're here, this is what's going on...," she said he had testified.