Footage cops face no new charges

By: Tony Koch, Sarah Elks

QUEENSLAND Police say it is unlikely further charges will be laid against officers who watched colleague Benjamin Price assault three people in Airlie Beach.
CCTV footage, released by the force on Tuesday, shows police in Airlie Beach station watching two of the assaults by former senior constable Price, who was this week sentenced to 27 months jail for the bashings between September 2007 and May 2008.
Assistant Commissioner Peter Martin said five officers had resigned and another three were under investigation. ``From a criminal perspective they have not been charged and it is unlikely at this stage that they would be changed with a criminal office,'' he said.
The Australian was told the legal advice was that criminal charges against any of the other police would not hold up.
In the bashing of Timothy Steele, Constable William Keith Dodds is shown handing Price a fire hose, which he forces down the neck of Mr Steele, who had already been capsicum-sprayed and had his nose broken by Price.
Price is also shown slamming barmaid Renee Toms to the floor and picking her up by the hair.
Sergeant Michael Sweeney was shift supervisor on the night of Mr Steele's assault. Constable Jodi Tolleman was watchhouse keeper and Constable Alison Smith helped arrest Toms.
In the third assault, not included in the footage, Senior Constable Rodney Gelderblom saw Price hit Nicholas LeFevre, a Sydney stockbroker, in a local park. The only officer to report Price was Constable Bree Sonter, after Ms Toms' bashing. She had just two months' service.