An off-duty policeman’s bizarre attack on kids pedalling through a plaza, leading to an 11-year-old breaking their arm, has been revealed in court.
Police officer Daniel Geoffrey Turner, 44, was demoted from leading senior constable after his strange antics last January where he slapped, punched and shoved young cyclists without any provocation.
Footage played in court showed Turner strike out at the victims as he walked along through Hornsby Mall last January, going as far as lunging in the direction of a teenage cyclist to punch him in the back. Court documents state the young boys, aged between 11 and 16 years of age, had been riding the nearby Old Man’s Valley Mountain Bike Trail as part of an off-road cyclist group when they decided to head to the shops for lunch.
After striking out at three teenage cyclists the off-duty police officer, who was with his family at the time, shoved an 11-year-old boy off his bike with the crash leaving him with a broken arm.
The court heard Turner did not break stride following the fall and continued to walk away, not once returning to check on the welfare of the young victim. The boy’s friends called triple-000 and followed the 44-year-old man around until police arrived.
On Monday, Turner appeared before Downing Centre District Court in a bid to reduce his sentence which had resulted in four assault convictions.
The court heard Turner, who has been a serving police officer for over two decades, suffered from PTSD following the incident and had been given reduced duties as a police officer.
His lawyer told the court his bizarre antics were driven by a desire to protect his family. However, this motivation was flatly rejected by Judge Dina Yehia.
“I am satisfied, having watched the footage, the cyclists didn’t present any threat to himself or his family,” she said.
“To be frank I am at a loss to why he conducted himself in this way on that day,” she said. “(He) has had a brain snap.”
Judge Yehia confirmed the sentence of a 15-month community corrections order and 12-month conditional release order, with convictions, would remain in place for the assault occasioning actual bodily harm and a single assault respectively. The remaining two assaults were reduced to a 12-month conditional release order without conviction.
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