POLICE who broke a man’s leg after he taunted them about not being able to park a car could end up costing taxpayers $200,000 in compensation.
The leg of Martin Francis, 46, was badly broken in two places, he lost his job and was out of work for eight months after he was wrongfully arrested in August last year and jammed into a police vehicle outside a Mount Isa nightclub.
Mr Francis yesterday said his leg was “nearly snapped in half” in the tussle with three police.
Surgeons had to pin and screw his bones together during a recovery that took six months.
“I was screaming in pain, telling them they had broken my leg,” he said.
“They told me to shut up, that it was a sore foot.”
He said his leg was wedged between two seats and broke as he was dragged by the hair and shoved into a police car.
“They were pumped up and looking for action and took their testosterone out on me. I deserve an apology,” he said.
Extra police were on duty in Mount Isa on the night in anticipation of trouble over the opening of a Rebels bikie gang clubhouse.
Mr Francis said his troubles began when he was smoking outside the Irish Club and criticised police about a poorly parked patrol car.
His lawyer, Kyle Barram, yesterday confirmed he was negotiating an out-of-court settlement with the Queensland Police Service after a magistrate threw out the case against Mr Francis last July. He ordered police to pay Mr Francis’s costs.
Mr Francis said his foot was still numb, he had trouble walking and struggled to do his tyre fitter’s job.
In a damning judgment handed down on July 22, Mount Isa Magistrate Cathy Wadley dismissed all three charges against Mr Francis including disorderly behaviour, failing to leave a premise and obstructing police.
She condemned the actions of the three police officers.
She described them as “unreliable” and “inconsistent” in their evidence.
“It is obvious, on the evidence, that Mr Francis’s leg was broken at the time of being placed into the police vehicle,” she said in her judgment.
“It is inconceivable that any man who has had his leg broken would not scream out in pain.”
She said the officers had reacted to a comment.
“This is a case where (they) should have resisted the sting of any insult,” she said.
An internal police investigation has been ordered.
The Queensland Police Service did not comment last night.