Taking a Stab in the Dark Can Pay Off – Suing Police After Acquittal.

Feb 27, 2023

How much can you expect to be awarded by the State of New South Wales (NSW) if you were maliciously prosecuted, unlawfully imprisoned for six months and refused bail while waiting for your hearing?

Ebonie Madden was charged with custody of a knife in a public place, goods in custody, and resist police.

When Madden and her associate, Turner, were stopped and searched, the knife was found in a bag held by her Turner.

Madden was nonetheless charged and spent six months in custody – bail refused.

The charge against her was eventually dismissed at a hearing.

She sued the State of NSW for false imprisonment, assault, battery, and malicious prosecution – and was successfully awarded $320,000, plus costs.

The Judge found that there was no reasonable cause for the prosecution to charge Madden with custody of a knife in a public place for the following reasons:

i. The knife was in a bag that was at all relevant times in the possession of Turner.

ii. Madden demonstrated spontaneous surprise and shock upon the knife being found.
iii. Turner admitted that the knife belonged to him.
iv. When interviewed after arrest, Madden denied any knowledge of the knife.

The Court explained that there was no reasonable cause for the prosecution to pursue a charge of resist police because the arrest of Madden was unlawful and did not ground “genuine and/or honest suspicion” that Madden was committing, or had committed, the offence.

It was still necessary, however, to prove malice. The Court found malice for the following reasons, amongst others:

i. One of the police officers spoke to Madden in a condescending and mocking manner. He teased about her relationships, suggesting that she had “ditched” and “dropped like a hot potato”.

ii. Despite knowing the bag had been taken from Turner’s possession, the officer immediately moved to arrest Madden.
iii. Following Madden’s arrest the officer says to Madden “who has the last laugh now, hey?”.
iv. The officer deliberately omitted important exculpatory evidence relevant to the charges laid against the plaintiff in a fact sheet prepared within hours of the Plaintiff’s arrest.

In all the above circumstances, Madden’s claim was made out, and she was awarded $320,000 plus costs.

If you have been subject to any of the following, you may have a case against the New South Wales (NSW) Police Force:

i. Wrongful arrest

ii. Unlawful imprisonment

iii. Malicious prosecution

iv. Excessive force, or Assault

Please get in touch with us as soon as possible for professional legal advice and consider your options.

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Green & Associates

We are a community-focussed law firm based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs focused on results through practicality and simplicity.Since our inception in 2014, we have been driven by and focused on one thing only: to not only win our case or achieve our target, but to do it in the quickest, cheapest and most impressive way possible. Each and every one of our clients can expect that from us in every matter we undertake.We are committed to serving Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs through our criminal, commercial & personal practice areas.We believe everyone has the right to a second chance and the opportunity to make dreams a reality.

Green & Associates

We are a community-focussed law firm based in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs focused on results through practicality and simplicity.Since our inception in 2014, we have been driven by and focused on one thing only: to not only win our case or achieve our target, but to do it in the quickest, cheapest and most impressive way possible. Each and every one of our clients can expect that from us in every matter we undertake.We are committed to serving Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs through our criminal, commercial & personal practice areas.We believe everyone has the right to a second chance and the opportunity to make dreams a reality.

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