Yet again we have a New Zealand journo writing a piece, published by Fairfax today, that has little regard for the victims wishes, the facts of the case or dare we say it the whole truth. Fairfax’s Amy Maas starts her piece with attempting to paint her subject, in our view, in a bad light – a 1.75 metre tall nunchuk wielding ninja perhaps? (thats right Amy the victim of this police assault was half the size and weight of Sgt Greatorex) – otherwise what the hell has the victims, Russell Byfeild, membership in a martial arts school got to do with the story, especially given the fact that Mr Byfield can no longer participate in this martial art/sport?
Ms Maas could equally have noted that prior to receiving his extensive injuries, the victim, Mr Byfeild was in fact 1. training for his pilots licence, and 2. was an accomplished recreational scuba diver who had travelled the world participating in this another sport (and paid to review dive resorts).
So why did Amy Maas not mention any of this? Why did she or her editor decide to use the atrocious and negatively suggestive lead ” A martial arts black belt who became a morphine-dependent invalid”?
Well as always with Fairfax and Kiwi Journos in general they do a half arsed job with scant regard for the truth or even the notion that their readers deserve better, preferring instead to follow the current editorial mandate of manufacturing sensationalist narrative in their ongoing attempts to sell papers to other halfwits so as to raise the stock price of a failing dinosaur (just our opinion).
So what went wrong on this particular occasion? Well it seems that Fairfax New Zealand’s Amy Maas hadn’t spent that much time speaking with the victim of this cops proclivity for extreme violence.
In fact by all accounts Amy chatted by telephone to Mr Byfeild for all of 10 – 15 seconds during which time Mr Byfeild politely advised Amy that he was unwell and unable to talk. He also advised Maas that if she wanted to report on the case she should call back in two – three weeks once his health issues were under control.
So what else was it that Mr Byfeild disclosed to Maas? In short other than advising her of his ill health and the prescribed medications that were causing serious side effects, hence his inability to talk with her (which Amy Maas creatively and outrageously dubbed “Morphine dependency”), absolutely sweet fuck all.
Ms Maas’s story and her dodgey unethical methods are so typical of New Zealand’s incompetent Journo’s (who are now additionally required to meet targets), attempting to pass off lazy half-arsed web research, police media releases, subjective conclusions and opinion as journalism – add to that the historically pro police stance taken by Fairfax over the years and little or no life experience in the underpaid journo’s they now employ and its a “womans own magazine” type recipe for disaster – especially for the victims of any serious injustice.
When LF contacted Mr Byfield by phone from the Netherlands in the early hours of this morning, following the Fairfax publication, we were pleasantly surprised by the mans integrity, openness and honesty.
Despite clearly being in a lot of pain, recovering from a very recent family bereavement and being more than just a little annoyed (once we had advised him) that Fairfax had gone ahead and published a twisted incomplete watered down version of the story without his knowledge and more to that point against his express wishes .
Once we had introduced ourselves and explained that our call was in relation to the Fairfax story Mr Byfield was quite happy to speak candidly with LF about the history of his case and the story of what had in fact happened in his life since the day (May 6, 2005) he was violently set upon by Christchurch Police officer Senior Sergeant Ronald Greatorex.
Again given his current health issues it was not possible for us to chat for much longer than half an hour (29 minutes and 85 seconds longer than Amy Maas had managed) but rest assured we have the details and will be bringing readers Mr Byfield’s entire story and the circumstances leading up to high court justice John Fogarty’s dismissal of what were (in our opinion) clearly fabricated criminal charges designed to extract Senior Sergeant Ron Greatorex and the police from another public relations nightmare.
Our take on these malicious charges, we believe, is further supported by Justice John Fogarty’s somewhat unusual departure from the norm (especially given fogarty’s background with Christchurch law firm Western, Ward and Lascelles) with the very obvious warning directed at the Christchurch police and regional crown prosecutor Raymond Donnelly & Co;
“When trying to make an arrest, the police officer was not acting in the execution of his duty. He had no right to be in the drive at the gate in the first place.“………..“I am satisfied that on the facts of this case there is no possibility of the police obtaining convictions on these charges.”
– Justice John Fogarty QC, New Zealand High Court.
Lauda Finem will in an upcoming series be exploring the actions of Mr Byfield’s first defence counsel Mr Allan Manco an ex Christchurch Cop (1977 ) turned lawyer who failed to disclose his prior relationship with Senior Sergeant Ron Greatorex and who only a matter of weeks after the second highly questionable trial, presided over by Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders, strangely defected to the dark side – being appointed a prosecutor for the New Zealand police – South Island West Coast legal services section.
We will also be taking readers through a closer look at the very strange IPCA investigation overseen by an ex Dunedin cop who, surprise surprise also knew and apparently admired Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Greatorex and the polices role in that dodgy IPCA investigation overseen by the current Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles. Of course Knowles is certainly no stranger to controversy with unflattering allegations levelled at him, ranging from incompetence to corruption – controversy that has seen anonymous supporters (all police association members perhaps) set up a Facebook page in his honour.
This is an incredible story of one mans fight for justice, being forced to wade through the shit thrown at him during three trials all the way to New Zealands High Court. Its a story like so many others in recent times that will again leave our readers totally gob-smacked at the audacity of the Christchurch police and yet again the city’s crown prosecutor Raymond Donnelly & Co – law firm headed up by the now infamous exponent of judicial perversion Brent Stanaway, a firm whose illustrious corrupt alumni include Crown and IPCA heavy weights such as Craig Martin Ruane and the police spindoctor, bullshit artist, Govt cover-up queen and go-to-gal Kristy McDonald QC.
Of course it was another police cover-up gal, Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Sandra Manderson that was ultimately responsible for overseeing this particular attempt by police local area command to cover the tracks of yet another of their rogue cops by persecuting the real victim – who could ever forget Manderson’s arrogant attitude during a television interview immediately after Christchurch police had just needlessly shot dead Stephen Bellingham.
Of extreme concern to LF is the fact that Fairfax’s Amy Maas may have mislead her readers by ommision. In todays piece Maas purports that “At the time of the assault, Greatorex was a senior member of the police staff safety tactical training team in Christchurch.
Our research indicates that Amy may have either been misled by police or decided to omit the fact that the angry fist happy Sergeant Ron Greatorex was and is in fact, in his own words, a “Tactical Firearms Trainer at NZ Police”, we suspect that that means he’s a senior member of the police Armed Offenders Squad (AOS)…..dangerous, very dangerous. This case has also peaked our interest in another alleged police violence story….is there any connection – Suppression for cop even before he goes to court.
So one thing is certain, had Amy called Mr Byfield back as he had asked then Amy Maas could have reported so much more, but she didn’t and that which she did report omits so many facts that the New Zealand public are entitled to know – including the fact that a cop with an attitude problem and serious anger management issues is still permitted to train his brother cops in the use and deployment of firearms and lethal force.
Lauda Finem will be keeping a close eye on the work of Fairfax Journo Ms Amy Mass in the future, after-all we wouldn’t want Amy becoming to full of herself and her self own worth. Its under these conditions that NZ police media office often attempt to seduce and groom journos as they have in the past with the likes of Fairfax Media (NZ) assets such as Jenni McManus, Phil Kitchin and Fiona Rotherham:
A martial arts black belt who became a morphine-dependent invalid after a beating by a senior-ranking police officer, has won a five-year battle for compensation.
Christchurch man Russell Owen Byfield, a black belt in karate and a pro ballroom dancer, was left seriously injured after an attack by Senior Sergeant Ron Greatorex on May 6, 2005.
Greatorex was in an unmarked car, and not in uniform, when he flashed his lights to get Byfield to stop his SUV.
When Byfield stopped at a railway barrier, Greatorex, wearing blue police-issue overalls without any official police insignia, approached him and told him to get out of his car. Byfield demanded to see formal police identification. Greatorex was unable to provide him with any.
Byfield, assuming Greatorex was just a workman, and fearing a possible road-rage incident, drove off. Greatorex followed him home and delivered what witnesses described as a violent beating.
A witness said Greatorex punched Byfield “approximately 15 times . . . in the face, neck and body area but mainly his neck”.
“He shredded Russell’s clothing from neck to groin. This man was clearly out of control.”
Byfield suffered numerous injuries in the assault, including friction burns to his upper and lower arm, upper and lower-arm contusion, chest contusion, and contusion of the scalp and neck. He still suffers from neck pain and numbness in his arms.
Greatorex then charged Byfield with failing to stop for a police officer, assaulting an officer and escaping custody.
Byfield was initially convicted, but that was quashed two years later on appeal to the High Court at Christchurch.
Justice John Fogarty said he was “quite satisfied” that the overalls Greatorex was wearing were “not sufficiently distinctive” to identify him as a policeman and Byfield was entitled to drive off.
He said Byfield was also within his rights to tell Greatorex – who he still did not realise was a police officer – to stay off his property and even entitled to use “reasonable force to prevent him trespassing on his property”.
The judge said: “When trying to make an arrest, the police officer was not acting in the execution of his duty. He had no right to be in the drive at the gate in the first place.”
He threw the case out and told police not to attempt a retrial.
“I am satisfied that on the facts of this case there is no possibility of the police obtaining convictions on these charges.”
Byfield said he was left with such severe injuries after the assault he has still not recovered.
Last week Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) was ordered to pay Byfield an undisclosed sum to cover weekly compensation backdated to 2008, according to a decision released by the Auckland District Court.
Greatorex has never been charged and still works as a senior-ranking police officer in Christchurch.
At the time of the assault, Greatorex was a senior member of the police staff safety tactical training team in Christchurch.
Police said Greatorex was investigated in 2011, but that “none of the complaints made by Mr Byfield were upheld”, despite a High Court ruling quashing the man’s convictions.
Byfield told the Sunday Star-Times the assault had been “horrific” and he was still taking pain medication for a permanent neck injury and he was “in a lot of pain and not sleeping well at all”.
ACC had refused to compensate Byfield because a medical expert, who had not examined him, claimed the injuries to his neck were degenerative and did not stem from the incident, but this claim was dismissed by Judge Roderick Joyce who relied on evidence from doctors who had examined him.
After the incident, Byfield was given assistance with paying for physiotherapy. He applied to ACC for weekly compensation in 2008 after the pain meant he was not able to continue working as a mechanic or run his diving business.
The application was declined, but that decision has now been over-ruled.
Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9222602/Victim-of-officers-beating-wins-compo [retrieved 29 Sept 2013, 1:05am (CEST)]