Police refute abuse claims

THE POLICE have refuted claims that they kept a new mother in custody for up to six hours in an effort to coerce her to give evidence.

Yesterday, Hervey Bay Magistrates Court heard that Angela Carson, 23, was kept in the watch house while bleeding for hours, only three weeks after giving birth.

Today, police prosecutor Senior Constable Jeanette Grigoris produced the logbooks detailing exactly how long Ms Carson was at the police station for.

The total amount of time came to three and a half hours in the station, with about two and a half hours of that time spent in custody.

Snr Const Grigoris said Ms Carson arrived at the station at 6.00pm in possession of $2,500 worth of equestrian equipment which was the subject of a prior stolen property claim.

At 6.41pm, Ms Carson was officially placed into custody, Snr Const Grigoris said, which included being asked a number of questions about her medical state and whether she needed any sort of assistance.

At 9.09pm, she was taken for fingerprinting and a photograph before being released at 9.25pm.

Ms Carson told police she suspected the goods were stolen, that she had received them at the McDonald's carpark in Pialba earlier that day and then put them on her eBay account.

After placing them for sale online, Ms Carson told police she became aware the goods were possibly stolen and took them to the station.

Snr Const Grigoris said Ms Carson given the chance to offer a full explanation as to how she came into possession of the goods and to exonerate herself, but refused to do so.

Legal Aid barrister Craig Ryan said that as soon as Ms Carson declined to be interviewed, there was no basis for the police to hold her any longer and she should have been released.

Snr Const Grigoris still offered no evidence against Ms Carson for the charges of stealing or receiving stolen goods, leading to Magistrate Graeme Tatnell dismissing the charges.

Mr Tatnell did not award costs against the prosecution, however.