A former Nowra police sergeant who worked as a teacher in the ACT for a year in 2016 has been jailed for perjury in relation to a 2013 assault.
Nigel Alfred Davey, 47, was given a 12-month prison sentence with a non-parole period of seven months for making a false statement in relation to his arrest of Regan Sutton in Nowra in June 2013.
Davey appeared in Queanbeyan Local Court for sentencing and also received a 14-month good behaviour bond for the assault of Mr Sutton.
Davey had been on patrol in Nowra when he tasered an unarmed Mr Sutton from the driver's seat of his police car.
He later lied about the incident under oath, saying Mr Sutton had been armed with a knife and tried to attack him.
Court documents showed that Davey worked as a teacher in the ACT from February to December of 2016.
A young person has been tasered and excessively so.Magistrate Michael Antrum
The ACT government would not confirm at which school Davey had been employed or how he was able to gain employment within the education directorate despite being dismissed from the NSW Police for misconduct.
The prosecution's court submissions showed Davey was dismissed from the police force in 2015 for another instance of inappropriately using a Taser in January 2014.
Davey had criminal charges of common assault and perjury brought against him on September 29, 2016 and he first appeared in court on November 14, 2016.
The documents showed Davey continued teaching until December 2016 despite the charges.
The ACT government said in a statement any member of staff that has regular contact with students must hold a current Working with Vulnerable People card.
The statement said the government was unable to provide an individual's employment details or the outcome of a WWVP application due to “privacy considerations”.
Davey's defence lawyer made an application for the charges to be dismissed under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act.
He told the court Davey had been diagnosed by a mental health professional as suffering PTSD, substance abuse and a depressive disorder at the time of the offences.
“It is not fair to punish a mentally ill person for their mental illness,” the defence lawyer said.
It was an abuse of the office of police officer. He [Davey] used his power irresponsibly and caused great pain and distress to the young person.Magistrate Michael Antrum
The prosecutor said there were flaws in Davey's application.
“The [psychiatric] report is based on entirely self reporting by someone charged with perjury,” she said.
Magistrate Michael Antrum dismissed the application due to the seriousness of the offences which he said tipped the balance in favour of pursuing a criminal conviction.
“A young person has been tasered and excessively so,” Magistrate Antrum said.
“It was an abuse of the office of police officer.
“He used his power irresponsibly and caused great pain and distress to the young person.”
Davey sat with his eyes closed and head pressed into his hands as Magistrate Antrum read out his verdict before being taken to the cells.
He will be eligible for release in November.
This story first appeared in The Canberra Times.