Curtis Scott will attempt to sue NSW Police for more than $100,000 in damages after his wrongful arrest on Australia Day weekend, per The Sydney Morning Herald.
Scott’s charges were dismissed this month after crucial body-camera footage from the arresting officers was used in court.
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In the footage, Scott was seen being handcuffed, tasered and capsicum-sprayed. The court heard that a female officer purposely stood on Scott’s foot and twisted his ankle.
The arrest was deemed “unlawful” by Magistrate Jennifer Giles. Five of Scott’s charges were then withdrawn by police, while Giles dismissed the remaining two charges.
“Being capsicum sprayed whilst you are handcuffed and not decontaminated for some 19-odd minutes, that’s much worse than anything I can do to you,” Ms Giles said. “Convicting you and fining you would serve absolutely no purpose.”
Scott’s lawyer Sam Macedone said they would be seeking “nothing less than six figures” when launching the civil action.
The NRL fined Scott $15,000 this week over the incident, claiming that Scott had brought the game into disrepute.
Macedone said Scott accepted the sanction but described the fine as “totally ridiculous”.
“They just wanted to make a statement,” he said. “If they fined every player that gets drunk $15,000 they’re going to get rich in a hurry.
“It’s ridiculous that someone who is actually showing the right way dealing with being drunk, just sitting under a tree and sleeping it off, receives a fine.
“But that’s the NRL for you.”
Scott can avoid the fine if he attends an education program with the NRL that details the risks of excessive alcohol use.
“I told him, just let it go away,” Macedone said. “Doing the course is probably a good thing for him… you don’t want to stir it up as it will only get uglier.”
Scott’s case returns to court on Friday over the question of legal costs. NSW Police have already been directed to pay Scott’s, but taxpayers may still be required to pay for the correspondence between Scott’s legal team and the NRL.
Scott’s legal team claimed these costs exceeded $100,000. A phone call between Scott’s lawyer and Raiders chief executive Don Furner was reportedly billed at $110.
NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo addressed the sanctions in a statement.
“Our players are role models in the community and must set an example for young people who look up to them,’’ he said.