Police assault woman with dementia in care home

Monica* is a woman with dementia who resides in an aged care home in Brookvale, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. One night she suffered from a degree of agitation and walked around the ward. She snatched some papers and an ID from a nurse. The staff called police to restrain Monica as she was becoming aggressive. Six officers attended the scene and held Monica down in an attempt to take the items from her. An ambulance came and calmly conveyed her to Northern Beaches Hospital, in French’s Forest.

Woman with dementia sues Police for assault, battery and false imprisonment

Civil lawyers from O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors acted for the client in a civil claim against the State of New South Wales for the following:

  • assault,
  • battery
  • and false imprisonment.

We claimed that the officers who attended the incident could not have satisfied themsleves that Monica appeared to be mentally ill or had recently harmed herself or others. This is required for the exercise of police power pursuant to sections 22(1) and 22(1)(a) of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW). Further, the officers did not have reasonable grounds to use excessive force for the purposes enumerated. in the relevant legislation.  This is in section 81(2) of the Mental Health Act and 99(1)(b) of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW).

Outcome: Successful settlement

However, O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors successfully settled the matter before going to court. The client won appropriate monetary compensation and the State covered her legal costs.

*We change names to protect the identity of our clients.

If police unlawfully assault you, contact our lawyers who may be able to sue the police and win money as compensation for you.


O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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