Traveling without a valid train ticket leads to false imprisonment, assault, battery, and trespass to goods
Journey from Minto: The Incident Unfolds
Stew* was on his train journey from Minto Station, in Sydney’s Southwest, when he was approached by two police officers to check if he was traveling with a valid ticket. When Stew presented his adult Opal card, a quick scan revealed he hadn’t ‘tapped on’ for this trip.
The officers then requested Stew to share his ID and unlock his phone for inspection.
Stew asked to alight the train at Macquarie Fields but was told he could not get off the train until the officers had completed their enquiries.
At a different station, Stew was asked to leave the train. The police informed him that he’d receive an infringement notice for not having a valid ticket. Police told Stew he was under arrest for a transport offence and pulled Stew by the arm up the stairs into a small room.
Without his consent, they searched him, confiscating two of his mobile phones and began questioning him about them. However, when Stew chose to remain silent, he was allowed to use the police’s Mobipol computer to speak to a solicitor. A police officer explained to the solicitor that he had arrested Stew for the transport offence, but did not intend to charge him.
The Quest to Reclaim Phones
A few days after the incident, Stew approached the police, hoping to reclaim his mobile phones. To prove his ownership, he provided copies of receipts to prove that he had purchased both phones.
The police were not satisfied and requested further proof that the mobile phones belonged to him. It was only after an investigation, which included verifying CCTV footage, that the police were satisfied. The footage showed that Stew hadn’t committed any offence when the officers first approached him on the train. After taking numerous steps and a long wait of 49 days, Stew was finally informed he could collect his mobiles.
With the assistance of O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors, Stew took action against the State of NSW for false imprisonment, assault, battery, and trespass to goods.
The case was settled in favor of Stew, ensuring he was compensated well.
If you or someone you know has faced a similar situation, O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors can assist with claims across Australia. Reach out to us today at (02) 9261 4281 or drop us an email at .