Home Australia Police bodycam footage shows why young woman won $320,000 pay out from cops after being bailed up on the side of a street

Police bodycam footage shows why young woman won $320,000 pay out from cops after being bailed up on the side of a street

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Ebonie Madden was jailed for six months in 2020 after police searched her and her partner, Dylan Turner, on a South Penrith street in Sydney's west.

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A woman thrown in jail for six months following a routine stop and search by police has been awarded $320,000 in compensation, with body camera footage revealing the officer’s actions were illegal.

The video shows Ebonie Madden in 2019 being released on bail with her partner, Dylan Turner, on a street in South Penrith, west of Sydney.

Mr Dylan is seen holding a black bag which is confiscated and searched by Senior Constable Michael Darnton and another officer.

But when Senior Constable Darnton discovered a knife inside, he placed Ms Madden in handcuffs – and she was subsequently charged with resisting arrest, possession of a knife and theft.

“You are under arrest for possessing a knife in a public place,” Senior Constable Darnton told Ms Madden before Mr Turner intervened and said: “It’s mine, boss.” .

Ebonie Madden was jailed for six months in 2020 after police searched her and her partner, Dylan Turner, on a South Penrith street in Sydney's west.

Ebonie Madden was jailed for six months in 2020 after police searched her and her partner, Dylan Turner, on a South Penrith street in Sydney’s west.

Senior Constable Darnton, who ignored the comment, later told the court he and the other officer “did not hear” Mr Turner.

The clip also shows a third officer, Danielle Munt, telling the two men: “this is what happens when you talk, you get searched.”

The officer later admitted in court that the comments were “unprofessional”.

Ms Madden spent six months behind bars in 2020, but in December 2022 she won $320,000 compensation from NSW Police after a judge found Senior Constable Darnton did not had no reasonable grounds to justify a search.

The court also ruled that she had been the subject of malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, saying “the clear conclusion is that Darnton’s motivation was other than the lawful exercise of police powers.”

This decision was upheld on appeal in February.

A New South Wales Police spokesperson told the ABC the police will review the judgment of the Court of Appeal and consider ways to improve the way they deal with these matters.

In December 2022, Ms Madden won $320,000 after a judge found Senior Constable Darnton did not have reasonable grounds to warrant a search.

In December 2022, Ms Madden won $320,000 after a judge found Senior Constable Darnton did not have reasonable grounds to warrant a search.

In December 2022, Ms Madden won $320,000 after a judge found Senior Constable Darnton did not have reasonable grounds to warrant a search.

However, new data has revealed that thousands of illegal searches could be carried out across the state.

Civil and criminal lawyer Peter O’Brien and UNSW Professor Vicki Sentas fear police officers are abusing their powers, saying it is likely the vast majority of searches in the state are carried out illegally.

“(Australia) has one of the largest police populations per capita in the world… so when the night is quiet, police often feel the need to be proactive,” Mr O’Brien said.

“And what that actually means, in many cases, is that they exceed their goal.”

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