The Plaintiff was convicted in 1993 for an armed robbery of a bank in Cairns. He spent four years in jail before his conviction was quashed by the High Court because of concerns about a fair trial.
The Plaintiff sued the investigating police officer and the State of Queensland claiming nearly AUD 3 million damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. In essence, the Plaintiff alleged that he was framed by the police for the armed robbery offence; that there was no reasonable and probable cause to charge him; and that the police acted maliciously and not for a proper purpose.
The trial occurred 26 years after the events in question. Brown J dismissed the claim. Her Honour was not satisfied that the Plaintiff was charged without reasonable and probable cause or that the police acted maliciously or for an improper purpose. The evidence relied upon by the Plaintiff to support the inference of a lack of honest belief by the police was found to be tenuous and did not rise anywhere near the necessary evidential threshold required.
The judgment is published here.