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‘Harrowing’: Dad of cop assaulted during arrest speaks of ‘hero’ son

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The father of a police officer who was allegedly viciously assaulted during an arrest is leading calls for mandatory jail terms.

The father of a NSW police officer is calling for mandatory sentencing for people who assault emergency workers after confronting bodycam footage revealed an violent attack on two officers during an arrest on the Central Coast.

The father of one of the officers, Geoff Kinghorne, told Ben Fordham on 2GB this morning it was not the first time his son had been assaulted on the job and harsher penalties should be put in place by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"If she's going to support police, let's not have tokenistic support, let's have real support and it needs to be done," he said.

200617 NSW Central Coast police officers assault man arrest charges bodycam footage

Ms Berejiklian has responded to the demands for change, saying she's open to the idea but reform should be carefully considered.

"When members of the judiciary see that there is a mandatory sentence, sometimes they give a not guilty verdict because they want that person to avoid that sentence," she said.

"We need to make sure those laws work in practice, not just in principle. "The police minister is looking into this issue at the moment to look at assaults on police and why that is occurring."

Ms Berejiklian said she wanted to ensure laws in the state adequately protected police officers and emergency responders.

"We say to the men and women in the NSW Police Force, we appreciate that you don't know what you're coming up against when you go out to work every day."

Father described bodycam footage as 'harrowing'

The two officers involved responded to reports of a domestic incident at a home in Buff Point on Tuesday night and attempted to arrest 35-year-old William Kershaw, who quickly turned violent.

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The officers were then allegedly involved in a struggle with Mr Kershaw where he spat in the policeman's face, punched the female officer in the face multiple times and ripped a clump of her hair from her scalp.

The female officer can be heard screaming in the bodycam footage as her partner attempts to separate her from the alleged attacker, who had held her in a headlock.

200617 NSW Central Coast police officers assault man arrest charges bodycam footage

"I was very concerning to see, it was absolutely harrowing to hear those screams," Mr Kinghorne said.

"You worry about them every day as a parent. They see things you never want to see and you don't want your kids to see."

Mr Kinghorne described his son as a hero and said despite being "a bit stuff and sore" was recovering from the attack.

'Enough is enough'

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell today slammed the man's alleged actions and the treatment of officers on duty.

"Having our police assaulted, having any emergency service officer assaulted is just not on," he told reporters.

"Enough is enough and we won't put up with it."

NSW Police Minister David Elliott said the alleged attack was "inexcusable".

Mr Elliott last week referred to the issue of assaults against police officers to the NSW parliamentary committee law and safety.

The committee will assess whether current penalties and offences or such assaults are "sufficient in light of the disgusting assaults that have been reported recently".

Mr Kershaw has since been charged with 13 offences, including assaulting officers, resisting arrest and destroying or damaging property.

Source: 9News

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