Police officer accused of attack on child

A SERVING police officer has been accused of lifting his seven-year-old son off the ground by the neck and dragging him down the main street of a town north-west of Dubbo.

The 37-year-old is attached to a metropolitan command in Sydney. By law, he cannot be named to protect the identity of the child.

The officer was represented by a solicitor when a charge of common assault was brought before Dubbo Local Court.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the Crown was ready to set the matter down for hearing.

The court was told 24 witnesses would be called. The hearing was expected to run for three to four full days.

The domestic violence offence is alleged to have occurred in Dubbo Street, Warren between 11.55am and 12.20pm on July 5.

Prosecution facts tendered to Magistrate Andrew Eckhold said the alleged victim was 140 centimetres tall and weighed 40 kilograms.

The police officer is alleged to have entered a bakery cafe with his wife and three children.

The seven-year-old is alleged to have thrown a tantrum over a doughnut displayed on a shelf.

The police officer is alleged to have taken the boy by the wrist and walked him out onto the footpath where witnesses were seated having breakfast.

The officer is alleged to have smacked the boy on the bottom with an open hand before spinning him around and leaning into his face.

Witnesses told police the child was crying and red in the face.

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The officer is alleged to have placed his hands around the boy's neck and lifted him off the ground for a few seconds.

The officer is alleged to have dragged the boy down the street for 90 metres while holding him by the neck with two hands.

The boy is alleged to have cried out "Dad, dad, please stop!"

The officer is alleged to have said "You shouldn't have done that. It's embarrassing."

Another witness is alleged to have seen the officer hold the child by the left arm and kick him in the side of the ribs.

The child is alleged to have attempted to crawl away when he was dragged to the gutter. Witnesses allege the boy was grabbed and dragged back.

Prosecution facts said a witness entered the cafe and confronted the officer's wife.

She is alleged to have walked out and said "What are you doing? Stop that."

The family is alleged to have entered the vehicle and driven away.

Prosecution facts said two witnesses called Triple-0 and drove around Warren in an effort to locate police.

The officer was spoken to at his home on July 7.

He is alleged to have admitted walking the child from the bakery to the vehicle holding his left arm with one hand and using the other hand to hold the back of his neck.

The officer is alleged to have admitted smacking the boy on the backside but denied holding him by the throat or lifting him off the ground.

Prosecution facts said the child was interviewed by Parramatta child abuse squad members at his school.

Police allege the officer's behaviour did not constitute lawful correction of a child.

Magistrate Eckhold set the matter down for a special fixture hearing from March 30 to April 3.