The facts relating to the traffic stop were disputed by both sides of the court using audio made by Constable Hoy during the event. In saying that, I'm curious as to whether Constable Hoy made Mr Shahin aware that a recording of the event is being made prior to the start of recording. No news article that I've read points this out and (I could be wrong), but my belief is that it's illegal to record a conversation without the consent of the other person being recorded, or at least advising them that the conversation is being recorded.
This aside, my concern is that recorded audio and it being used during a trial allows only parts of the recording to be used. The good parts in effect. The parts that show Constable Norman Hoy being a patient police officer doing his job. What assurances does the court have that the audio hasn't been edited to only show Constable Hoy in a good light?
The Advertiser / AdelaideNow were also going to publish a story on Constable Norman Hoy, but at last minute were gagged by Hoys lawyers issuing an injunction preventing the publishing. Naturally, the contents of the story aren't known, but it raises the question of why Hoy doesn't want it published publicly.
Judge Paul Rice, the judge residing over the case, made - in my opinion - inappropriate comments about the case after it's conclusion.
“Merely because someone said something happened in a particular way is not sufficient reason for it to proceed if there is no reasonable prospect of conviction, and that’s certainly my view,” he said.
Update: After being aquitted of the charge(s), Constable Norman Hoy and his band of lawyers served an injunction on the Advertiser to try and prevent the contents becoming public of numerous complaints made to the Police Complaints Authority about Norman Hoys conduct with members of the public. It was reported that Norman Hoy was an unprofessional bully, who was rude, arrogant and harsh and was the subject of no less than 11 previous complaints. On the surface, it appears that Hoy's tears in the courtroom where nothing more than an attempt to sway the judge to take pity.
My serious suggestion in future to anyone who gets pulled up by police. Record video on your mobile phone. After you commence recording, make sure you tell the officer(s) you are video recording the interaction between you and them - so it's legal - and the recording will be used in court in your defense should the need arise. If the incident ever gets to a court situation, and the officers deny you told them you were recording the incident, you have it on video they were advised. If you don't advise them of the recording, it's likely the video will be disallowed as evidence. Just imagine the importance of video had it been available in the above case of Hoy and Shahin.
It's a sad state of affairs when you have to get to this stage when interacting with police officers, but, let's face it, the police and prosecution will do anything they can to have a successful prosecution, therefore, you have the right to do anything you can to have a successful defense.
Read more about it on AdelaideNow: