Ex-police sergeant acquitted of indecent assault

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Former South Hedland police sergeant Andrew John Ramsden was found not guilty of indecent assault today.

Mr Ramsden, 48, was charged with unlawful and indecent assault late last year after an investigation by the WA Police internal affairs unit after he was accused of inappropriately touching a woman at a charity wheelchair basketball event in South Hedland in December.

The incident occurred following a wheelchair basketball match in the inaugural Anika Coppin Foley Cup at Wanangkurra Stadium where eight different teams competed comprised of local organisations, local government and police employees.

It was said in court than Mr Ramsden “pinched” a player on the buttocks during a photo shoot.

Magistrate Michelle Ridley said the element in dispute was whether the touching was indecent and she concluded Mr Ramsden’s actions had not been inherently sexual in nature and therefore not indecent in the circumstances.

“I’m not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that an ordinary right thinking person would conclude the accused touched the complainant in a sexual way,” she said.

“I’m not suggesting touching was appropriate. I’m simply not satisfied the touching of the butt cheek in the overall context of this matter was indecent. It was not indecent in the sense of having sexual character.”

As the decision was handed down sighs of relief were heard from Mr Ramsden’s wife and support group in the courtroom.

Read more in next Wednesday’s North West Telegraph.

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