A Sydney police officer has described how a colleague hammer-struck a Mardi Gras reveller while he restrained his screaming sister before slapping her with a fine for swearing.
Bryn Hutchinson is suing the police for assault, battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution over the 2013 incident. He's seeking more than $275,000 in damages.
Constable Lee Jennings on Tuesday told Sydney's Downing Centre District Court that another officer struck the 37-year-old twice as he tried to cross the famous gay strip, Oxford Street, after the parade ended.
Sergeant Jeffrey Ludkin was on the ground "grappling" with Mr Hutchinson when he punched the man on the leg twice with his fist clenched, the court heard.
"That's a hammer strike," Const Jennings said.
As the scuffle played out, he held Mr Hutchinson's drunk sister Kate back while she screamed "that's my brother" and swore at police, the court heard.
"She was intoxicated," Const Jennings said. "I could smell it on her."
Const Jennings said he fined Ms Hutchinson for offensive language and when an onlooker accused the cops of police brutality he told them to "make a complaint".
Court documents from the civil trial show the officers claim a total of four blows they struck were necessary and lawful to stop the man from crossing the street.
Mr Hutchinson was charged with assaulting and resisting an officer over the incident but a judge later dismissed the charges.
The gay rights activist claims his head was punched into the pavement in an unwarranted and excessive attack which left him humiliated and with bruises all over his body.