Queensland Police Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan pulls a gun on an alleged speeding driver
Queensland Police Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan pulls a gun on an alleged speeding driver

Outback cop fined $1500 for pulling gun on unarmed couple

AN OUTBACK police officer, who pulled a gun on an unarmed couple during a rage-fuelled roadside stop, has been fined $1,500 by a Brisbane court and not further punished. 

This is separate to disciplinary action he will face from within Queensland police ranks which could see the long-serving officer stripped of his badge.

Stephen Patrick Flanagan, 45, made headlines when Mt Isa man Lee Povey and his partner Anna Lisa Crus claimed they were forced off the road and threatened with a gun without cause near the far-west town of Longreach last year.

Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Friday the couple feared they would not be believed until the officer's own dash cam video footage was made public.

During the incident, Mr Povey was cuffed, had a gun held to his back was warned by the officer "do you know what this is? I could put a f***ing hole in you".

Flanagan, an officer of 25-years experience, argued he acted in fear of his own life because he suspected the car was stolen the driver was possibly armed. 

But in finding Flanagan guilty of assault in December last year, Brisbane Magistrate Paul Kluck labelled the officer's behaviour "bizarre" and "unjustified".

He agreed with the prosecution's case that Flanagan could have simply used his police radio or iPad to perform checks on the car before resorting to aggression.

Prosecutor Jodie Woolridge told the court on Friday that while police officers were subject to high expectations it was their duty to meet those expectations and Flanagan's behaviour was an "abuse of trust".

She asked the court to consider imposing a jail term to reflect the seriousness of the offending and to serve as a warning "more broadly to those who are in positions of power".

Flanagan's lawyer Stephen Zillman said his client had been suffering from undetected, undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder which he had since sought treatment for.

He said that should his client be dismissed from the police service he would find himself on the "unemployment scrap heap" having never gained any skills outside the job to which he had dedicated "his whole life". 

Magistrate Kluck said the PTSD provided a reason but "not an excuse" for Flanagan's actions.

He did not however believe the offending warranted jail time and said that given the disciplinary proceedings Flanagan would now face from his employer, a conviction would not be recorded.