Moment man was tasered as mate lay dying

 

Warning: Distressing content

A MAGISTRATE has slammed police for mishandling and "deteriorating" a volatile situation after a fatal fall from a balcony in Broadbeach.

Jeffrey Andrew Willis was tasered while paramedics were working to save the life of his best mate Noah Fellows who had fallen three storeys from a balcony on December 8 last year.

Willis pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court today to hindering an ambulance officer and public nuisance.

Mr Fellows never recovered from his injuries and died when his life support was turned off in May.

Noah Fellows with his son.
Noah Fellows with his son.

The father had locked himself out of his unit and was attempting to climb the Anne Ave complex and enter through his balcony.

It was the actions of police which drew the ire of Magistrate Kay Philipson after shocking body worn camera footage of the incident was played to the court.

"I accept the obstruct or hinder the ambulance officers was because of your heightened emotional state, in circumstances where, prior to the police arriving, you had permission to be where you were located," she said.

"The whole situation deteriorated very quickly when the police arrived. I consider that the whole matter was handled very poorly by police."

Sergeant Matthew Ward was one of the first officers on the scene and it his body worn camera footage which was played to the court.

Vision of the moment police pulled tasers on Jeffrey Andrew Willis after his friend Noah Fellows fell from a Broadbeach balcony. Picture: Supplied
Vision of the moment police pulled tasers on Jeffrey Andrew Willis after his friend Noah Fellows fell from a Broadbeach balcony. Picture: Supplied

The footage shows Willis standing next to Mr Fellows' stretcher as paramedics frantically worked on him.

Sgt Ward asked a paramedic if they wanted Willis "out".

Willis turned quickly and said: "You want me out. I'll f***ing crack you".

Police then pulled a taser on Willis.

Officers are heard telling Willis' paramedics were trying to save his friend's life.

The footage shows friends of Willis stepping in and trying to calm him down.

Willis calls police "maggots" and swears loudly at them before being led further down the street by friends.

Minutes later police follow and tell Willis he is under arrest.

When Willis objects, police tasered him, dropping him to the ground.

Jeffrey Andrew Willis (right) leaves Southport Magistrates Court with lawyer Campbell MacCallum of Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers. Picture: Lea Emery
Jeffrey Andrew Willis (right) leaves Southport Magistrates Court with lawyer Campbell MacCallum of Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers. Picture: Lea Emery

After the footage was played Magistrate Philipson asked police prosecutor Sergeant Lewis Butterfield if he still wanted to proceed with an obstruct police charge.

"After seeing that footage I have taken a certain view," she said.

Sgt Lewis dropped the obstructing police charge.

Magistrate Philipson convicted and did not further punish Willis for hindering the paramedic and public nuisance.

Willis' lawyer Campbell MacCallum, of Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers, said Willis had been given permission by paramedics to stay by Mr Fellows' side.

The moments before Willis was tasered. Picture: Supplied
The moments before Willis was tasered. Picture: Supplied

He said Mr Fellows was Willis' best friend and flatmate.

"It's not until police arrive that it sort of escalates from there," Mr MacCallum said.

Outside court Mr MacCallum agreed with Magistrate Philipson the situation had been handled poorly.

"Police turn up and they completely escalate the situation and aggravate a person who is clearly emotional and under stress," he said.

"That's when it becomes dangerous in these situations."

Willis has remained tight lipped since Mr Fellows' fall.

At the time, friends rallied around and started a Go Fund Me page to help support his family.