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ACT cop accused of 'utter fantasy' after claiming memory loss as he recants Mitchell and Wighton testimony

31st October, 2023
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Latrell Mitchell. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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31st October, 2023
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A leading police sergeant in the trial of Latrell Mitchell and Jack Wighton has been accused of “total and utter fantasy” in court after admitting that major details in the prosecution’s case did not take place.

Sgt David Power of ACT Police had said that it was he who kicked Wighton out of Fiction nightclub in Canberra after the Raiders star’s 30th birthday party, but later recanted his testimony claiming a “long-term memory issue”.

“What I saw appears to have not happened and my memory has failed me,” he added.

The two players lawyers lept on his comments, with Steve Boland, representing Mitchell, describing it as “a total and utter fantasy you dreamt up to justify everything that happen(ed)” in CCTV footage shown to the court.

Wighton is accused of fighting in a public place and failing to comply with an exclusion direction and Mitchell of fighting in a public place, affray, and obstructing/resisting territory officials.

On the first day the court was told of the South Sydney superstar’s terror at being arrested following an altercation in February.

Their defence represented the pair’s arrest as Wighton sticking up for Mitchell, his distant relative, after police were called to Fiction nightclub in the capital following reports of a fight between the pair.

“It seems to me that (Wighton) is accused of not turning his back on his cousin and walking off into the night in circumstances where Mr Mitchell ultimately was reduced to a weeping mess, worrying that he might die, and screaming that he’s got two daughters,” said Steve Boland, representing Mitchell.

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Wighton had been kicked out of the club after bouncers deemed him to be acting aggressively, with prosecutors alleging that he had “facial expressions that showed he was upset, and angry, and had clenched fists”, which had caused security to act and police to become involved.

Mitchell and Wighton, per the prosecution, were then “pushing, shoving, and grappling with each other”, which was captured on CCTV, which the defence debates was a fight at all.

Police instructed Wighton to leave the area and told Mitchell to get on his knees.

The Souths fullback, the court heard, told officers that he had done “nothing wrong except be a blackfella in Australia” and told bystanders to release footage they were filming of the incident, shouting “share it, share it for every motherfucker to see.”

Wighton is alleged to have said cops should “lock him up with (Latrell)” while calling them “fuckwits”.

The trial continues.

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