Policeman ‘set rope trap’ for trail-bikers

An off-duty policeman set a trap for two teenaged trail-bike riders in a suburban park by stringing a rope between a lamp post and a tree, knocking them to the ground and injuring them, a Perth court has heard.

Matthew Gerard Owen Pow, 39, has pleaded not guilty two charges of assault causing bodily harm and one charge of committing an act causing danger or bodily harm in relation to the November 27, 2010 incident.

In his opening address to the District Court on Monday, prosecutor John Myers alleged Senior Constable Pow – who has been stood down pending his jury trial – tied the rope to the post before hiding behind a tree and pulling it taut as the boys, then aged 15 and 16, rode past.

The rope knocked both boys off their bike causing them injuries, Mr Myers told the jury, before Pow approached them to ask whose bike it was.

Frightened, the boys ran home and told their parents and other relatives, who later confronted Pow at his nearby home in the southern Perth suburb of Karawara, Mr Myers said.

The officer was known to the family, and vice versa, as the boys had previously been in trouble with the police, Mr Myers said.

The prosector told the jury that four weeks before the alleged rope incident, Pow had approached the boys’ father and threatened to break the eldest boy’s legs, after accusing him of breaking into the officer’s house.

The younger boy, Isaac Michael, 16, testified he was riding pillion behind his brother Luke, 17, on the night of the rope incident.

They had been riding around the neighbourhood on their cousin’s trail bike about 10pm, when Luke cut through a park.

“We were riding along and I heard screaming from my brother, and then the bike tipped over,” Isaac told the jury.

He said he felt pain in his arms and looked up to see Pow standing under a nearby tree, holding a piece of rope in his hand.

“I heard a voice saying, `Whose bike is it? Whose bike is it?’ before we took off,” Isaac said.

However, under cross-examination, Isaac admitted he was “shocked, dazed and confused” after falling off the bike, and that he had never mentioned anything about Pow holding a rope when he gave a statement to police a week after the incident.

Isaac told the court he had seen the other end of the rope tied to a nearby lamp post, but he admitted he had also failed to mention this in his police statement.

When questioned by defence lawyer Karen Vernon, he denied making up a story about the rope and said he had been “mistaken” in his police statement and had forgotten the details.

The trial continues before Judge Gillian Braddock.

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