A police officer who was jailed for faking an assault by a transgender woman will argue he had a “cognitive impairment” at the time as he fights to overturn his conviction, a court has heard.
Mark Anthony Follington, 63, was jailed for two and a half years in 2021 for the violent and unlawful arrest of Anya Bradford, as well as falsely claiming in an incident report that she attacked him.
The NSW District Court heard he intentionally lied about the version of events in a pub in the southwest Sydney suburb of Liverpool in May, 2021.
CCTV footage tendered to court showed Follington pushing Ms Bradford’s head into an ATM and following her into a nearby building, where another police officer pepper-sprayed and tasered her.
Anya Bradford was assaulted by Mark Anthony Follington. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel CarrettFollington was jailed for two and a half years for the assault on Ms Bradford (pictured). Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
Follington then forced her head up with his forearm before taking her away in handcuffs.
Follington told the court he had grown suspicious of Ms Bradford because she lacked eye contact when checking IDs at the pub’s gaming room.
Not only was Follington convicted for the two counts of assault, he was also sentenced for one count of tampering evidence to mislead a judicial tribunal, one count of an act intending to pervert the course of justice and one count of accessing or modifying restricted data.
CCTV footage of the attack. Source: 7 News
The latter offences relate to a falsified police report in which Follington claimed Ms Bradford had attacked him, not the other way around.
He had maintained his innocence but was ultimately found guilty and sentenced to 30 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of 18-months.
Follington told the court he was suspicious of Anya Bradford’s lack of eye contact. Picture: Facebook
In a major twist to the case, Follington initiated proceedings to attempt to overturn his conviction.
On Monday, Follington’s lawyer, Jack Tyler-Stott, told the NSW District Court the appeal bid will focus on his client’s “state of mind”.
The former NSW police officer is appealing his conviction. Picture: NCA Newswire/Gaye Gerard
“He had cognitive impairment at time of the alleged offending,” Mr Tyler-Stott told the court, which heard the appeal will rely heavily on the fresh evidence of two experts.
The crown prosecutor told the court the appeal was expected to take five days, but Mr Tyler-Stott said he “hopes it will be quicker”.
Alleged murderer revealed as bail deniedTwist in Sydney heiress’ child sex case
Follington spent under a year in prison before he was released on strict bail conditions, pending his appeal proceedings.
Judge Warwick Hunt stood the case over to Tuesday for a hearing date to be set.