An outback Queensland policeman who pulled a gun on a driver and threatened to shoot has had his conviction set aside on appeal.
Brisbane District Court judge Julie Ryrie has found in favour of Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan and ordered the original decision be set aside.
The matter, which relates to an incident on a highway outside Longreach in May 2015, will now be sent back to Brisbane Magistrates Court for a fresh hearing.
The new hearing will be before a different magistrate than the one who made the initial ruling.
The decision comes after barrister Jeff Hunter QC, for Flanagan, argued on Tuesday the initial decision was not based on the “critical facts” of the case.
Mr Hunter said his client was required to make a “split-second decision” about whether the car was stolen or the driver likely to be carrying a weapon.
He said the highway was a “main conduit” for weapons and other illegal items in the area, as he described how the policeman developed a suspicion about these threats.
But Glen Cash QC, for the commissioner of police, said the “sole question” was not whether Flanagan had a reasonable suspicion – it was how he exercised his powers to investigate.
“Police … can’t go and do whatever they like. Their powers are provided for (in) legislation, ” he said.
The court heard Flanagan is currently suspended without pay.