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Officer cleared of assault charges stemming from ‘cup check’ that lead to other officer’s testicle removal

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Constable Paul Michael Vella. This officer likes to whack people's balls!! A police officer who slapped the testicles of a senior colleague as a prank has been found not guilty of assaulting him. Image credit: Sydney Crime News/Facebook
Constable Paul Michael Vella. “This officer likes to whack people’s balls!! A police officer who slapped the testicles of a senior colleague as a prank has been found not guilty of assaulting him.” Image credit: Sydney Crime News/Facebook

An Aussie police constable has been found “not guilty” of whacking his colleague’s scrotum, which led to the latter having to have a testicle surgically removed.

27-year-old Constable Paul Michael Vella was previously charged with assault occasioning bodily harm, reckless grievous bodily harm and common assault for his reported pranks, which took place in 2015 at the Glebe Police Station. The plaintiff was 41-year-old Senior Constable Gary Stoddart, who lost a testicle over the alleged assaults.

Vella claimed that the pair would regularly flick each other’s groins as a joke, while Stoddart claimed his colleague forcefully gabbed his testicles, causing said organ irreparable damage.

While there were no witnesses or CCTV footage, the trial was full of medical records, texts between the two men and statements from coworkers.

While Magistrate Robert Williams said both accounts had “little if any consistency”, he added that while he could believe either side of the story, there was not enough evidence to convict Vella.

“I am unable to find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty,” Magistrate Williams said.

The Magistrate said the incident had happened up to 50 times between the two, referring to the act as a “sack whack.”

When Vella was asked if he regretted the act, he replied with “No, not at all.”

According to ABC-AU, University of New South Wales law professor David Dixon said that while he assumed such behavior disappeared with the introduction of women to the force, it appears that some boyish working-class traditions simply die hard.

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