Former Darling Downs police officer Ben Dyball arrested and charged with drugs, weapon and stealing offences.
Former Darling Downs police officer Ben Dyball arrested and charged with drugs, weapon and stealing offences. Contributed

Unlawful arrest of Warwick ex-cop: Charges up in air

AN ARREST made on a former Warwick police officer has been deemed unlawful due a technicality.

Acting Magistrate Jason Schubert said Ben Alexander Ephraim Dyball was arrested unlawfully because Warwick Detective Senior Constable Ryan Harmer asked rather than instructed another officer to complete the arrest.

Mr Schubert said police could lawfully arrest people if they are instructed to do so by another officer, but it was not the case with Dyball.

Dyball, now 50, was arrested on May 18, 2016, while he was at a Toowoomba court appealing to have his weapons licence reinstated.

Detective Senior Constable Harmer told the arresting officer over the phone to arrest Dyball for a possession of dangerous drugs charge.

Mr Schubert said arrests were made to prevent either the continuation of crime or future crime.

When Dyball was arrested, Mr Schubert said it was unclear which reason was applied.

The court heard there was no record of the arrest, so the exact circumstances were not clear.

Dyball appeared at Warwick Magistrates Court last week to challenge the arrest and a search warrant, both carried out on the same day.

The Daily News reported in August 2016 police executed the search and allegedly found police uniforms, gun holsters, a NSW police constable's identification, 450g of marijuana and two pairs of police handcuffs.

Mr Schubert said the search warrant was valid as there was reasonable suspicion the items sought by police would be at the address.

Dyball reported six rifles and his weapons licence stolen, Mr Schubert said, just a week after his licence was suspended in 2015.

The court heard Dyball also used Twitter to send threatening messages to the inspector who revoked his licence.

After Dyball was arrested he was charged with nine offences.

The charges include stealing, unlawful possession of weapons and dangerous drugs as well as using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence.

The Elbow Valley man will reappear in court in two weeks when Mr Schubert will decide how to proceed with the charges.