Muslim hostility gets a just reward
Six month' jail for Muslim woman who lied about police conduct
A MUSLIM mother was sentenced to six months behind bars after falsely claiming a highway patrol officer was racist and attempted to tear her burqa from her face.
Carnita Matthews, 46, made a written complaint against the young officer, who fined her for failing to properly display her P-plates, in what a local magistrate described as a "deliberate and malicious and, to a degree, a ruthless crime".
The case sparked calls for all police cars to be fitted with video cameras after the technology was instrumental in exposing the mother of seven's lies.
It also forced a review by Corrective Services NSW, which has no policy on prisoners wearing burqas. Matthews, who refused to give evidence during her two-day hearing at Campbelltown Local Court, claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. Her lawyer Stephen Hopper even argued police couldn't prove that a burqa-clad woman who handed the sworn allegations to police was her.
Documents tendered to court revealed Matthews received help from former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib, who twice spoke to a Police Professional Standards Command senior officer on her behalf.
Senior Constable Paul Fogarty had stopped Matthews for a random breath test near her home in Woodbine, in Sydney's southwest, in June. She accused the officer of fining her because she was wearing a burqa.
Video and audio of the incident, caught by a camera in the highway patrol vehicle, showed the officer did not attempt to remove her burqa and that she started abusing him only after being issued with a fine, shouting: "You are racist. All cops are racist."
Mr Rabbidge rejected Matthews' claims she wasn't responsible for the false allegation due to the knowledge of the incident and the signature on the complaint, which matched her driver licence.
Within minutes of the decision, Mr Hopper appealed against the conviction and Matthews was granted conditional bail while the case goes to the District Court.