Corinna Horvath and her partner, Craig Love, had friends over for a barbecue one Saturday afternoon in 1996. At about 9:40pm, two police knocked on the door wanting to inspect her unroadworthy car for evidence it had recently been driven, contrary to police instruction. Ms Horvath refused and asked them to leave. A scuffle ensued, in which the police claim they were assaulted by Horvath and Love, but a County Court judge later found that Horvath and Love had "used no more force than was necessary" to prevent the police trespassing on their property. The police left and called for reinforcements.
At 10:30pm, 8 policemen surrounded the house. One "yelled … in a loud and aggressive voice" that the occupants should open the door, as they intended to make an arrest. The occupants refused, asking for evidence of a warrant. One of the officers then kicked open the front door "with great and sudden force", striking Ms Horvath's friend David in the face with the door.
This same officer then "pursued David … brought him to the floor ... struck him on the right side of the head and hit him at least once with a baton across his lower back." Another police officer then informed the first that David was not the man they sought to arrest.
The first officer then tackled Ms Horvath to the floor and "brutally and unnecessarily" punched her in the face, "rendering her senseless". Ms Horvath has no recollection of this assault. She suffered a broken nose, chipped tooth, bruising and scratches to her face and body. Two officers then handcuffed her "in a manner that restricted her from reducing the pain and blood flow from her nose or otherwise relieving her injuries" and dragged her to their divvy van.
Ms Horvath was "not provided with immediate medical treatment" in police custody, but was instead "left screaming in pain in [a] cell". She was "eventually discovered by a police doctor who contacted her parents" and they called an ambulance. She was released from custody at about 12:20am and taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
A week later, Ms Horvath was admitted to hospital for 5 days to treat her facial injuries. She is left with scars on her nose and has been treated for anxiety and depression arising from the assault.