A Wollongong police officer remains on restricted duties over claims he went to the home of a Dapto teen and threatened to break both his hands because he thought the boy had stolen shoes from his home.
Officer John Jackson denies any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty to a charge of intimidation.
On Thursday Wollongong Local Court heard the dispute dated back to February 28 last year, after Jackson shared CCTV footage of the shoes being stolen from his front porch.
An off-duty Jackson and his mother, who happened to know the boy's adult sister, went to the 17-year-old's family home after multiple people named him as one of the people in the footage.
The teen gave evidence he was not long home from work when he learned he was "getting blamed for stealing shoes" and soon afterwards saw Jackson's mother open the front fly screen door to his home.
"She said, 'my son's a police officer he just wants his shoes back. If you know anything about them just give them back and nothing will happen'," he said.
"I told her I don't have them."
He said the large-statured Jackson followed his mother inside after seeming to search down the side of the house.
He said the visiting pair accepted an offer from the boy's mother to search the boy's shoe collection.
Once in the boy's bedroom, Jackson told him he was angry about losing the shoes because he worked and paid for them, the boy said.
"He asked me if I worked for a living ... he said, 'well how would you like to work with broken hands?'.
"As he was saying it he started leaning forward, walking towards me."
He told the court he thought Jackson was going to carry out the threat "there and then - even though I didn't take nothing".
"I felt intimidated. Big man," he said.
"I felt confused because I didn't steal any shoes. I just felt weak in my own home."
"That's when my mum stepped in."
Both the boy's sister and mother gave sworn evidence they heard Jackson utter the threat.
The boy's mother said she saw her son trembling as Jackson "got in his face" and told him "give me the shoes, where did you put them?".
She said she become convinced Jackson was going to hit the boy, and that she only invited he and his mother further inside the home because "I was trying to make it all light and easy ... so he didn't hit my child".
She said she became angry after she viewed the CCTV footage on Jackson's phone and became convinced her son was not one of the thieves.
"I said, 'they're African or Maori or something, by the nose features ... that's not my son. Youse are a bunch of idiots'," she said.
She said she ordered the pair out, telling them, "you can get the f--- out of my house right now, coming in here with your threats", but that she was ultimately left extremely frightened.
"I was terrified. I literally wet myself, to be honest," she told the court.
"It was the scariest hour of my life. I'd just had an off-duty cop from the local police station come into my house and threaten my son. Who do I ring?
"I'd rang Wollongong Police Station and they said they can't deal with complaints.
"We were left in the wind - nowhere to go, no one to protect us.
"I live this daily in my head."
Jackson's mother, in evidence, contradicted multiple parts of the family's accounts.
She told the court the home's front screen door was unlatched when she arrived, that she said hello to the boy's mother and then entered only after being invited inside, in a context where the boy's sister had in the past become "like a daughter to me".
She claimed the boy's mother offered three or four times to show her son's shoe collection, and that she repeatedly said this was unnecessary. She said she and Jackson ultimately did go into the room, on their way out of the house, but that the exchange was "amicable. There was no swearing, no yelling. It was like I'm talking you now".
She denied having gone to the address to confront the boy.
"No, he's a child," she said.
"If five people have told you someone has done something, it's better to [go and] find out they haven't done something."
The hearing continues in Wollongong Local Court on Friday, before Magistrate Gabriel Fleming.
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