Without commenting on the merit or otherwise of the damages claims a number of persons have launched against the State of NSW in relation to the so-called 2010 Valentines Day Yamba riot, it needs to be pointed out that the local newspaper, The Daily Examiner, has started things off rather poorly with an opinion piece in today's paper. Written by Tim Howard, the piece contains errors that should be corrected.
According to Howard, the criminal trials were conducted "last year".
Wrong - the trials commenced in 2010 and concluded in 2011.
Also, according to Howard, the trials involved "a judge and his associate, the police prosecutors, eight barristers and two solicitors".
Again, wrong - the trials were conducted in the local court before a magistrate who did not have assistance of an associate. The adult defendants were represented directly by seven barristers and three solicitors. A fourth solicitor appeared as an instructing solicitor for two of the barristers.
Elsewhere in today's paper, Howard has a piece "Damages claims over riot arrests" where he wrote:
"Coffs Clarence patrol commander Superintendent Mark Holahan said he was aware a number of people were taking action against the police force.
He said, as the matters were the subject of legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for him to comment on them.
He said court was the best place for these matters to be dealt with."
Perhaps Howard should take the Superintendent's advice. Otherwise, Howard and the paper may have to answer to a case or two of their own.
Source: The Daily Examiner, 24/5/12