Showing posts with label local courts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label local courts. Show all posts

Friday, 30 June 2017

Update on Australian Cardinal George Pell: charged with mulitiple sexual offences by Victoria Police

Australian Cardinal George Pell, currently living and working in the Vatican, has been charged on summons by Victoria Police with multiple serious historical sexual offences.
 The Australian, 29 June 2017:

No-one with credibility in the church underestimates the damage caused by clergy abuse, a stain that could still be decades from being rubbed out.
This is the broader challenge facing the Catholic hierarchy.
An 18-month or two year court battle, regardless of whether or not it finds in favour of Pell, will mark more lost time as the church tries to deal with the aftermath of the abuse scandal.
This negative publicity will be compounded by the ongoing reporting of the child sex abuse royal commission, which is still to hand down major reports into the Melbourne and Ballarat case studies.
Pell, being the divisive figure that he is and has been, is receiving support from many of his senior peers but the church is also home to many who believe the institution can only move forward when it sees the cardinal’s back.
Perhaps a fairer perspective is to withhold judgment until the evidence is presented to the court.
It’s often been said but it is worth repeating; the least the victims deserve is the truth, which has been in short supply for too long.


Further to Cardinal George Pell’s evidence given to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse1.

The Australian, 16 May 2017:
Lawyers representing George Pell have demanded an apology and retraction from Fairfax and The Guardian over articles ­repeating child sexual abuse alle­gations made in a new book ­described by the cardinal as a “character assassination”.

The legal demands were sent to the media outlets at the weekend after a book made a series of allegations against Cardinal Pell over his role in the sex abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church…..

MUP chief executive Louise Adler said the publishing house had received letters from Cardinal Pell’s representatives but no legal action had been threatened.

Crikey, 23 May 2017:

George Pell, both the man and his troubles with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, might be affecting Australia’s representation in the highest council of the Catholic Church, the College of Cardinals — which elects the Pope — given Sydney (and Melbourne) once more missed out in the latest, very eclectic list from Pope Francis.

Seven News, 20 June 2017:

Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told ABC radio Cardinal Pell's lawyers will be told first, once a decision is made whether to charge him.

"A decision is imminent," Mr Ashton told ABC this morning.

"There is a great deal of public interest in it [the George Pell case].

"We'll get something out soon."

It's the third time Mr Ashton has promised an "imminent" decision on the allegations after police got advice from the state's Director of Public Prosecutions on May 16.

On May 18 Mr Ashton said the process wouldn't take too long, and a decision would be reached within a few weeks.

A week later he told 3AW the decision was not too far off.

"The decision is imminent on that," Mr Ashton said on May 25.

On June 1 he described it as "fairly imminent".

The Australian, 24 June 2017:

Those closest to George Pell are increasingly pessimistic about his chances of avoiding charges over historical child sex abuse ­allegations.

The Weekend Australian has been told by multiple sources that — despite his vehement ­denial of wrongdoing — there is a growing resignation that ­charges will almost certainly be laid, plunging the church into what would be an unprecedented scandal.

The Rule Of Law Institute Of Australia Incorporated (a somewhat obscure not-for-profit organisation registered in June 2010) also offered its mite on the subject in The Australian on 25 June 2017:

Victoria Police has been warned not to charge Cardinal George Pell over alleged child sexual abuse to clear the air, or to stage a show trial in response to intense public interest and anger over clerical sex abuse in general.

Lawyer Robin Speed, president of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia said prosecutors should act against Cardinal Pell only if they were fully satisfied about the quality of the evidence.

“They should not act in response to the baying of a section of the mob,’’ he said…..

Mr Speed said that if the cardinal was charged and found innocent the drawn out conduct of the investigation over two years could warrant a judicial inquiry.


1. Cardinal George Pell gave evidence from 29 February 2016 by video link from Rome concerning Case Study 35: Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Case Study 28: Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat. Reports on Case Study 28 (Catholic Church authorities in Ballarat) and Case Study 35 (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne) are yet to be published. 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Not a good look for the O'Farrell Government, Metgasco or ERM Power

A $200,000 NSW riot police operation to break an anti-CSG protest at Glenugie may not secure any convictions.
More than 20 protesters were arrested when police broke up a protest in The Avenue at Glenugie on January 1 to allow CSG miner Metgasco's trucks access to a test drilling site.
Three of the protesters facing charges of hindering police, obstructing a driver's path and not complying with police directions were acquitted of all charges yesterday in the Grafton Local Court.
Magistrate David Heilpern found Ingo Andreas Bruno Medek, of Blue Knob, not guilty of hindering police and obstructing a driver in a hearing before lunch.
After the break he dismissed charges against Ian Ronald Gaillard of Keerong and Benjamin Zable, of Nimbin, in a few minutes, sparking some celebrations among supporters outside the court house.
Mr Gaillard said the offences he and Mr Zable were charged with occurred when he disobeyed police instruction to give Mr Zable a bottle of water during the protest.
Outside the court yesterday the pair re-enacted their actions for the benefit of about 20 supporters who turned up for the court case.
Defence solicitors Steve Bolt (for Mr Medek) and Philip Wykeham (for Gaillard and Zabel) said the decision could have major ramifications for two test cases in Maclean Local Court on July 9 and 10.
Mr Wykeham said after the magistrate's ruling yesterday, police commanders will have to make a decision to go ahead with the cases, which are to be used as templates for charges against other CSG protesters arrested at Glenugie.
Read the rest of The Daily Examiner article of 8 May 2013 here.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The law makes an ass of itself over Father F.

This was published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 18 October 2012:
A former NSW priest who allegedly told three senior Catholic clergy a decade ago that he had repeatedly sexually abused children has been charged with 25 child-sex offences relating to three girls.
The 59-year-old was arrested at a home in Armidale this morning, and is expected to face court this afternoon in relation to the charges dating back to the 1970s and '80s.
Following his arrest, police urged anyone with information about an alleged cover-up by the Catholic Church to come forward…….
Father F, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was removed from public ministry after a meeting with three clergy in 1992, following continued allegations of abuse after he was moved from the Armidale diocese to Parramatta.

Readers will notice that for legal reasons the former Catholic priest cannot be named by the media.
However, on the very same day, the NSW court system only offered the pretence of a fig leaf to conceal his name in its online lists.
I received an email pointing this out to me and I’m sure that it was common knowledge elsewhere by the end of that day as I would not have been the only recipient.
Unfortunately, the unthinking court system also listed some other matters associated with these charges in such a way that the three girls (now women) were easily identified.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Saga giving North Coast backpacker hostels a bad name

The Northern Star  9 December 2012:

EchoNetDaily 13 December 2012:

Byron Shire Council media release 28 February 2012 :

EchoNetDaily  20 January 2012:

The Northern Star  20 January 2012:
25 February 2012:
25 February 2012:

EchoNetDaily 3 April 2012:

Byron Shire News on 12 April 2012:

Thursday, 7 April 2011

'It is sobering looking through court lists'

A visit to a local court is not something most people have on the 'List of things to do' that's sitting under a magnet on the door of their fridge, but as pointed out in the editorial of today's Daily Examiner that's where a lot of action is really happening.

Most people travel past court houses and are totally ignorant of them. Others go by and remark about their appearance, especially those constructed in the 1800s; their design and workmanship provide evidence that the character of buildings really meant something and they were not just functional constructions of the type built in more recent times.

Again, most people have never been inside a local court and examined what they look like - there are some real charmers.

However, apart from their appearances it's the workings of a local court that most people have little or no idea about.

Readers of local papers, like the Daily Examiner, are provided with reports on court proceedings such as who did what and the penalty the court imposed. Naturally enough, local papers cannot report on every matter heard in local courts. It's usually only the big matters that are of substantial public interest that get a guernsey.  

The Examiner does a good job with the resources it has - reports are factual and objective, but space restrictions limit how much can be reported.

Today's Examiner highlights the types of matters that are occupying a good deal of court time. Apprehended violence orders (AVOs) and drink/driving top the list.

Click on image to enlarge to full article