Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fremantle couple tasered by WA Police win fight for more than $1.1 million in damages

<i>W.A. cops would have to be the most malodorous in the nation</i>

An innocent Fremantle couple wrongfully tasered by police have won their legal battle against the WA Government for more than $1.1 million in compensation. Law professor Robert Cunningham and his wife Catherine Atoms have welcomed a decision by the WA Supreme Court of Appeal to dismiss an appeal by the Government.

The couple were walking past the Esplanade Hotel at night in November 2008 when they stopped to help a man lying in bushes nearby.

Police arrived shortly afterwards and tasered the couple, before handcuffing them and charging them with obstructing a public officer.  The charges were later dismissed, but the couple took civil action against the Government and three police officers.

Dr Cunningham and Ms Atoms said their quest for justice had been an expensive and gruelling ordeal.  "It will remain a costly exercise and a great concern to Western Australian citizens if the state's role in justice and the rule of law is consigned only to civil procedures," Dr Cunningham said.

"Today's decision will motivate the state to correct their institutional responses for allegations of serious misconduct," she said.

The Government was ordered by justices Michael Buss, Janine Pritchard and Graeme Murphy to pay the couple more than $1.1 million in damages, as well as costs, which are yet to be determined.

The damages were first awarded two years ago by Justice Felicity Davis in a District Court case. But the appeal by the Government over a point of law, determining whether the government or police were liable when police behaved maliciously, put the compensation payment on hold. The appeal judgment found the Government was liable for the full amount of damages.

It marks a rare victory for the couple, who have tirelessly worked for many years to have the police officers brought to justice. An internal police investigation cleared the officers of wrongdoing and the Corruption and Crime Commission has refused to reopen an investigation.

The couple has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and medical bills, after the unlawful tasering left them with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries.

As a result of the civil action, Ms Atoms was awarded more than $1 million, predominantly for her lost earnings as a consultant, and Dr Cunningham more than $110,000.

Justice Davis found the officers — Glenn Caldwell, Peter Clark and Simon Traynor — had fabricated evidence, abused their powers and falsely imprisoned, assaulted and tasered the couple.

Attorney-General John Quigley said the couple would receive the $1.1 million payment in coming weeks.  "Now that has been determined, the case is over and they will get the money they were awarded by the court.".

He told the WA Parliament in March that he would ask the State Solicitor to look at whether the three officers had committed criminal or disciplinary offences.

A spokeswoman from his office said the matter was still being considered by the State Solicitor.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A life ruined: Man, 73, who spent nearly 20 YEARS in prison over the murder of a top cop is found not guilty on appeal

<i>Eastman was an oddball but the case against him was always just supposition.  I think he did it but I have always said that the evidence just was not there.</i>

A man who spent 19 years in jail for the murder of a federal police assistant commissioner has been found not guilty on appeal of his sentence.

Former Treasury official David Eastman, 73, was charged with the murder of Colin Winchester in 1993, but has always maintained his innocence.

In 2014 concerns arose about problems with original evidence and a new trial began in July 2018.

An ACT Supreme Court jury found Mr Eastman not guilty of the murder after a lengthy - and costly - retrial involving 36,000 pages of evidence and over 100 witnesses, costing taxpayers $6.5 million.

Mr Eastman said 'thank you' to the judge after the verdict was read out. 

Mr Winchester was shot twice in the head as he parked on the driveway next to his Canberra home about 9.15pm on January 10, 1989.

The prosecution alleged Mr Eastman developed a murderous hatred of Mr Winchester, who he blamed for hindering his bid to rejoin the commonwealth public service.

Mr Eastman, a former Treasury official, was charged with the murder in 1993. He pleaded not guilty but in 1995 he was sentenced to life in jail.

He spent 19 years behind bars before being released in 2014 when his conviction was quashed.

The defence counsel told the ACT Supreme Court there were too many unknowns and gaps for the jury to find Eastman guilty.

However, the court heard listening devices placed in Eastman's flat revealed him whispering to himself: 'He was the first man, the first man I ever killed.'

There were audible gasps in the packed courtroom on Thursday as the jury's verdict was read out.

<a href="">SOURCE</a>

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


After years of evasions, Victoria Police reveals the full catastrophe of the Howard Government's decision to let in poorly educated Sudanese refugees from tribal war zones who'd struggle to fit in.

Sudanese make up just 0.11 per cent of Victoria's population but 4.8 per cent of aggravated burglary offenders.

That makes them 44 times more likely to break the law.

Then there are these statistics:

But Sudanese youths were vastly over-represented in the 2015 data, responsible for 7.44 per cent of home invasions, 5.65 per cent of car thefts and 13.9 per cent of aggravated robberies, despite Sudanese-born citizens making up about 0.11 per cent of Victoria's population.

Nearly 70 times more likely, then, to commit a home invasion than are Australian-born youths.

Yes, most Sudanese do not break the law. Yes, it is nice to help the victims of war. But why have we put so many Victorians in danger by letting in people who so plainly would struggle to adapt?

And why the years of falsehoods and coverup?

Remember the falsehoods once spread by then Chief Commissioner of police Christine Nixon, after Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said Sudanese crime rates were too high and he was cutting the immigration intake?:

But worst was the reaction of Victoria Police, led by Labor-appointed Christine Nixon.

Nixon claimed Andrews was wrong about Sudanese crime rates: “They’re not, in a sense, represented more than the proportion of them in the population.”

A police multicultural liaison officer agreed: “There’s an under-representation of the Sudanese in crime stats.”

Those police claims were false. Figures let slip by Nixon the following year revealed crime rates for Sudanese youth at least four times the state average.

And that's now got dramatically worse.

But remember also how the multicultural lobby and media Left vilified Andrews for telling the truth and trying to stop us from importing even more danger?

The ethnic lobby predictably denounced him as a racist, as did Labor politicians.

“It has been a long time since I have heard such a pure form of racism out of the mouth of any Australian politician,” sneered Queensland premier Anna Bligh.

We had a “leadership which allows divisiveness”, stormed the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

And the elite media pack-attacked.

The Age accused Andrews of making “unpleasant and inflammatory” comments to provoke “a predictably base reaction from those sensitive to immigration on racial grounds”.

Where are the apologies? Where's the acknowledgement that the Left made a terrible mistake?

The ABC has also consistently tried to ignore, hide or diminish the problem with specious arguments like this:

Commentators have linked a recent spate of crimes to the so-called Apex gang, heightening anti-migration rhetoric, but police statistics show most home invasions, car thefts and aggravated robberies are committed by people born in Australia.

Of course most such crimes are committed by the dominant demographic, but note the evasions. First, how many of those born in Australia are actually born to Sudanese parents? Second, and more relevant: what is the crime rate of each ethnic group?

Yes, the born-here cohort commit crime, but why are we adding to the problem by importing people 44 times more likely to bash, rob and smash into your home?

<a href="">SOURCE</a>