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Theodora
13 July, 2006  
Goings on ...

Why should prosecutor Patrick Power’s cases be investigated? ... Bastardy in publishing photo of accused’s home … Pammy Sackville and the brown-nose brownies … NRMA squabbles resurface in court


imageIs there something in the water?

First Minties man Michael Poynder, 50, of Potts Point, is remanded in custody after being charged with two counts of attempting to procure children for sex through the Hot Gozzip Chat Service.

The police say he expressed a desire “to sadistically rape children and animals”. He was arrested in Redfern carrying lubricant and $236 in cash.

Then deputy senior crown prosecutor Dr Patrick Power, 54, of Darlinghurst, is charged with being in possession of kiddie porn on his personal computer.

DPP Nicholas Cowdery said he is “enormously disappointed” but pleased that the material on the prosecutor’s personal computer was not accessed “in the workplace or on DPP property”.

The Sydney Morning Herald splashed with a front page lead saying, “Convictions in doubt as top prosecutor faces porn charge”.

Apparently “hundreds of criminal convictions are under a cloud” after the DPP ordered an “unprecedented review” of every matter ever touched by Patrick Power.

The Australian’s legal affairs reptile Chris Merritt insisted that the investigation of every case the accused has prosecuted is “the least that could be expected in the circumstances”.

I don’t get it. How could convictions, or acquittals, be jeopardised because a crown prosecutor is charged with a criminal offence?

I’d be staggered if Justice David Yeldham’s judgments were investigated after it was alleged he was disporting himself in a lewd fashion at Wynyard toilets or on the North Shore trains?

Now that some of the newspaper excitement has died down Cowdery says his office will narrow the review to concentrate on the prosecutor’s child pornography and sexual assault cases.

imageA look at his no bills and plea bargains might be more pertinent, and save a lot of time.

I see that the Bar n’ Grill complained to The Daily Smellograph about running a photo of Powers wearing a handsome piece of towelling. President Slattery said:

“It is regrettable … that with the article your newspaper printed a photograph of Dr Power apparently dressed in what appears to be no more than a towel. All criminal defendants and all citizens of this state are presumed innocent until proved otherwise. No criminal defendant, including Dr Power deserves this kind of publication.”

It’s a fun photo, to be sure, but does it really upset the presumption of innocence?

It was the nasty nudge-nudge, wink-wink tone of the article, written by the Terror’s chief beat-up boy Luke McIlveen, that was really a bit off:

“Power spent several years renovating two large terrace houses in Darlinghurst, which he then combined to create a luxurious bachelor pad.

The home’s features include a spa bath on the roof … [blah, blah, blah].”

Much more serious though was the photo in The Weekend Australian of Power’s house with the name of its suburb.

That was an unconscionably low act, but so far no complaint from the Grill, although it says “wheels are in motion”.

* * *

Talking of Rupie’s scrofulous pack of reptiles, what did you think of the appearance of Mrs Pam Sackville’s chocolate brownies on the last day of oral evidence in the big, fat C7 case?

Something left a funny taste in my mouth when I read The Australian’s cloying coverage and the six column picture on page four of Pam pulling a tray of brownies out of her oven.

“The secret to a quality brownie is to use chocolate, never cocoa powder, and always double the quantity of chocolate recommended in the recipe, says Pam Sackville, the wife of the Federal Court judge presiding over Australia’s biggest corporate lawsuit.

Mrs Sackville is a first class cook who jealously guards her chocolate brownie recipe … [blah, blah, blah].”

Justice Sackville told the court: “You can each submit your superlatives in order and I shall pass them on to the cook.”

Noel Hutley, for News Limited, was quoted as saying:

“They made the 105 days of evidence worthwhile. It was very sweet of her.”

imageWhat is going on? The paper, whose parent company is a respondent in the case, sent a photographer out to the Sackville home to get this snap of Pam and her brownies.

This was not organised through the court’s media affairs office in Melbourne, so it must have been sanctioned by the judge himself in Sydney.

Call me old-fashioned, but for one of the media organisations defending the case to be conducting a smarmy interview with the judge’s wife is really a recipe for something rather indigestible.

* * *

While failed senior counsel aspirant Senator Helen Coonan is busy unveiling her idiotic plans to concentrate the media in Australia, hubby Andrew Rogers is having his name floated around town by various shiny-bums from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

They have been doing due diligence checks on whether he might be suitable for appointment to the appellate body of the World Trade Organisation.

The late John Lockhart had previously represented Australia on that outfit.

* * *

The ghastly NRMA squabbles have been back in court.

Former president of the organisation Nick “Beetroot” Whitlam is waiting for a decision from the NSW Supremes’ Paddy Bergin to see whether he can jemmy some money out of the directors’ indemnity policy so that he can sue Channel Nine for its interesting story on the squabbles within the roads and insurance giant.

NRMA took the position that the policy only provided for the funding of defensive actions, not pro-active ones.

Meanwhile, Beetroot enemy and NRMA director Richard Talbot has been down before Judge Judy in the Dizzo suing The Smellograph over one of Piers Pudding Akerman’s columns.

The fact that the Pudding had to admit a “fundamental mistake” as to his source for the florid attack on Talbot can’t have much helped the paper’s defence.

Again judgment is reserved.

I couldn’t help noticing that listed in the white pages is a J.C. Gibson “antique dealer” of Haymarket. Could this by any chance be Judge Judy? If so the late starts and frequent adjournments might be put down to Her Honour’s lively trade in mid-Victorian walnut credenzas on eBay.

 
 

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