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Peter Cowan Appeal – Daniel Morcombe Murder

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March 21, 2014

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On Thursday, the Queensland Attorney General announced that the sentence handed down to Brett Peter Cowan for the murder of Daniel Morcombe was to be appealed. Morcombe disappeared from a bus stop on the Sunshine Coast in 2003. There was a highly publicised search for him and a controversial inquest. Cowan went to Trial earlier this year for the murder of Morcombe, and was found guilty by a jury. Once he was found guilty, orders preventing the media from reporting his criminal history were lifted, and Cowan’s history of child sexual […]


The trial of Simon Gittany for the murder of his partner Lisa Harnum

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February 17, 2014

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The trial of Simon Gittany for the murder of his partner Lisa Harnum captured the attention of the media in Sydney in a way few other matters have recently. This was due, in no small part, to the dramatic nature of Miss Harnum’s death. She died after being thrown from the balcony of their 15 storey apartment in the Sydney CBD. The Crown case rested upon a number of pieces of evidence. The most compelling of those was the fact that Mr Gittany had clearly had a fight with Miss Harnum […]


NRL star Russell Packer was jailed for two years for a vicious drunken assault in November of last year

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January 20, 2014

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On 7 January 2014, in a decision that shocked many, NRL star Russell Packer was jailed for two years for a vicious drunken assault in November of last year. According to the court documents, Russell Packer punched the victim in the head repeatedly until he fell backwards and lay motionless on the ground. He then punched him in the head again and stomped him on the face. The victim suffered several facial fractures. The Newcastle Knights Prop pled guilty to the offence of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm and was sentenced […]


The decision from the NSWCA in the matter of Kelly Lane

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January 8, 2014

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The decision from the NSWCA in the matter of Kelly Lane is a prime example of how a circumstantial case can come together to prove an offence beyond a reasonable doubt. Ms Lane was charged with having murdered her child Tegan shortly after she gave birth to her. The police had no direct evidence of how or precisely when the child had died, or in fact whether she was dead at all. The court was presented with circumstantial evidence that, on the Crown case, proved beyond a reasonable doubt not only […]


One Punch Mania

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November 20, 2013

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I was recently asked to take part in a television program reporting of the one punch legislation proposals by the Attorney General in the tragic wake of the death of Thomas Kelly. Whilst one punch can have a tragic result, again the death of Thomas Kelly is an example, in Australia they are a relatively low incidence crime – the results though are anything but low impact. This week I have been discussing the topic again on a Linked In forum. I was explaining the concept of recklessness and intoxication and […]


One Punch Laws

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November 14, 2013

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This week saw the announcement by the Attorney General of NSW of a “one punch” law. The law is designed to make it easier for the prosecution to secure a conviction in matters like the Thomas Kelly killing and manifest an intention to impose a severe penalty for those found guilty. But is the law required? Let us remember Loveridge pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr. Kelly and manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 25 years jail whereas this new law has a maximum of 20 years The reality is […]


Bugmy v The Queen

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November 10, 2013

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The decision handed down by the High Court in Bugmy v The Queen has been the topic of a great deal of discussion, both amongst Criminal Lawyers and the community generally. The Courts in NSW have long recognised that Aboriginal offending often has different causes to other offending. That doesn’t mean that Aboriginal offenders get a pass-out – rather, the offence that has been committed needs to be seen in the context of that person’s Aboriginality, and in particular the social setting in which the offender grew up and lived their […]


Gun Crime in NSW

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May 31, 2013

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It has become increasingly clear that gun crime is a concern in NSW. Indeed, we have previously written about gun crime in Sydney, and posited that the only way to reduce it is by dedicating more of our state resources to investigating and prosecuting the illegal possession and use of firearms. Worryingly, last month in NSW, we experienced what was dubbed one of the “worst crime weeks” by the NSW Police, after 10 people were shot in the space of 5 days. As a result of this trend, a national crackdown […]


Bushfires

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January 18, 2013

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Malicious Bushfires Unfortunately bushfires are a common part of life in Australia. Most fires are contained quickly and only minor damage occurs. However as we have seen time and time again all over the country, these fires can have devastating consequences. 2013 has so far proved to be a difficult year for bushfires, with weather conditions such that there have been a number of total fire bans across NSW. More disturbing than the fires themselves, is the fact that many bushfires are man-made fires, either accidentally or maliciously lit. For example, […]

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