Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Dutton: No asylum seeker on Manus Island, Nauru will come to Australia

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is adamant that no asylum seeker currently housed on Manus Island or Nauru will come to Australia, and that the Manus facility will close by October at the latest.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull met with his Papua New Guinea counterpart Peter O’Neill on Saturday to discuss how to resettle asylum seekers who are not accepted into the United States under a controversial deal.

Mr Dutton reiterated Mr Turnbull’s comments about the importance of Australia’s relationship with PNG, particularly around the resettlement arrangements, and stressed that the deal the two countries currently operate under was brokered by Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2013.

“The big difference of course now is that we don’t have new boat arrivals, we don’t have people drowning at sea and we’ve got control of our borders,” he told Sky News.

“The art here is to make sure that we don’t do anything that restarts boats because we have said that we want to close the Manus detention centre, the regional processing centre by the 31st of October and we’ll work with PNG.”

The PNG Supreme Court ruled in April 2016 that the Manus Island centre breached the nation’s constitution, prompting Manus Island governor Ronnie Knight to say he expected the facility could “close by tomorrow” to meet the court order. Mr O’Neill has since nominated October this year as the deadline for closing the centre, which currently holds 850 asylum seekers.

Despite labelling the Obama Administration’s deal with the Turnbull government for the US to take an unspecified number of refugees from Manus Island and Nauru the “worst deal ever”, US President Donald Trump has committed to honouring it.

Homeland Security officials have been dispatched to Nauru and Manus Island as recently as last week to see whether the refugees pass President Trump’s promised “extreme vetting”.

“Obviously both homeland security and state departments are looking at each individual case at the moment and we hope that many of those people can be resettled in the United States and we’ve said that we will have an enduring need for Nauru because the threat from people smugglers and boat arrivals will never go away, it will always be a latent threat to us, so we need to have that capacity,” Mr Dutton said.

He said he did not know how many refugees the US would take, but was hopeful it would be a “large number”.

“The officials are working in good faith and we’ve been very encouraged by the approach of the officials both from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

“As you’d expect, we’ve been able to work up a package around each of these people and provide that to the US, and these people will travel under the existing refugee program presided over by the US government, so we think there’s significant scope for a large number of people but we don’t have an exact number as yet.”

Mr Dutton said that under the deal struck by the Rudd government, PNG has a responsibility to settle any genuine refugees not taken by the US. “On Nauru people can go to a third country like Cambodia and some have done that,” he said.

“On PNG there have been some 36 people or so that have already settled. They’ve been found to be refugees and they’ve settled in the PNG community.”

Mr Dutton said those who were found not to be refugees were expected to return to their home countries. He said those who were refugees but were not taken by the US would stay in PNG.

“They are not coming to Australia and the advocates can bleat all they want, they can protest all they want, we have been very clear,” Mr Dutton said.

“Those people are not going to settle in our country because that would restart the people trade, and we are not going to allow women and children to drown at sea again.”

Mr Dutton indicated it would be up to PNG to resettle any asylum seekers still there after October.

“We’ll be withdrawing the assets from Manus Island. We are not going to have a detention centre there for other use. We’re not going to have facilities being used or repurposed. The centre will be dismantled,” he said.

“There is a facility at East Lorengau close by where some people are currently residing, those people that have been found to be refugees who are transitioning into PNG society, so there are facilities available and there’ll be resources available to provide people with settlement options, but we’ve been very clear, clear from Day One that they are not coming to Australia.”

Mr Dutton said the Turnbull government had brokered a deal with Nauru those found to be refugees but not taken by the US, and those who were not refugees whose home country’s would not take them back, to be given 20 year Nauruan visas.

“Those people will remain on a 20 year visa if they wish to stay on Nauru, but there is no prospect at all for them to come to Australia and we’ll help them with third country settlements otherwise including to Cambodia,” he said.

Mr Dutton said hundreds of people on Manus Island and Nauru had returned home in recent months after they were found not to be refugees. “In some cases, for example Iranians, they can’t be sent back against their will, and that’s the determination of the Iranian government and others,” he said.

“Where you’ve got a situation where people won’t volunteer to return, then that’s the difficulty, and we offer settlement packages, we pay for return flights.

“Ultimately it’s cheaper for the Australian taxpayer to do that, but in a circumstance where people refuse to go, we can’t get travel documents out of that country of origin, that makes it very difficult and we need to deal with those individual circumstances.”

Dutton defends prioritising Christians and other non-Muslim religious minorities in Syrian intake

Mr Dutton defended the fact that the government had given Christians and other non-Muslim religious minorities priority in determining its intake of 12,000 Syrian refugees.

“The reality is that people of Christian belief are being massacred and we saw in the pages of The Australian only a couple of weeks ago, the details about Yazidi women that we were able to bring out, who had been tortured and raped, people who had come from a part of the world where frankly they’d been targeted in a way that hadn’t been seen at least in many decades if not in centuries,” he said.

“The reality is that we have brought people out who are persecuted minorities, priority of women and children, and we were very clear about that when we announced the program.”

“Prime Minister Abbott was very clear when he announced it. Prime Minister Turnbull has been equally determined to make sure that we bring out those people who are most in need, those people who are facing persecution, those people who had lost family members, those people that have been targeted by Islamic extremists and the terrorists within that part of the world.

“I think we should be very proud of the fact that we have scrutinised each application to make sure people are not going to pose a security threat to us, and to make sure that the people we’re bringing are genuine refugees so that we’re not displacing those people most in need from the queue.”

Mr Dutton said the government had based its decisions on referrals from the UN, family, church and other community groups and on people’s capacity to assimilate.

“I do want people to fit into Australian society. I want people when they come to our country to take the opportunities that we’re putting on the table.”

“We’ve rescued people from terrible circumstances. We don’t want people to bring the problems of their old country to our country. We want people to respect and honour their heritage, we want them to be proud of that heritage, but we want them to abide by Australian laws, we want them to embrace Australian culture, and we want people to work hard, to educate their children, because that’s been the history of migration in this country.

“I don’t want people coming here if they’re of working age, have the ability to work, the capacity to work, to end up on welfare. I don’t want their kids to be involved in gang violence. I don’t want their sisters to be involved in any sort of crime, I want them all to be properly engaged in Australian society, and I think when we do that we have maximum support from the broader community to bring people in on a continuing basis through the refugee and humanitarian programs.”

Migrants encouraged to move to regional areas

Mr Dutton said the government would try to encourage migrants to move to regional areas where work was available to ease the burden on housing and infrastructure in larger capital cities.

“There’s a lot of work that we’ve done between my department, Treasury and Finance to look at the economic input of people particularly if they’re going to settle in Sydney and Melbourne, what that means for those cities, what it means in terms of infrastructure and housing supply,” he said.

“There are plenty of examples around the country at the moment where companies can’t engage workers, abattoirs that are completely reliant on workers from overseas, from 457 visas or other student visas, whatever the case might be, and so those communities are great to raise families in as well, so if we can look at ways in which we can encourage those families to go and live beyond just the city limits then there may be a good outcome on a number of fronts.”

Mr Dutton said most migrants went to capital cities for “good reasons” such as work and family or expat connections.

“The argument is how could we marry them up with regional communities where there is a supply of work, where there is an ability to send kids to school and to be a part of the community,” he said.


Time for Australians to invest in emergency power, as coal-fired power stations shut down with no replacements

Robert Gottliebsen

All businesses and households in Victoria, NSW and South Australia need to seriously consider investing substantial sums in diesel generators, batteries or other sources of emergency power. Banks need to be ready to fund the massive investment required during the next nine months.

It is now absolutely clear that each of the state governments have not invested in sufficient emergency power to back their wind and solar installations and now have a network of wires that is unsuitable for the power generation grid they have established.

And the Commonwealth promises a partial solution in two or three years via the Snowy but has washed its hands of the looming disaster next summer.

That means that businesses and residents who need power in hot summer days are on their own. Prepare for massive food rotting and equipment (including computer) disruption for those who did not recognise the extent of the destruction of power security by three state governments.

Last week I wrote a three-part series stating that NSW, Victoria and possibly South Australia face a 75 per cent chance of blackouts because their once great networked power systems had been vandalised by politicians who made the easy decisions of plonking solar and wind generators in their state but not the hard and expensive but essential decisions of investing in the grid and providing back up. It was rank irresponsibility, although decisions were made complex by the different owners of the various parts of the network and the need to earn a return on investment.

Following my series, The Australian Energy Market Operator took the unprecedented step of announcing that Victoria faced an incredible 72 days of blackouts and power shortages if Hazelwood was shut this week (April 1).

Businesses in Victoria from restaurants to supermarkets and offices/factories that do not respond to the combination of my warning and that of the Australian Energy Market operator have only themselves to blame. Meanwhile, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews walks around with his proverbial fingers crossed hoping Victoria will have another cool summer.

But NSW is not much better. It went very close to blackouts last summer but was saved by Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, which is set to close on April 1. Assuming Hazelwood is shut should it be Sydney or Melbourne that gets hit by the likely combined power shortages? Last summer when Sydney ran short of power Bendigo was scheduled to be blacked out to cover the NSW government’s failure to ensure adequate power for a hot summer. Bendigo residents were outraged that they should pay the price for NSW mistakes but they were lucky and kept their power.

NSW made its own Hazelwood mistake three years ago by allowing the Wallerawang power station to shut (it was about two thirds the size of Hazelwood) without ensuring the necessary investments were made to ensure supply during a hot summer. The owner of Wallerawang found that for long periods during the year the station was not required so made a commercial decision.

So if it’s a hot summer in 2017-18 who should be blacked out – Sydney or Melbourne? It will actually be determined by how the grid is operating but let me hypothetically intervene. I think it fair that NSW suffer one third and Victoria two thirds of the blackouts given that the Hazelwood closure is bigger than Wallerawang

The NSW and Victorian governments are also presiding over the fastest growing populations in the country, which is multiplying the effect of their vandalism.

South Australia made similar gambles and was caught with blackouts last summer (partly storm related) but now says it will go alone to secure its power. Businesses in South Australia have to decide whether to punt their government’s assurances or do what the businesses in NSW and Victoria must do and invest in back-up generation and/or batteries.

As I emphasised in last week’s series that it’s not a question of carbon or non-carbon energy. If governments want to go non-carbon then they must do the job properly and change the grid and have back up.

Both the NSW and Victorian governments need to get hold of the world’s best engineers to see what can be done to repair their vandalism. As I understand it there are alternatives even at this late stage. Meanwhile when the lights, computers and refrigerators go down at Point Piper, Cronulla and Kooyong I suspect the Commonwealth members for those areas (Turnbull, Morrison and Frydenberg) will get a big chunk of the blame for not declaring a state of emergency and keeping Hazelwood open by giving the French owner of the station some relief on the $1 billion rehabilitation that is required.

Turnbull needs to warn power users that prices must rise much further to cover the state government mistakes. Instead, he talks about lower prices.


Newspoll: ‘oldies’ deserting Malcolm Turnbull

Older Australians are deserting Malcolm Turnbull’s government in a powerful swing that is fuelling the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, with the federal Coalition suffering a 10 per cent fall in support among voters older than 50 since the last election.

The government is also under threat from a backlash in Queensland and Western Australia, where voters are recording the strongest shifts in a nationwide trend that has the Coalition trailing Labor by 47 per cent to 53 per cent in two-party terms.

Bill Shorten is failing to capitalise on all of the Prime Minister’s woes, with Labor gaining just a fraction of the national swing against the Coalition in first-preference votes and making no headway in NSW and South Australia.

An analysis of 6943 voters in Newspoll surveys taken between February and April reveals a deepening frustration with both major party leaders, with Mr Turnbull’s net satisfaction rating declining by five percentage points since August while the Opposition Leader’s fell by nine.

The discontent has helped lift Senator Hanson’s party to 10 per cent support in primary vote terms as a result of increases across every age group, although its strongest gains were among voters older than 50.

The quarterly analysis, conducted exclusively for The Australian, highlights the shift in the electorate since the July 2 election and the crucial role One Nation prefer­ences could play when Australians next go to the polls.

One Nation support has surged in Queensland from 5.5 per cent at the last election to 16 per cent this year, despite a furore over Senator Hanson’s factual errors on vaccination, calls for an investigation into the party’s finances and complaints from a former candidate that the party was “just another grubby, dirty, bloody political party” out to serve its own ends.

Mr Turnbull has vowed to focus on the “sensible centre” of Australian politics in a warning to colleagues against a “reactionary” message to voters, telling a Liberal Party conference last weekend that the future lay in bringing ­people together.

With Mr Shorten appealing to “working and middle-class families” by pledging to defend penalty rates and attacking the Coalition’s business tax cuts, the quarterly Newspoll analysis shows voters in WA have shifted strongly to Labor but the gains have been more modest in other states.

Australians older than 50 make up the single largest voting demographic and have emerged as a big problem for the Coalition over the past two years, given they have been hit by increases in super­annuation taxes, cuts to pension supplements and tighter rules on the Age Pension assets test.

The Coalition enjoyed almost 50 per cent primary vote support among the 50-plus age group last July but this is now 40 per cent, deepening a trend revealed in The Weekend Australian in December.

While the Coalition’s support among older voters has slipped in the past — including a fall from 51.8 per cent at the 2013 election to 45 per cent in the months before Tony Abbott was replaced as prime minister — the slump in recent months is an alarming low for Mr Turnbull.

Voters aged from 35 to 49 have also turned against the Coalition but the decline is smaller — from 38.5 to 34 per cent — while younger voters aged from 18 to 34 have recorded a fall in support from 32.4 per cent to 30 per cent.

In a sign Mr Shorten has struggled to capitalise on all of this shift, Labor’s primary support among voters in the 50-plus group has climbed from 30.6 to 34 per cent since the election and not changed among the other age groups.

The Newspoll analysis, which has a margin of error of only 1.2 per cent on national figures, confirms that 29 per cent of voters are not giving their primary votes to either of the major parties — up from 23 per cent at the election.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton yesterday said the government could win the next election and “win it well”, despite making comments last week linking Mr Turnbull’s hold on the prime ministership with the Coalition’s poor Newspoll results.

Mr Turnbull cited the ­Coalition’s loss in 30 consecutive Newspolls when he rolled Tony Abbott for the leadership in 2015.

“I think Bill Shorten, as each day goes by, people’s doubts about him grow,” Mr Dutton said.

He said that when he was preselected in January 2001, John Howard was “gone for all money”.

“With two years to go, we have the ability to turn the polls around, to win the election well under Malcolm Turnbull,” he said.

“On policy fronts including nat­ional security and border sec­urity, as well as economic security and energy security, this government can win the next election, and win it well.”

The Greens have held their primary vote at 10 per cent while One Nation has more than doubled its support to 10 per cent since late last year, with another 9 per cent of voters backing others.

With voters marking down the government after its narrow victory at the election, the Coalition’s primary vote has fallen from 41 per cent to 35 per cent since a similar Newspoll analysis from August to September last year. While One Nation’s support has climbed sharply, Labor’s primary vote has not changed.

As a potent force in Australian politics with four senators, One Nation has broken out in Newspoll results since November. Its support has climbed to 7 per cent in Western Australia and South Australia, 8 per cent in Victoria, 10 per cent in NSW and 16 per cent in Queensland.

Support for the Greens ranges from 12 per cent in Victoria to 6 per cent in South Australia, where the party struggles to match the ­appeal of the Nick Xenophon Team. Senator Xenophon’s party has maintained its strong support in the state, despite his ongoing role as a key powerbroker in the Senate.

Men have turned against the Coalition slightly more strongly than women, but today’s analysis highlights challenges to both leaders and their parties.

The Prime Minister’s net satisfaction rating — the difference between those who are satisfied and those who are dissatisfied with his performance — has weakened slightly from -21 points to -26 points over the period from August to April.

Mr Shorten’s net satisfaction rating has weakened from -15 points to -24, with a strong trend emerging from male voters. Among men, Mr Shorten’s net ­satisfaction has slipped from -12 to -27 points.


We rush to condemn Islamophobia. What about anti-Christian attacks?

WHILE we constantly are lectured about Islamophobic violence, despite little evidence of its existence, there is official silence about its flip side: religiously motivated attacks on Christians.

One Greek community leader, Rev George Capsis, has gone so far as to warn Christians not to wear overt religious symbols when they are travelling though Muslim enclaves of southwestern Sydney.

But last Tuesday afternoon, 30-year-old Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike, discovered too late the risks of wearing a large cross outside his clothing while travelling on the train from Campsie to Bankstown with his girlfriend.

He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F*** Jesus” and referring to “Allah”.

He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders during the attack which began about 3pm, just after the train left Belmore station.

When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her.

The crucifix, which his mother had given him, was bent, and the silver chain broken in two places.

“I was born in Australia of Greek heritage,” says Mike. “I’ve always worn my cross. For him to rip it off and step on it has to be a religious crime... It’s not on to feel unsafe in your own country.”

He says the men also destroyed his Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Mike has a doctor’s report cataloguing his injuries, which include abrasions and bruises on his face, left shoulder, and upper and lower back.

He claims that five uniformed railway “Transport Officers” watched the attack and did nothing to help him, although police were waiting for the train when it reached Bankstown station.

Two police officers took the names of three alleged assailants and a statement from Mike, photographed his injuries, told him they would review CCTV footage from the train and that he should expect a letter in a month, which may require his attendance at court.

After the assault, Mike was so shaken up that he contacted Baptist minister Rev Capsis, a pillar of the local Greek community, and former deputy mayor of Sutherland Shire Council.

Capsis claims Mike is the fourth Christian who has complained to him of a religiously-motivated attack in the past six months.

“This is not an isolated incident. There are gangs of these young fellows of Muslim background who have been harassing people they identify as Christian… You don’t hear about it because no one’s reporting it.”

The other three attacks Capsis says have occurred around public transport in southwest Sydney: “It’s like their territory; they don’t want Christians or other types of infidels there…

“People like Greek Orthodox carry a big cross. I tell them to be practical and if they’re in those areas and wearing a big cross and a group of young guys comes, hide it in your shirt. Why provoke it?

“If this keeps up, someone will be hurt. It’s got to be nipped in the bud.”

After our media inquiries, police contacted Mike and reinterviewed him yesterday.

A spokeswoman confirmed that detectives from Bankstown Local Area Command are investigating “reports of alleged religiously-motivated abuse on a Sydney train this week”.

“The incident has prompted police to remind the community that any bias-motivated crime will not be tolerated.”

Sydney Trains yesterday defended the inaction of its Transport Officers, with a spokesman saying they are not authorised to intervene in assaults and their primary responsibilities are customer service and fare evasion.

If an incident takes place, such as the attack on Mike, they are trained to stand back in a “safe space” to observe, and contact police, if necessary.

He confirmed that Transport Officers conducting operations on a train between Campsie and Bankstown stations on April 4 “requested Police assistance in response to a physical altercation between two groups of people”.

Apart from the fact that this description of an unprovoked attack of six people against two is a curious downplaying of its seriousness, why are ticket inspections deemed more important than passenger safety? Surely, if taxpayers fund dedicated Transport Officers to ride the trains all day, they should be authorised to do more than just observe crimes and call police. Anyone can do that.

In any case, Mike says he and his girlfriend are now too scared to catch the train.

He doesn’t want his surname published because he fears for his safety, but has decided to speak out because he wants the attack to be taken seriously.

“It’s a multicultural society. I don’t attack anyone’s beliefs but if they attack me for no reason, justice has to be served.”

There have been isolated reports of anti-Christian abuse in recent years, such as churchgoers in Sydney’s west copping death threats from men driving past in a car bearing the Islamic State flag.

Christians also increasingly are fair game for intimidation by the militant LGBTI lobby, but for the most part, Christophobia is downplayed.

When the Australian Christian Lobby was car-bombed late last year, for instance, ACT police within hours made the extraordinary declaration that the attack was not religiously, ideologically or politically motivated.

And, while the Executive Council of Australian Jewry has reported a 10 per cent increase in anti-Semitic threats or acts of violence last year alone, the only religious bigotry we hear about is Islamophobia.

Police take it so seriously that during the Lindt cafe siege, they launched Operation Hammerhead to combat “bias crime” against Muslims, which didn’t occur. While the lives of the hostages were still at risk, hashtag activists sprang to the defence of theoretical victims of Islamophobia with the “I’ll ride with you” hashtag.

But there are no hashtags for Christians like Mike when they ride on Sydney trains.


Adelaide special school teacher Jemima Raymond falsely accused of assaulting disabled girl by ‘reprehensible’ colleagues

One hopes she sues for damages

A MAGISTRATE has blasted the failed prosecution of a special-school teacher wrongly accused of assaulting a disabled child by “reprehensible” and jealous former colleagues, declaring it to be an “extremely distressing and unnecessary” episode.

Teacher Jemima Alice Raymond, 28, says she has lost “my career, my job and my house” over the case, which Magistrate Susan O’Connor branded a “travesty”.

“I would like to say that after 25 years of doing this job, this must be one of the most unmeritorious prosecutions I have ever seen,” Ms O’Connor said, in an extraordinary attack on the three teaching staff, the Education Department and prosecutors over Ms Raymond’s “shoddy treatment”.

Ms Raymond stood trial in the Adelaide Magistrates Court charged over the playground incident at Errington Special Education Centre, Plympton, on December 8, 2015.

But the prosecution collapsed after it emerged jealous and malicious colleagues at the centre — formerly known as Ashford Special School — had colluded to ruin her career.

Ms O’Connor said that support worker Georgia Delaney, colleague Irene Halikias and “unprofessional” teacher Stephen Duck also wanted to “dispose” of Ms Raymond’s mother, the western suburbs R-12 school’s then-principal, Jen Mathwin-Raymond — who still remains suspended from her job.

Prosecutors suddenly withdrew the aggravated assault charge midway through trial last month.

Ms Raymond, who denied the claims but was suspended without pay, insisted she protected the non-verbal, vulnerable and “extremely fragile” girl, who cannot be named, from danger after she pulled her away from a swing.  She said she did not physically hurt the child, as was claimed.

Ms Raymond wept in court as Ms O’Connor formally dismissed the charge, after finding the teacher was not “involved in a malicious act of physical violence”.

In her scathing reasons, released to The Advertiser last week, Ms O’Connor said: “I do not sit up here usually giving sermons from the mount — I could have dismissed the charge and just walked out of this courtroom.

“There has been a fundamental error in putting trust in the chain of paperwork between three potential prosecution (witnesses) who felt justified in ruining professional careers, seemingly motivated by the fact that a headmistress was thought to have been too strict and her daughter was seen to be in a position of advantage. This jealousy was reprehensible.”

She said Ms Raymond had been left without a job and penniless in an “extremely distressed state, financially insecure and worrying about her future because this prosecution was considered meritorious”.

Ms Raymond, of Seacliff Park, told The Advertiser how her life had been destroyed.

“I am absolutely devastated, emotionally exhausted, mentally and physically drained. It has been very traumatic for not only me but my entire family,” she said.

“I never got to say goodbye to my beautiful students, I was just ripped away with no explanation. It’s really very sad and something I’ll never forget.

“I have lost everything; my career, my job and my house. (The Education Department) decided to no longer pay me when I was accused of something I didn’t do and I had to give up my house that I worked so hard for.”

Ms O’Connor condemned the prosecution “travesty”, which generated an “unreliable mush of tainted evidence” amounting to 4800 pages — equivalent to the material usually generated in murder trials.

She described Duck as “unprofessional” and dismissed Delaney as an unreliable witness who had sought help to back her false claims. The magistrate said listening to Delaney was a “chilling experience” as she delivered “crushing blows” to the case.

“This witness is insecure and considers that she has the right as a support staff to run her playground without interference,” she said. “For reasons unknown, except a complete lack of self-esteem, she decided to embark upon this prosecution.”

The magistrate was surprised that “well-intentioned” managers could “accept what they are told at face value without much forensic skill or logical evaluation ... which is against usual principles of open justice”.

She said the case was a lesson for schools to call police at the earliest opportunity.

An Education Department spokesman said: “The department makes every attempt to provide all relevant evidence.”

Ms Raymond said her future was now “unclear”.  “I have always loved teaching,” she said. “I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in primary school and now I’m not sure what the future holds for me.

“I am very grateful to the strong support network who believed in me from the beginning that I did nothing wrong and I can never thank them enough for what they have and continue to do for me.”

Ms O’Connor said it was “not usual in criminal trials for it to become so apparent that misguided attempts, or mischief or inappropriate motives lead to a prosecution”.

“The motivation was probably a wish to topple a principal and her daughter, an act of malice brought about by the fact that they were thought to be too strident, too bossy or not liked by people who were, in most cases, casual employees,” she said.

“Had there not been malice, had there not been a number of people at this school ganging up on their principal ... (and her daughter), this would never have become a criminal case. I do not know who thought that this was a positive and appropriate outcome for such a sad event.

“This case would never have come to trial … had anyone used reason, rational thought, seen things forensically, relied on the police, done a proper evaluation and stopped the prosecution witnesses building their own case by texts, by Facebook and by comparing statements.

“This has been an extremely distressing and unnecessary episode for a young woman who has my sympathy.

“But I want those present to know that when I look at what is rational, what is plausible, what is worthy of trial, how people should be treated (and) how people should be given natural justice.”


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Parent said...

One hopes she does not receive one red cent! The Advertiser printed an extremely one sided story & did not approach the victims family once. She has been left with physical & psychological scars. To claim that the child was not hurt is a blatant lie! I am disgusted with the article and lack of concern for the child in the court of law. As far as I'm concerned The Advertiser might as well be a celebrity magazine. Our daughter needs a voice & we will never stop being it!