What’s the bet Labour tries this defence next

Labour are in all sorts of trouble over the allegations of sexual assault at their youth camp.

Another prominent person is in the news at the moment for similar crimes. His defence is novel, maybe they will try using it since they appear to be operating under similar rules for dealing with sexual offences. I mean, they did the last time allegations like this arose when Darren Hughes scarpered:

Cardinal George Pell’s defence lawyer has accused a victim support group volunteer of making up allegations and trying to “pin” historical sex offences onto Australia’s highest-ranked Catholic.

Pell faces multiple historical sex offence charges involving multiple complainants, and is fighting the charges at a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates Court.

The pre-trial hearing, which will determine if Pell stands trial, opened to the public today afternoon after several days of closed court evidence from the complainants, as required by law.

A retired academic and volunteer researcher with victim advocacy group Broken Rites said he was contacted by a complainant’s mother in late 2014.

“I had an email from her,” Bernard Barrett told the court.

Defence barrister Robert Richter QC said Mr Barrett and Broken Rites “make up accusations about the hierarchy of the Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse“.

“You advocate publicly and you rile publicly against the Catholic Church in particular,” he said.

“You make up representations on the website and elsewhere accusing the church of covering up sexual abuse, is that right?

“We don’t ‘rile’ or make up accusations, we just state the facts,” Mr Barrett responded.

The defence barrister also suggested Mr Barrett’s volunteer work with Broken Rites involved “trying to pin” something on Pell.

“Would you have considered it a considerable victory if you could pin something on Cardinal Pell as doing something wrong?” Mr Richter said.

The barrister also expressed frustration at many of the answers Mr Barrett gave during cross-examination.

“Do you know what it means to answer a question when asked, rather than advocate from the pulpit yourself?” Mr Richter said.

At one point Mr Richter asked magistrate Belinda Wallington to intervene as he tried to question Mr Barrett about whether he had taken notes about what the complainant told him.

“Would you mind disciplining the witness, Your Honour. I would like to finish but he’s not making it possible,” Mr Richter said.

Victim blaming is pretty disgusting…but to be expected when it is a pretty vile person standing accused of awful crimes, and also charged with covering them up.

Labour have done it before though, when Darren Hughes was accused of what was euphemistically described as “inappropriate behaviour”. The cases before us now are similar. Young people, alcohol, political operatives…back then senior Labour hitmen ran around the gallery smearing the victim, accusing him of making it up. It will be a bit harder this time, there are four victims, and more coming out of the woodwork by the sounds of it, some historic going back to the last Labour government.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.