Are lawyers dodgier than politicians? Ctd

Continuing my series about lawyers being dogier than politicians is this news from Australia:

SEVENTY-SIX solicitors were convicted of criminal offences in one year – including 12 who were guilty of serious charges including child pornography, indecent assault and fraud.

But most continue to practise.

Another 12 solicitors and two barristers became bankrupt and two solicitors faced tax offences, according to annual reports for the last financial year. Those 64 solicitors convicted of lesser offences faced mainly driving charges, including drink-driving.

For the past decade, lawyers have been required to disclose charges, bankruptcies and other ”show-cause events” to their professional associations. The number of those convicted of serious offences has fallen from a high of 23 two years ago.

Last financial year, only four of the solicitors on serious charges and one who committed a tax offence had their practising certificate suspended and the Law Society took no further action in the other 85 cases, deciding ”the offence did not impact upon the solicitor’s fitness to practise”.

But, says the Legal Services Commissioner, Steve Mark, for legal reasons it is very difficult for the professional bodies to stop lawyers from practising. In 2004, a High Court case ruled a solicitor convicted of aggravated child sexual assault be allowed to practice, finding that his conviction did not amount to professional misconduct.

I’d say the evidence is pretty conclusive that lawyers are dodgier than politicians.


A good law, Ctd

The other day I blogged about Sarah McKinley who shot and killed an intruder at her home. In an interesting twist the accomplice of the dead attacker is now being charged with his murder.

The?young Oklahoma mother who shot and killed an intruder?to protect her 3-month-old son on New Year’s Eve will not face criminal charges.

Prosecutors have instead charged the intruder’s alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Dustin Stewart, with first-degree murder in the death of his friend, Justin Shane Martin, 24.

Police said the two men broke into 18-year-old Sarah McKinley’s mobile home in Blanchard, Okla., the evening of Dec. 31, while the young widow was home with her baby. McKinley’s husband had died the week before, on Christmas Day, of lung cancer.

Suffer in ya jocks

The KKK can suffer in it’s jocks:

After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge has ruled that the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold.

A circuit judge ruled last month that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of the building that houses the Redneck Shop, which operates a so-called Klan museum and sells Klan robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. The judge ordered the shop’s proprietor to pay the church’s legal bills of more than US$3300 (NZ$4177).

Since 1996, the Redneck Shop has operated in an old movie theatre in Laurens, a city about 112km northwest of Columbia that was named after 18th century slave trader Henry Laurens.

Ownership of the building was transferred in 1997 to the Reverend David Kennedy and his church, New Beginnings, by a Klansman fighting with others inside the hate group, according to court records. That man, according to Kennedy, was feuding with store proprietor John Howard over a woman and “developed a spiritual relationship” with Kennedy’s church, the judge wrote.

But a clause in the deed entitles Howard, formerly KKK grand dragon for the Carolinas, to operate his business in the building until he dies.

After years of trying to have the property inspected, Kennedy and New Beginnings sued Howard and others in 2008. On December 9, a judge ruled in Kennedy’s favour.

Saying what the rest of us think

As is usual these days the only commentators that Red Radio run to are Pinko scum. They clearly don’t like MPs saying what the rest of us where thinking:

Commentators say two National Party MPs showed a lack of judgement in posting tweets implying the guilt of a teenager charged with an attack on a child in Turangi.

Louise Upston and Tau Henare both tweeted their thoughts after an arrest was made on Wednesday.

Both condemned the accused in separate tweets before he stands trial.

Mr Henare would not comment on tape, but said he stood by what he had written.

However, he says on his twitter account that he may have got carried away with the initial tweet.

Ms Upston says she was only trying to show her support for the police who worked on the case.

She does not believe her comments have jeopardised the accused’s chance of a fair trial.

Media law lawyer Steven Price says it’s always inadvisable to make public statements about the guilt or innocence of a person before a trial.

However, he says that the twitter comments are likely to have been forgotten by the time the trial comes.

Media commentator Russell Brown says neither Ms Upston nor Mr Henare have demonstrated respect for the law and its processes.

He says legislators have a responsibility to uphold the law.

Looks like Russell Brown is halting his constant self promoting blog posts about Media 7 and his mum’s lamb chop recipes to get back into politics. He may find that times have moved on and one post a week regurgitating your radio slot really doesn’t cut it anymore.

Steven Price is of course the flea lawyer who tried unsuccessfully to sue me on behalf of Pearl Going.

Stupid is as Stupid Does, Ctd

Some people really are thick:

A 34-year-old man will face a raft of charges after allegedly fleeing the scene of a burglary in Auckland today, evading pursuing police, then crashing into a stationary police car.

The drama began when witnesses reported seeing a blue Holden leaving the scene of a burglary in Remuera about 9am.

Police spotted the same car a short time later at Wash World on St Lukes Rd, but when police approached “it drove away at speed” and officers lost sight of it.

The same vehicle was seen by police on Symonds St where it was seen to drive onto Anzac Ave, before disappearing from view.

Police then pursued the fleeing driver on Beach Rd but the chase was abandoned at the bottom of Parnell Rise “due to the speed of the vehicle”.

After driving up Parnell Rise, towards Broadway, police said the vehicle crossed onto the wrong side of the road and crashed into a stationary police car.

No Bail for Turangi attacker

The Police must have very good evidence as the arrested 16 year old in the Turangi attack case has not sought bail and is currently in?custody?where he will remian at?least?until January 12.

Usually the Judges get all soft and crim hugging over Christmas/New Year and let scum walk the streets, not so in this case:

The 16-year-old charged with a sexually charged attack on a 5-year-old at a Turangi campground on December 21 has not sought bail.

He appeared briefly in Taupo Youth Court today, watched on by a gallery filled with family members and media.

He is next due to appear on January 12.

Earlier, the detective heading the investigation into the attack said New Zealand society needed to take a good look at itself.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper spoke at a press conference this afternoon before the 16-year-old appeared in court.

He said it was concerning that a 16-year-old could commit such a serious offence.

UPDATE: The Herald has this photo…the accused has name suppression.


Arrest made in Turangi case

An arrest has been made in the case of the attack ont eh 5 year old tourist in Turangi:

A 16-year-old has been arrested in the case of a five-year-old girl assaulted at a Turangi campground, police say.

The youth, from Turangi, has been charged with sexual violation, aggravated wounding and burglary. He will appear in Taupo Youth Court at 2pm tomorrow.


Charge him the full amount

I see from the Herald yesterday that the Attorney-General is seeking $14,000 in costs from Bradley Ambrose after he made everyone jump through hoops so he could escape criminal charges:

Now, the Attorney-General has filed a memorandum in the High Court at Auckland seeking $13,669.45 in costs from Ambrose. Those costs include $3760 for hearing preparation costs and counsel fees; $5076 for general costs including researching and filing; $1377.70 for air travel and $278.52 for taxis.

Counsel for the Attorney-General, Sean Kinsler, said the Attorney-General consented to bringing Ambrose’s matter to a hearing just two days after it was filed in the High Court. That caused a “compressed timetable” and only two working days for the Crown to do the necessary pre-hearing work.

He said the total spent by the Attorney-General on the matter, up to the end of the hearing, was $23,442.95.

However, they were seeking what they believed was an appropriate and reasonable rate based on the work done and expenses incurred.

What! What is?appropriate?and reasonable is for the full costs that Ambrose caused through his actions in taking it to court are billed not some arbitrary amount.

The Attorney-General should be seeking the full amount.

Are lawyers dodgier than politicians?

Certainly looks like lawyers are dodgier than politicians:

Legal counsel before the courts

Name suppressed – barrister
A criminal lawyer has appeared in court charged with delivering a cellphone, cigarettes and a lighter to a high-profile murderer serving a life sentence.?Suppression orders prevent the publication of the woman’s name and age, the name of the prisoner and details of his crime, history and sentence.

Name suppressed – barrister
A prominent Auckland barrister is facing a disciplinary hearing on three misconduct charges brought against him by the standards committee of the New Zealand Law Society. He has been granted interim name suppression until his case is heard next year.

Tim Sarah – police prosecutor
Before the Auckland District Court on 20 charges including the possession and supply of methamphetamine and Ecstasy, participating in an organised criminal group and passing information from the police computer system to three co-accused.

Emily Toner – Crown prosecutor for Meredith Connell
Awaiting sentencing in the North Shore District Court after she admitted stealing almost $200 worth of groceries from a supermarket while on a break from a court case she was prosecuting. Toner blamed the theft on an eating disorder which “prevented her from thinking straight”.

Anita Killeen – former chief prosecutor for the Serious Fraud Office, barrister
Charged with forgery, using a forged document and recklessly damaging a computer system. The charges are believed to be in relation to forged documents sent to the media this year in an attempt to smear SFO boss Adam Feeley.

Form a posse

I am normally against the death penalty and summary justice, but sometimes I’ve been know to make exceptions, like for looters. I have just found another exception:

A 5-year-old girl, visiting New Zealand from Europe, is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after what appears to have been a sexually motivated attack.

The girl was sleeping in a caravan with her 3-year-old brother at Club Habitat Holiday Park in Turangi last night.

Police say her mother went to the amenity block where her husband was using his computer. When she returned to the caravan she told police she found it locked and saw a man inside with her daughter. She ran screaming for help at which point the offender left the caravan, said police.

The girl underwent four hours of surgery today and is in a serious but stable condition in hospital. Her brother was not harmed and slept through the attack.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper, who is heading the investigation, would not say where the family was from, but said they had been travelling through the country and had been here for a while.

He said it is one of the worst assaults on a child he had seen in his 28 years of policing.

“The attack was brutal, on a young defenceless child who should have been spending Christmas on a dream holiday with her family. Her parents are absolutely distraught. They have expressed to us that their privacy is very important to them and they have asked for some space.”

Police will not be drawn on the detail of the girl’s injuries. However, Mr Loper said “they are significant and heart-wrenching. The nature of her injuries lead us to believe that the attack was sexually motivated”.

We should form up a posse, find this scum, string him up in a tree and let the crows peck at his corpse.