By KIERAN FINNNANE
UPDATED (see below).
The jury took just half an hour to finalise their deliberations this morning.
They found the five Peace Pilgrims guilty of entering Pine Gap prohibited area on 29 September 2016. This was the verdict of them all.
They also found Andrew Paine guilty of the additional count, possessing a photographic apparatus in the prohibited area.
Sentencing submissions will be made this afternoon.
Peace Pilgrim Paul Christie, whose trial was concluded last week, will be sentenced this afternoon.
Photo above: Outside the court after the verdict, the Pilgrims remained resolute, putting on a stirring performance of the peace song: “I’m going to lay down my sword and shield down by the riverside, I ain’t going to study war no more”.
UPDATE, 24 November 2017, 4.52pm:
Sentencing of all six Peace Pilgrims, including Mr Christie, has been set down for December 4. They have been bailed to appear from their respective cities of residence, Cairns and Brisbane.
In relation to the five whose trial concluded today, the Crown has called for imprisonment as the only appropriate sentence in the circumstances, although Michael McHugh SC pointed out that imprisonment can take different forms, such as suspended sentences with various conditions.
However, for the older offenders Margaret Pestorious and Jim Dowling, given their long history of similar offending, Mr McHugh argued for actual time to be served, most particularly for Mr Dowling who, he said, “to use a colloquialism, is on the street and will continue to offend”.
The younger members of the group might be susceptible to rehabilitation he suggested. However they gave little indication in their submissions that this would be so. They each defended their actions as principled.
Andrew Paine said he had nothing to say on contrition. Tim Webb referred to the “insatiable blood lust of the Commonwealth” and the youngest, 20 year old Franz Dowling with no relevant prior convictions, concluded his submission to the court with a quote from Dorothy Day, a key figure in the Catholic Worker movement and a practitioner of civil disobedience, whom he described as “the greatest woman who ever lived”:
“Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system,” is the famous quote.
She was a “strong character”, commented Franz Dowling, before adding that he could not be a slave to the law of man as long as those laws are able to be broken at whim, resulting in the slaughter of innocents.
Five Peace Pilgrims guilty on all counts
By KIERAN FINNNANE