When former football star Liam Jurrah gets out of gaol for assaulting his wife, he will have to undergo drug and alcohol rehab, and for 12 months will be banned from consuming drugs and alcohol, will not be allowed to leave the Territory without permission but will also not be allowed to come into Alice Springs except for a personal medical or dental emergency.
See story posted Day 4, April 3 for medical evidence which does not support account of burning to genital area.
Kumunjayi Pollard’s calvary may have included having his genitals burned. Medical evidence has not yet been given in this hearing into whether six men will stand trial for the murder of Kumunjayi Pollard, and a seventh for being accessory after the fact. But today an eyewitness, Petrina Andy, told the Alice Springs Magistrates Court through an interpreter that she had seen one of the men charged with his murder getting petrol and burning him on “the privacy part of the body”. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Charles Creek in the stretch alongside Schwarz Crescent, one of the locations where Kumunjayi Pollard was assaulted, dying as a result.
DAY ONE plus links to all subsequent reports of five day hearing
Family members of a man beaten to death in an apparent ‘payback’ in February last year twice hurled abuse at the men accused of his murder in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court today. There are seven men in the dock – six accused of murder, one of being an accessory after the fact. G. Pollard died from "multiple traumatic injuries" after being assaulted at two locations before his naked body was dumped in a ditch by the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: Members of the public leaving the hearing this afternoon.
An apparent power struggle within the Central Land Council saw two prominent figures in Central Australian Aboriginal politics facing off in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court today. Maurie Ryan, chairman of the Land Council, applied for a personal violence order against Michael Liddle, who not so long ago was his deputy and who remains on the executive, representing Lhere Artepe. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
UPDATE, 1pm:A 44-year-old man has been charged over this incident.
“I’m going to cut you, you’ll be dead”: these are the words I heard directed to a witness in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court yesterday, part way through the preliminary hearing of a murder charge against Sebastian Kunoth. The words in English were part of a stream of speech in an Aboriginal language by a man as he was ejected from the courtroom. The apparent threat brought the hearing to a standstill as prosecutor Stephen Geary sought to have the man arrested for intimidation of a witness. KIERAN FINNANE reports. Pictured: Inside Abbott's Camp where the alleged murder took place, photo from our archive (2008).
After a long day’s drinking four carloads of people ended up at the turn-off to Ali Curung on the Stuart Highway, south of Tennant Creek. Most of them lived at Ali Curung and were family or knew one another. Most were a bit drunk, or very drunk. Grog was running low, arguing and jealous fights broke out. And a woman died. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: A roadside drinking camp. The inscription on the cross-piece reads, "Let there be light in the darkness." Photo Courtesy Russell Guy.
It was apparently a normal day after the weekend before at the Alice Springs Magistrates Court, perhaps a little busier given that this was a long weekend. The word was also that there had been a recent royalty payment that had brought people into town.
The police prosecutor arrived in Courtroom Two with a trolley as big as a baby buggy, full of files. These were the fresh matters. The files in the stands on bar table were the matters already scheduled (13 domestic violence, two Smart Court, 59 criminal, and 11 Youth Court).
Half of the defendants were in the watchhouse, Magistrate John Birch was told. Only one lawyer is allowed in at a time, so there was a bottleneck with the paperwork. That was hardly surprising, said Magistrate Birch, given that there were 150 people on the list!
Defence lawyers, from Legal Aid and Aboriginal Legal Aid, milled around, attempting to bring matters on.
There was confusion over files. The court orderly was sent in search of other defence lawyers, returning to report that she couldn't find them. She also had to announce numerous non-appearances. Some of these matters were dealt with anyway ("ex parte"), the offenders convicted and fined, their files put away. Many matters were adjourned to allow time for defence lawyers to make representations to police prosecutions; others because the facts of the matter were to be contested.
In the midst of all this, some parties appeared and matters were heard – sorry tales that flesh out some of the offending behind the 'law and order' debate, tales of people, young and not so young, male and female, and their failings. On this day and for as much of the list as I observed all of the defendants were Aboriginal. This is not always the case. KIERAN FINNANE reports.