Cycle of revenge not 'traditional' and cannot be tolerated, says Chief Justice
Two men were sentenced yesterday for their part in the violence at Little Sisters town camp on March 7 last year. Their names are familiar now to anyone who attended the trial of Liam Jurrah, cleared by a jury last week of having caused serious harm to Basil Jurrah, his cousin. Christopher Walker pleaded guilty to causing that harm, and by way of "common intention", the assault on two residents of Little Sisters, carried out by Josiah Fry. An unidentified co-offender also took part in the assault on Basil Jurrah, according to the sentencing remarks of Chief Justice Trevor Riley. The Chief Justice also took the opportunity to repeat his call for "worthwhile efforts to curb the flow of alcohol" and to refute the notion that the ongoing cycle of violence between Warlpiri families is "in any way a traditional response". KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Police moving in to calm an angry crowd outside the Alice Springs courthouse during the committal hearing of Jurrah, Walker and Fry last year. The cause of a seemingly similar eruption during Liam Jurrah's recent trial was more complicated, at least in part involving another case.
What was expected to be an arraignment, at which the Supreme Court would hear Liam Jurrah enter a plea, ended up being an adjournment. The wigged barristers laughed at the media present from four outlets. But at least our false expectations had exposed us to the excellent street art (pictured) by Nicky Schonkala and Ralf Haertel, as part of the Alice Desert Festival.
The work, which required a cherry-picker to install, has given the dour Alice Springs courthouse a transforming friendly face, but inside, its serious business goes on unchanged. In the Jurrah matter all that happened, however, was that his bail conditions were altered, allowing him to reside also at an address in South Australia, given that his employer, the Melbourne Football Club, will be going into recess. KIERAN FINNANE reports.