For the first time this week some detail emerged about what allegedly happened at Ilpurla Outstation last year that led to Barry Abbott (pictured), former Senior Territorian of the Year, facing charges of aggravated assault and deprivation of liberty.
Mr Abbott and his four co-accused, all members of his family, pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Alice Springs Magistrates Court on Monday. Their hearing is set down for December but defence lawyer Russell Goldflam had asked for a hearing to deal with legal argument.
How could this happen without some factual context, Magistrate John Neill wanted to know. So the briefest outline of agreed facts was presented on Tuesday afternoon. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
The case against Barry Abbott (pictured), former Senior Territorian of the Year and longtime worker with young people caught up in the justice system, will now be heard by a magistrate, not by judge and jury.
A preliminary examination to see whether the case should proceed to the Supreme Court was scheduled to start today. At the penultimate moment the prosecution conceded, as the defence had pushed for all along, that it could remain in the Court of Summary Jurisdiction. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
The hearing of charges against Barry Abbott, former NT Senior Australian of the Year, and four others was again put off today because the prosecution had still not received a full briefing from police.
There are aggravated assault charges against Mr Abbott, 67, and two counts of depriving a person of personal liberty.
He is best known for looking after young people in trouble with the justice system and particularly petrol sniffers on his outstation at Ilpurla. Over the decades he has helped rehabilitate hundreds of youths.
He was arrested last October after a youth ran away from the outstation and came to the attention of police in Alice Springs. Police subsequently removed a further six teenagers and another from a nearby community and placed them in FACS care.
Mr Abbott's co-accused – two younger men and two younger women – are facing multiple counts of deprivation of liberty as well as other charges. There are also aggravated assault charges against the men.
The matters had been listed for hearing on February 2 but postponed till today, again because the prosecution was not ready to proceed.
Magistrate David Bamber expressed some impatience from the bench, however as the missing prosecution material includes medical reports relating to the alleged victims of "serious harm", it was not possible for the defence to object to the adjournment. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
Pictured: Mr Abbott outside the Alice Springs courthouse today.