Jun 262013

Katie, my 13yo daughter, she of the Puberty, just sent me this email – and I am now sitting at my desk wiping away the tears.

Thank you for shaping my life,
Thank you for teaching me all you can
You are no ordinary man,

You make me everything that I am
Thank you for taking the time,
Thank you for showing me the way,
And thank you for being there when I need you,

Thank you for every single day,
Thank you for your guiding hand,
Thank you for making my dreams come true
You’re an extraordinary man,
And I hope you’re as proud of me,
As I am proud of you,

Thank you for giving me life,
Thank you for showing me good from bad,
I guess I’m only really trying to say,
Thank you for being my dad.

I love you, and I always have,
and thank you for being my dad

I am one very very proud Father….

Mar 062013

We were dressed and ready to go out for a Dinner & Theatre evening.

We turned on a ‘night light’, turned the answering machine on covered our pet budgie and put the cat in the backyard.

We phoned the local Taxi company and requested a taxi.

The taxi arrived and we opened the front door to leave the house.

As we walked out the door, the cat we had put out in the yard scooted back into the house.

We didn’t want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to get at the budgie.

My wife walked on out to the taxi, while I went back inside to get the cat.

The cat ran upstairs, with me in hot pursuit.

Waiting in the cab, my wife didn’t want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night so, she explained to the taxi driver that I would be out soon. “He’s just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother.”

A few minutes later, I got into the cab. “Sorry I took so long,” I said, as we drove away. “That stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her arse with a coat hanger to get her to come out. She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked! I hauled her fat arse downstairs and threw her out into the backyard! ………….She’d better not shit in the vegetable garden again!”

The silence in the Taxi was deafening.

Feb 152013

(You might like to read the first part )

Well, I’ve had my day in Court, and wasn’t it (finally) wonderful.

After being mentioned several times in the last year, and set down for hearing in October, it was held over until February 7th – I wasn’t *happy* about it, but these things happen.

So we finally get to Court on Feb 7th, and some very very funny things happened.

  • One of the Police who arrested me (the Probationary Constable Ryan CLEGG) has LEFT THE POLICE FORCE – no further explanation. This means that his statement (a virtual duplicate of Constable LITTLE’s) was inadmissible.
  • The other officer, Constable LITTLE, decided NOT TO SHOW UP – scratch statement #2 and the entire Record of Interview.
  • Their “star witness”, one Kylie PARKER, sends the Police Prosecutor an email which he received THAT MORNING stating that she was “attending TAFE now and won’t be able to attend Court” – despite the Police having issued a Summons for her to attend.

So we’re left with SHIELS’ word against mine, and the evidence of my wife who witnessed almost all of the event. Plus the CCTV footage, which CLEARLY shows SHIELS grabbing me first, thereby INSTIGATING THE WHOLE ASSAULT.

For some reason best known to himself, the Police Prosecutor decided to forge ahead regardless – and I can’t fault him for the job he did, he was badly let down by the others and I almost feel sorry for him.

Under vigorous cross-examination from my most excellent Solicitor, SHIELS flat-out denies that he touched me “in any way whatsoever”, rather that he put his arm up “to impede his progress, he walked into me”. The video is played, clearly showing SHIELS grabbing me before I push his hand away and attempt to walk away from him.

At this point he grabs me and slams me into a wall – deliberately off-camera, of course.

Watching my Solicitor tear him to pieces and get him to all but ADMIT that he lied was a pleasure to behold.

Jill gave her evidence, was cross-examined by an increasingly flustered Police Prosecutor who started to ask questions and then withdrew them, and acquitted herself brilliantly.

Her Honor, because of the time, was to render her judgement the following morning – bloody inconvenient for all concerned, but it is what it is (I have my Solicitor to thank for teaching me that !!).

Her Honor’s findings were basically;

  • Erris SHIELS is an un-creditable witness and a liar concerning events that occurred  He twisted them to suit his own purpose.
  • Erris SHIELS instigated the assault by accosting me physically in the first instance.
  • I was deemed to have used “reasonable force” to effect my release from his initial and subsequent attempts to restrain me (a Security Guard has no more powers of detention than an ordinary Citizen)
  • All charges were dropped and the case was dismissed out of hand.

The only point Her Honor did not accept was that I didn’t know SHIELS was a security guard – I rarely shop there and the cleaners wear a similar color uniform, plus I didn’t have my glasses on – but it’s a minor matter.

She also mentioned that Jill and I differed in our recollections of some minor events, which was to be expected due to the quick sequence of those events and the time that had passed (almost a year to the day), however in the important events we backed each other up (I think Her Honor would have been far more suspicious if our recollections had been identical).

Her Honor declined to award costs against the NSW Police, saying that while their investigation was “sub-par”, it wasn’t bad enough to be considered grossly incompetent – and THAT point, above all others, I disagree with Her Honor on.

Anyone of average intelligence, in seeing the video (which I will post here when I get it), would clearly see that SHIELS grabbed me first and all I was trying to do was leave the area. This was Her Honor’s view as well. So, in my opinion, the Police WERE incompetent as to their investigation of the matter.

The question “Why” has to be asked, and the answer is very very simple. At the time I had long hair (grown out for the World’s Greatest Shave charity event) and a month’s beard growth –  I was on HOLIDAYS !!!  Police saw me, looking like that and dressed in shorts and a t-shirt (in other words, like a “typical Richmond bogan”), and thought arresting me would be “an easy win” for a young Probationary Constable, and that I wouldn’t defend it.

In short, I was quite clearly PROFILED – this is upheld by the fact that, at my first Court Appearance in November 2012, neither SHIELS, PARKER or LITTLE recognised me (short hair and a suit).

So the upshot of all of this is, because of the incompetence of the Police and the lies told by SHIELS, I’m out of pocket $5000 – a very well spent $5000, but I shouldn’t have had to spend it at all if the Police did their job !  At least the case was dismissed without prejudice and nothing is recorded against me.

This leaves a number of points still to be considered;

  • Do I take action against SHIELS for assaulting me in the first place ?
  • Do I demand he repay me the $5000 it cost me, or I report him for the assault and have his Security Licence revoked ?
  • Do I take Civil action against the Police to recover my costs (I’d even donate them to the RSPCA if I win – it’s not about the money, it’s the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”)
  • What happens to SHIELS after being found to be “an un-creditable witness and a liar” under oath.. Her Honor’s words… Perjury ??
  • What happens to Kylie PARKER for disobeying a summons to appear in Court ?  Did she realise that once on the stand she would have to admit UNDER OATH that she was talking on the cellphone while driving ?
  • Why didn’t Constable LITTLE turn up at Court ? A number of possibilities;
    • He forgot – unlikely
    • He realised he had no hope of winning and would be crucified on the stand
    • It was easier to have his ass kicked for losing by not appearing than by losing on the stand

We may never know the answers to these questions – until the Police do it to some other poor schmuck who fights back against their gross incompetence.

Finally, I must commend to you the efforts and abilities of one Andrew TIEDT of Armstrong Legal in Sydney – his defence was flawless, as was his advice, and his integrity above reproach. His scathing cross-examination was genuinely a pleasure to behold. I would highly recommend Andrew (and the Armstrong Legal team) to anyone needing the services of a good Solicitor.