Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Chamberlains - complete legal services for business

Cook goes free

By Ntp - 7 December 2005 13

When is a murder not a murder? When it’s a manslaughter. And when it’s not a manslaughter? It’s a sad day for the DPP.

On Boxing day 2003 in the Southside Caravan Park two drunken mates got in a fight to the death over a broken beer stein. Yesterday the winner walked out of court a free man being cleared of all charges. The story, and it’s a good read, can be found here care of the CT.

The bits that interest me, near the end of the article, is that good old Chief Justice Higgins refused the defendant’s, Mr Cook’s, plea to manslaughter because he couldn’t understand the Crown’s case. The case went to trial before Justice Crispin who cleared Cook due to their not being enough evidence to prove either murder or manslaughter.

And the thing to learn from this kiddies? All deaths in the ACT are accidental. Just ask the Saudi diplomatic corps.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
13 Responses to
Cook goes free
Special G 7:16 pm 07 Dec 05

ACT Courts come up with the goods again. I wish I was on their wicket. Good pay, work 2 hours per day and no accountability.

G

danos 4:52 pm 07 Dec 05

“I suspect DPP didnt do too much thinking since they were getting a guilty plea”

The DPP (both ACT and Commonwealth) are so overworked that this would not surprise me at all. Not that they do not care, but they simply would have prioritised to another case that had plead ‘not guilty’

bulldog 4:19 pm 07 Dec 05

Funny – six months ago (before PC types jumped on the Van Nguyen band wagon) Ralph’s comment wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows; it would merely have been written off as another opinionated statement. Ah well, each to his own.

Oh, thanks spitfire, I stand corrected.

Spitfire3 4:10 pm 07 Dec 05

Nice one Ralph. You serious or what? Two or maybe even three things wrong with that statement, and I shouldn’t have to point them out.

In any case, I work near said caravan park – it doesn’t have a good reputation. At all.

(BTW bulldog, it’s the ‘dang’ roof.)

Evictor 4:09 pm 07 Dec 05

Ralph that’s crap. Death penalty is no deterrent to any crime. All a criminal cares about is not getting caught – the penalty doesn’t come into thinking at all.

I wonder if a neighbour counts in Higgins statement last week about domestic violence being abhorrent and a scourge on society (big paraphrase there). Why is domestic violence that much worse than a bloke choking another to death over a stein (although if it was one of the Oktoberfest ones – the original glass, not crappy plastic ones you get now – I could understand it)

Ralph 3:34 pm 07 Dec 05

Bring back the death penalty and these maggots will soon think twice before belting someone to death.

bulldog 3:31 pm 07 Dec 05

truly astounding. WTF? I was always pretty certain that if someone was killed in a drunken brawl, that the perpetrator would go to jail… Truly alarmingly, he has now set a legal precedent for this sort of thing.

By “Higgins-Logic”, if I get done DUI can I get let off because I was drunk and unfamiliar with the legal principles?

And it’s hard not to perpetuate stereotypes about caravan parks when the victim, his mother and her partner all have different surnames….

HEY MA, GET OFF THE DAMN ROOF!

Kandy A 2:53 pm 07 Dec 05

also, he BROKE A BEER STEIN and walks free
forgive me making light of this as if it were a joke…
I suspect DPP didnt do too much thinking since they were getting a guilty plea

Thumper 2:11 pm 07 Dec 05

I’m simply astounded. What is going on in this town?

A guy gets hung for drug trafficking and everyone is up in arms, yet here is a clear cut case of one guy killing another and he walks free.

che 1:52 pm 07 Dec 05

I love the part that said “Because he was drunk and unfamiliar with the legal principles, telling the operator he had “murdered somebody” should not be construed as an admission.”

So if you don’t have legal training and are drunk all the time you can pretty much get away with whatever you want?

RandomGit 1:40 pm 07 Dec 05

Yes Mael, the moral there is inarguable.

Maelinar 1:12 pm 07 Dec 05

I firmly believe that all broken beer steins should be fought to the death over.

Nik_the_Pig 12:56 pm 07 Dec 05

I’m sorry, I was going to go on in the post but it was turning into a rant.

I just have a hard time getting my head around the judiciary in this town and with them the DPP.

for example:

Cook admitted to putting the victim (Mr Beck, who incidentally did start the fight) in a head lock and choking him to death.

Now to quote the CT:

“On the manslaughter charge, the Crown relied only on the principle that it was committed by an unlawful and dangerous act.”

Now from the story what Cook did doesn’t fit manslaughter as defending yourself is lawful even though it was dangerous. But what of murder?

“To prove murder, the Crown had to establish that the accused had caused the victim’s death and had intended to cause death or was reckless of the probability it would occur.”

Well no doubt that Cook caused the victim’s death and surely it couldn’t have been too hard to prove that Cook was “reckless of the probability it would occur.”

Oh well, never mind.

Bet the coppers wish now that they just charged Cook with fight in a public place, would have looked better on the stats.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site