7 December 2005

Cook goes free

| Ntp
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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.

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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.


“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’

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.

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.)

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)

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

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….


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

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?

Yes Mael, the moral there is inarguable.

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

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.

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