The Canberra Times reports today (March 1 2008), inter alia, that;
“Justice Malcolm Gray upheld the appeal in the Supreme Court, and described Mr Lalor’s behaviour as indefensible.
He said the proceedings had been “coloured by the magistrate’s annoyance” at the fact that the lawyer representing Mr Roberts had arrived in court late, and without proper instructions from his client.
“In my view, it is not appropriate to disadvantage an accused person because of a judicial officer’s dissatisfaction with a lawyer’s conduct” Justice Gray said in his judgement.
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In upholding Mr Roberts’ appeal against the sentence, Justice Gray said Mr Lalor’s conduct did not appear to “be at all defensible”.
He went on to say that … the magistrate had been potentially denying a fair trial to an accused”.
This former prosecutor never resiled from his former role, and continues to prosecute from the bench. Undoubtedly grounds for dismissal on the basis of mental incompetence. Over to you Stanhope. Are you pleased with yourself for having appointed this man in the face of widespread community unease, Mr Stanhope?