Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

Russell Field not guilty

By johnboy 8 March 2011 40

The Supreme Court has published the judgment of Chief Justice Higgins in finding Russell Field not guilty of the murder of Richard John Roberts and Gregory Peter Carrigan.

Chief Justice Higgins has accepted the defence argument that Russel was acting in self defence when what he thought were two members of the Rebels came calling:

It is apparent from this that the accused assumed that “the Rebels” were the persons who had intimidated his mother and uttered threats against him. He further assumed that the two men who came to his door on 24 March 2009 were, as then, seeking to take his property, as well as that of Witness 3, and do him serious injury if not kill him.

These fears, whether or not the deceased themselves intended physical harm of that order, were reasonable and I have no doubt were genuinely held by the accused. His primary purpose therefore was to avoid harm to himself. If he was only concerned for his property I think he would have surrendered “the list” he referred to. Indeed, he said as much.

I appreciate that to rebut either provocation or self-defence the prosecution bears the onus of proof but, in this case, I am left in no doubt that the accused, when he decided to obtain his shot-gun was motivated by a well-founded fear that if he did not defend himself from the deceased he would be seriously injured or killed. I am not in so finding, expressing satisfaction that the deceased had that intention. I think it likely that their primary purpose was to get the drop-saw but I think also that they were taking advantage of that purpose to get any other items that could have been property of Witness 3, at least in their minds, and further to terrorise the accused in retaliation for his supposed ill-treatment of Witness 3.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
40 Responses to
Russell Field not guilty
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
Spideydog 9:35 am 10 Mar 11

Tooks said :

Really? Does anyone else think the same way? An unarmed man who has just seen his mate shot to death, chases the killer – who is still holding the shotgun – down the street with the intent to kill him?

Sorta like those bugs bunny cartoons were Bugs and Elma Fudd get confused and Bugs ends up chasing Elma Fudd who’s got his shotgun in hand …….

You don’t take bare fists to a gun fight ……. knowing a firearm has been used and then chasing that man who has the gun with only your fists ….. nobody is that stupid. Face to face, yeah fight for your life, but if you have enough of a upper hand to chase someone with a firearm, you have enough to exit stage left too, which any reasonable person would do.

nexus6 9:23 am 10 Mar 11

“Really? Does anyone else think the same way? An unarmed man who has just seen his mate shot to death, chases the killer – who is still holding the shotgun – down the street with the intent to kill him?

I don’t just don’t buy it.”

actually i read it the other way, i think fields had more to fear from the second guy. I gotta give him credit for chasing a guy with a loaded shotgun. of course there’s the old adage of “dont bring bare hands to a gunfight” certainly not the smartest thing to do.

rebels etc pride themselves for living outside the law. i dont see why they should receive any protection from it

cleo 1:48 am 10 Mar 11

Well reading all, I can understand him being scared, and the Rebels do harass if they want something that is not theirs, they think they have a god given right! He is a young man that was taken advantage of by many, especially the 38 year old woman, she knew what she was doing by getting the Rebels to go to his home and threaten the accused and mother. And believe me they do threaten, face to face, and on the phone indirectly, but you know what they are getting at, it’s an indirect threat.

Clown Killer 12:24 am 10 Mar 11

KTQ we don’t need to know the victims to know that it’s a fact that they were complete and utter scum bags. One was a member of the Rebels and one was prepared to hang around with a member of the Rebels. End of story … Did I mention they died like cowards …

KTQ 8:35 pm 09 Mar 11

#13 Chaz “At least he got rid of a couple of scum bags. Fine by me”

You knew the victims? I expect not given that remark. I knew Greg Carrigan and he was not a scum bag.

ABC News ” No-one has been convicted of murder in Canberra since 1998″. The ACT Justice system is a farce !

Tooks 5:27 pm 09 Mar 11

I can see how he came to the decision to acquit for the murder of Carrigan, because Field’s version of events was at least a little bit plausible (despite the fact Carrigan was shot through the hand, as he obviously saw what was coming).

158. As I have said, there is no doubt in my mind that, after Mr Carrigan was shot, Mr Roberts would have killed the accused if he had caught him.

Really? Does anyone else think the same way? An unarmed man who has just seen his mate shot to death, chases the killer – who is still holding the shotgun – down the street with the intent to kill him?

I don’t just don’t buy it.

p1 1:00 pm 09 Mar 11

Sleaz274 said :

Two words…overwhelming force

Peace… Through superior fire power.

Mr Gillespie 12:51 pm 09 Mar 11

Sleaz274 said :

……….And woah woah “pyscho chick from last week”?? You’d do well to read the thread regarding that one before making any more comments like that…….

What are you saying, that killer WASN’T a psycho chick??

johnboy 12:28 pm 09 Mar 11

Agreed Skid, that’s how it was meant to be, and is now fixed.

Skidbladnir 12:22 pm 09 Mar 11

Jb: the link in the article should presuably be to the actual Judgement:
http://www.courts.act.gov.au/supreme/judgments/field.htm

Tooks said :

Which part in particular did they fail?

Seriously, just read the judgement.

Although I normally think Higgins is a joke, I’m DPP-beating on this one.
This time it reads like he was unimpressed that the DPP didn’t provide or receive sufficient evidence to convict, didn’t build a solid case off the evidence they did provide, didn’t sufficiently cross examine, failed to prove the defence claims of self-defence unreasonable…

Chop71 12:00 pm 09 Mar 11

Next TV Series ………. Canberra Underbelly ….. where everyone walks free!!!!

Grumpy Old Fart 11:40 am 09 Mar 11

It wouldn’t matter whether he was found guilty or not guilty as he will spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder. Why do you think he was held in protective custody whilst in the Hume Hilton? His best option would be a hut on the farside of Antartica.

As for ‘no’ Justice Higgins well there is no more that can be said other than if you are charged ask for a judge only trial before Higgins

Wilco 11:33 am 09 Mar 11

Heavs said :

Tooks said :

Heavs said :

DPP fail. On fire.

Which part in particular did they fail?

I just prefer to take a different tack to the judge bashing. Majority on here blame the judiciary without any knowledge of the case. I blame the DPP – as the agency responsible they provided unsatisfactory evidence to convict. Whether that opinion is justified or not shouldn’t really matter judging on the volume of bush lawyers on here that choose to tee off on the umpire as soon as an acquittal is reported without even having read the judgment or looked at the evidence that was considered.

Totally agree. Given the DPP’s recent poor track record, Mr Corbell should be looking at ways to have that Agency lift its game.

Sleaz274 9:36 am 09 Mar 11

No self defence shouldn’t be proportional otherwise both parties (attacker and defender) would end up dead.

Two words…overwhelming force

And woah woah “pyscho chick from last week”?? You’d do well to read the thread regarding that one before making any more comments like that.

Porrit however I agree with you. 58 stab wounds without an intent to kill??

And if these 1% motorcycle clubs want to pretend that they live outside the law and handle their own matters then it seems only just and fair that they lose a couple of standover men in the course of duty and the guy who pulled the trigger is let off by wider society.

Heavs 8:37 am 09 Mar 11

Tooks said :

Heavs said :

DPP fail. On fire.

Which part in particular did they fail?

I just prefer to take a different tack to the judge bashing. Majority on here blame the judiciary without any knowledge of the case. I blame the DPP – as the agency responsible they provided unsatisfactory evidence to convict. Whether that opinion is justified or not shouldn’t really matter judging on the volume of bush lawyers on here that choose to tee off on the umpire as soon as an acquittal is reported without even having read the judgment or looked at the evidence that was considered.

cleo 4:14 am 09 Mar 11

I hope he is in protective custody, other wise it’s a matter of time before he disappears.

Tooks 9:53 pm 08 Mar 11

Heavs said :

DPP fail. On fire.

Which part in particular did they fail?

james270 8:10 pm 08 Mar 11

People would be well advised to read the judgement prior to jumping to conclusions in this particular case.

LSWCHP 7:23 pm 08 Mar 11

Snave81 said :

When does the concept of self defence end? After shooting the first guy on your property or chasing the second guy onto the street and shooting him there? Was Russell Field found guilty for anything, firearms offences maybe if the weapon was illegal?

My American friends have advised me that the correct technique is to shoot the offender, ensure that he’s dead and then fire several “warning shots” into the roof. When the cops arrive, just reverse the order in which you fired when you tell them your story.

And I’d like to know about the legality and consequences of the firearms possession as well. Is it Ok to have an illegal firearm, as long as you shoot someone with it? What about illegal knives?

Erg0 4:53 pm 08 Mar 11

Erg0 said :

As I understand it, the general principle is that to be found not guilty by way of self defence you must hold a reasonable belief that you’re in danger of being seriously hurt or killed, and you must use proportionate force.

For the sake of accuracy, I should point out that my own link above has informed me that this is no longer true. As of 1987, the test for self defence in Australia is as follows:

“The question to be asked in the end is quite simple. It is whether the accused believed upon reasonable grounds that it was necessary in self-defence to do what he did. If he had that belief and there were reasonable grounds for it, or if the jury is left in reasonable doubt about the matter, then he is entitled to an acquittal.”

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site