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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?


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40 Responses to
Russell Field not guilty
Heavs 2:12 pm 08 Mar 11

DPP fail. On fire.

The Frots 2:12 pm 08 Mar 11

From a legal perspective I’d call it ‘border-line’ self defence. You have to be in immediate fear of your life that physical harm will occur ‘then and there’ – it isn’t sufficient that you can run away, escape, etc. Seems a bit of a bow to draw – but there it is I guess. Justice Higgins strikes another one for the ACT Judicial system.

Now let’s see what the Rebels do……………………………I agree with the other threads that they will have to do something to save face. Otherwise, they may be handing some colours back!

Chaz 2:11 pm 08 Mar 11

At least he got rid of a couple of scum bags. Fine by me

Snave81 1:59 pm 08 Mar 11

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?

Erg0 1:51 pm 08 Mar 11

A bit of a primer on self defence in Australia, thanks to Google:
http://law.anu.edu.au/criminet/tselfd.html

Interestingly, it seems that being a paranoid schizophrenic is helpful to your case.

Erg0 1:45 pm 08 Mar 11

I don’t think it’s exactly a precedent, this certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone’s shot a burglar in self defence and been found not guilty. Perhaps the first time in the ACT, but the concept isn’t exactly new.

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. It then comes down to the definitions of “reasonable” and “proportional”, but if a hoodie-wearing crack fiend breaks into your house and brandishes a rusty knife at you then you’d probably be ok to double-tap him with your handgun of choice.

KB1971 1:43 pm 08 Mar 11

johnboy said :

spicoli said :

Higgins is a disgrace, and a blight on the Justice system.

I wished the newspaper in this city, held the Courts to account better than they do. Try and find when Higgins last convicted anybody of murder – or anything substantial. Look up the Glen Porritt finding.

I feel very sorry for victims of crime. Nobody speaks for them. Human Rights/Civil Liberties seem to be the last defence only for scoundrels. Good people can suffer.

There is no justice in the ACT Supreme Court. It is a pointless building.

I dunno, I personally thought this was a pretty strong self-defence case.

Fark yeah, I think if I was in the same situation that I probably would have had my rifle loaded too.

johnboy 1:39 pm 08 Mar 11

spicoli said :

Higgins is a disgrace, and a blight on the Justice system.

I wished the newspaper in this city, held the Courts to account better than they do. Try and find when Higgins last convicted anybody of murder – or anything substantial. Look up the Glen Porritt finding.

I feel very sorry for victims of crime. Nobody speaks for them. Human Rights/Civil Liberties seem to be the last defence only for scoundrels. Good people can suffer.

There is no justice in the ACT Supreme Court. It is a pointless building.

I dunno, I personally thought this was a pretty strong self-defence case.

spicoli 1:36 pm 08 Mar 11

Higgins is a disgrace, and a blight on the Justice system.

I wished the newspaper in this city, held the Courts to account better than they do. Try and find when Higgins last convicted anybody of murder – or anything substantial. Look up the Glen Porritt finding.

I feel very sorry for victims of crime. Nobody speaks for them. Human Rights/Civil Liberties seem to be the last defence only for scoundrels. Good people can suffer.

There is no justice in the ACT Supreme Court. It is a pointless building.

p1 1:10 pm 08 Mar 11

EvanJames said :

Sets a precedent too…. If you can convince the judge that the burgular was very frightening, you might now be allowed to shoot him.

Capt RAAF will be pleased to hear that.

ConanOfCooma 12:24 pm 08 Mar 11

Rebels? Meh.

They tried to move into Cooma back in 2000, but had their first club house shot to s*** in a drive by – Bear wasn’t happy.

The Common Chair Throwers then punched the s*** out of a few Rebs on a Poker Run, but I don’t think that info made it back to the Boss, and they were again quiet for a while.

Then there was the patch theft, again by the Common Chair Throwers, in 2003, methinks. After that they shut down the second club house and retreated back to Canberra/Queanbo.

Ever since, they don’t dare show their faces.

I don’t think they are the force they believe themselves to be – Hell, you can wake up after a party as a Rebel.

EvanJames 12:14 pm 08 Mar 11

Sets a precedent too. I wonder how far self defence in one’s home can now be taken in the ACT? If you can convince the judge that the burgular was very frightening, you might now be allowed to shoot him.

p1 12:04 pm 08 Mar 11

buzz819 said :

So I guess now he gets released and the Rebels seek revenge?

They have a fair bit of reputation to rebuild if they want to be taken seriously as a bikie gang.

chewy14 12:01 pm 08 Mar 11

Higgins obviously thinks there’s a lot of people out there who are only seconds away from committing seriously acts of violence at any time.
I wonder if I should be more fearful about walking around Canberra and the people around me.? At least that way i’ll be ready for a self-defence charge if anything bad may happen.

buzz819 11:39 am 08 Mar 11

So I guess now he gets released and the Rebels seek revenge?

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