Criminals including Tony Mokbel consider appealing convictions after IBAC mauls police over informer scandal


Here we go again , let the crooks ride the system for all it is worth, mostly on legal aid (taxpayers money). Drug dealers and murderers seem to be the only folks who can get access the bottomless resources of legal aid these days .Day to day folks have no chance because they are not facing jail time, does that make their legal woes any less important while scum like Mokbel milk the system dry? These crims see going to court appeal after appeal as a social outing, a time to see family and friends most of the time. They laugh at the system.

Vic police negligent in managing informers

Vic police negligent in managing informers

GANGLAND figures including Tony Mokbel are considering legal bids for freedom after the corruption watchdog found “negligence of a high order’’ in Victoria Police’s handling of informers.

The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission’s damning report was prompted by a Herald Sun investigation of the force’s controversial use of informers to get information on gangland crimes, drug lords and corrupt police.

IBAC’s inquiry, led by former Supreme Court judge Murray Kellam, found the force failed in its handling of endangered informers and may have subverted Victoria’s justice system.

WITNESS: ‘POLICE THREATENED TO TAKE MY CHILD’

EDITORIAL: WE’VE BEEN KEPT IN DARK ON DIRTY SKELETON

The Herald Sun can today reveal one witness central to the IBAC inquiry has said senior police once threatened to take away a child unless the child’s parent joined the secretive witness protection program.

Tony Mokbel.

Tony Mokbel.

IBAC found police had failed to follow their own guidelines and policies and made 16 secret recommendations for how to handle “human sources’’.

Police passed the report to prosecutors, as Premier Daniel Andrews vowed to oversee reforms “to learn where things have gone wrong”.

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright said he would take responsibility, despite not being in command at the time of the controversial decisions.

The report is secret, but there were calls for it to be made public as IBAC revealed the force’s handling of cases may have adversely affected the administration of justice.

The ramifications of the informer scandal could intensify the demand for a judicial inquiry into the police handling of a series of notorious cases.

How the scandal unfolded.

How the scandal unfolded.

The Herald Sun understands several major criminals, including jailed kingpin Tony Mokbel, convicted killer Faruk Orman and a jailed drug figure, are considering their legal options because of the possible contamination of their cases.

Mokbel, who is serving at least 22 years for drug trafficking, has legal advice that the informer crisis could found a successful appeal against his conviction and sentence.

A Mokbel friend said: “We’ve been approached by some lawyers who say … he might knock off a few years, because they have conspired against him.”

Police had previously told the Office of Public Prosecutions more than a dozen cases may have been tainted by their handling of informers.

Mr Cartwright said: “Victoria Police acknowledges there were shortfalls in our management of human sources during that time (2005-09). We didn’t follow best practice and it’s important that lessons were learnt and they have been.”

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright. Picture: MIKE KEATING

Acting Chief Commissioner Tim Cartwright. Picture: MIKE KEATING

But he said that the force and prosecutors had found no evidence of a contaminated trial at state level.

“In terms of the state in the last couple of years, there is no evidence at this stage of any threat to any conviction or any evidence of mistrial,” he said.

Any miscarriage of justice would be acted upon, he said.

Opposition police spokesman Ed O’Donohue said: “Daniel Andrews should urgently release a safe, redacted version of this report otherwise his lack of transparency could unfairly erode public confidence in our police force.”

Mr Andrews would not rule out releasing a redacted report.

“It’s my expectation that Victoria Police get on and implement each and every one of the recommendations that IBAC have made … given the history of this matter, I do hope to have more to say soon.

“But at the same time we do need to be very careful.”

He would not be drawn on why a key source was not interviewed by IBAC.


 

Brock Powell’s murder conviction overturned: Retrial ordered over toddler BJ Williams’ death


His lawyer argued on appeal the judge did not properly consider the possibility the boy’s mother, who was not charged, might have inflicted the fatal injuries???

They have got to be kidding. Powell is out on bail awaiting a new trial, he better keep his head down. This must be devastating for the family.This little boy didn’t fall between a bed and wardrobe.He bashed the little fella, the overwhelmingly proved that. This is on a point of law and this dog will be back in his kennel soon.Waste of taxpayers money

Brock Powell’s murder conviction overturned: Retrial ordered over toddler BJ Williams’ death

BJ Williams

Two-year-old BJ Williams died in early 2012

A man’s conviction for murdering a two-year-old boy has been overturned and the Court of Criminal Appeal in Adelaide has ordered a retrial.

Brock Michael Powell had been found guilty of murdering his partner’s toddler, BJ Williams, and given a life jail sentence with a non-parole term of 21 years.

His partner’s son died in January 2012 from severe head trauma and had extensive bruising to his face, torso and genitals.

Powell said during the trial that he fell asleep and woke to find the toddler wedged between his bed and a wardrobe.

His lawyer argued on appeal the judge did not properly consider the possibility the boy’s mother, who was not charged, might have inflicted the fatal injuries.

Powell has been released on bail and is to face court again next Monday.

Latara Hunt, the mother of BJ, outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court during an earlier hearing.

Latara Hunt, the mother of BJ, outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court during an earlier hearing.

Toddler BJ Williams bashed to death: Murderer Brock Powell jailed for 21 years

 Fri 7 Mar 2014

A man who bashed a toddler to death will spend at least 21 years in prison.

The South Australian Supreme Court convicted Brock Michael Powell, 25, of murder after hearing he took out his frustrations on his partner’s two-year-old child, BJ Williams.

The court heard the man, who was drunk and on drugs, earlier fought with the boy’s mother about a debt.

Powell’s life sentence for murder carries a non-parole term of 22 years, but he has been given eight months’ credit for time already spent in custody and on home-detention bail.

The toddler died at a granny flat at suburban Melrose Park in January 2012.

Powell claimed the boy fell out of bed and got wedged against a wardrobe, but the prosecution said the toddler had blunt-force trauma to his head and extensive bruising, consistent with a beating.

Justice Tim Anderson said the sight of BJ’s badly bruised body must have been gut-wrenching for his family.

He said the number and extent of the injuries showed it was a vicious attack and medical evidence showed the degree of force applied was substantial.

Powell maintained his innocence and shook his head in the dock as the sentence was handed down.

Justice Anderson said Powell might have a future if he took advantage of training opportunities while in jail.

Nothing brings back my son, so doesn’t really matter how long he gets

Brendan Williams
 Brock Powell maintains he is innocent

Outside court, the dead toddler’s father Brendan Williams said no sentence could be sufficient.

“Nothing brings back my son, so [it] doesn’t really matter how long he gets,” he said.

“He’ll get what’s given to him while he’s in jail. He’s with the big boys – they’ll get him.”

Jody Ware, one of the toddler’s aunties, told reporters she was relieved Powell had not got away with murder.

Ms Ware said her nephew could finally be at peace.

“[He’ll] play in peace and enjoy his little buddies up there. Hopefully there’s a better life up there for him,” she said.

Case history

Brock Michael Powell beat toddler to death in bedroom, Supreme Court told

Brock Powell outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court during an earlier hearing.

Brock Powell outside the Adelaide Magistrates Court during an earlier hearing

A MAN beat a toddler to death after arguing with his partner about an alleged illicit affair, the Supreme Court has heard.

Brock Michael Powell, 24, is on trial for the murder of BJ Williams at Melrose Park in January last year.

In her opening, prosecutor Sandi McDonald, SC, said it was alleged Powell beat BJ to death.

Ms McDonald said BJ’s grandmother had been watching BJ and his sister while Powell, BJ’s mother, Latara Hunt, and a friend went out for the night.

She said the couple were living in a granny flat off the house of Ms Hunt’s mother, BJ’s maternal grandmother.

Ms McDonald said when the couple returned home, they collected BJ and put him to bed.

The couple then lay on their bed and spoke of Ms Hunt’s possible involvement with another man.

“Tempers flared and the two started to argue,” she said.

“The accused became agitated, the argument escalated and she (Ms Hunt) decided to remove herself from the situation, leave the room and go into the main house.”

Ms McDonald said at some stage after that Powell woke Ms Hunt and told her BJ wasn’t breathing.

Powell attempted CPR and emergency services were called before it was decided it would be quicker to take BJ to hospital themselves.

BJ was taken to the Flinders Medical Centre and later transferred to the Womens and Childrens Hospital.

“Nothing could be done,” Ms McDonald said. “Life support was turned off the next day.”

Ms McDonald said Powell had told BJ’s family, hospital staff and police “his version of events” in which he and Ms Hunt had both gone to bed.

“He heard a thump. He heard BJ make a noise, like a childlike noise, calling out in his sleep,” she said.

Ms McDonald said Powell had told people he could not see BJ, got out of bed and saw BJ “wedged” between the bedbase and wardrobe.

At that point he claimed he woke up Ms Hunt, she said.

Ms McDonald said the prosecution case was that Powell had not told the truth about what had happened to BJ.

BJ could not have sustained his injuries the way Powell described, she said.

He had sustained brain injuries and had extensive bruising around his face, torso and genital area.

Ms McDonald said the pathologist who performed the post-mortem would tell the court BJ had suffered a minimum of eight impacts.

“It is the prosecution case that these injuries did not come about as a fall of about 30cm onto a carpeted floor,” she said.

“This child had taken a beating. It was the accused who did that.

“It’s the prosecution case then that not only the number and nature of the injuries are inconsistent with (Powell’s) account, but the nature of the bedding arrangement was such that it could not have happened in the way that the accused has described to so many people.

“The only logical inference is the evidence that he effectively beat this little boy to death.”

The trial before Justice Timothy Anderson continues.

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Chloe Valentine manslaughter sentence appeal: Jailed mother cites ‘trauma’ for missing court


Updated 3 hours 35 minutes ago

Chloe Valentine died after motorbike crashes.

A woman jailed for killing her young daughter by forcing her to ride a motorbike and crash has cited “trauma” for not being in court for a sentence appeal hearing.

Ashley Jean Polkinghorne, 22, was absent as the prosecution argued against her eight-year prison sentence and non-parole term of four years and nine months.

The prosecution also is appealing against a seven-year jail sentence with non-parole of four years and two months for her former partner Benjamin McPartland, 28.

Polkinghorne’s lawyer Brian Deegan told the Court of Criminal Appeal his client was unwell.

“My client is not present and apologises to the court, she is not well,” he said.

“She has advised my junior that she does not wish to appear in court, [as] she’s still suffering psychologically from the trauma associated with all of this and she just does not want to appear again.”

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Adam Kimber told the three judges hearing the appeal that the sentences were “manifestly inadequate” and had “shocked the public consciousness”.

Mr Kimber said a strong message needed to be sent to others “to deter those who look after children from placing them at risk”.

“There is a real need to deter people, when things go wrong, from doing nothing.

“Eight-and-a-half hours passed before an ambulance was called because the child had stopped breathing.”

DPP cites girl’s shocking injuries

Mr Kimber says Chloe Valentine was forced back onto the motorbike over three days and sustained multiple serious injuries.

He says she got whiplash from riding into chicken wire, hit a lemon tree at 40 kilometres per hour, struck statues and crashed into a shed face-first.

DPP argues for longer jail terms for Benjamin McPartland and Ashlee Polkinghorne.

The DPP says Polkinghorne was heard laughing during a mobile phone video and the woman and her then-partner had smoked cannabis and been on the internet for hours after the four-year-old girl lost consciousness.

He says internet records show the pair had been on Facebook and online banking.

Mr Kimber says an interview McPartland gave after the girl was taken to hospital was disturbing.

“It is chilling the way he described what happened to the child on the Tuesday,” the court was told.

“There was an enormous amount of support from Polkinghorne’s family and various government and non-government agencies.”

The court heard when ambulance officers arrived to deal with the injured child her eyes were black and swollen, she had a cut to her head and there were bruises all over her body.

The girl had at least 39 injuries, the hearing was told.

Mr Kimber asked the court to look at post-mortem photographs of Chloe Valentine.

“I ask the court to look at the state of that child. That was the state she was in … and yet nothing was done,” he said.

“This is a particularly egregious breach of a duty of care and it makes it a serious example of manslaughter.”

‘Abusive, controlling’ adult supervision

Mr Kimber told the court of the young girl’s fear of her mother’s partner ahead of her death.

“The child was extremely fearful of McPartland and McPartland had demonstrated behaviour that was abusive, controlling and at times violent,” the hearing was told.

“This sentence tends to push down the sentence that would be appropriate when a child dies even there’s an egregious breach of trust over two days and there are mitigating circumstances.

“A proper sentence has to reflect society’s disapproval of the conduct.”

The DPP says the child could not resist the adults when forced onto the motorbike and could not get herself medical care, making her “totally reliable in those in the house to help her”.

“The moral culpability could not be any higher.

“Polkinghorne made a deliberate choice to prioritise her own interest and this is where I say general deterrence looms large in a case like this.”

Mr Kimber says the jailed pair’s prospects of rehabilitation are questionable and they might want to have children in the future.

“Polkinghorne is still a young woman, it must be highly likely that she will have further children herself in the future or that she will form a relationship or relationships with men who do,” he argued.

“It is inevitable that she will have care of children in the future, given her age.

“That makes personal deterrence particularly important in this case.”

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