MEDIA RELEASE - MARCH 8, 2001
FOR A CHANGE THE HERALD-SUN NEWSPAPER
GETS IT RIGHT!
It's not often that we can report this
sort of thing, so when it happens, it really is newsworthy.
We refer to an editorial in that paper of today's date (March 8, 2001),
which called for the immediate sacking of a corrupt County Court Judge
Kent had pled guilty two days earlier (6 March) to five serious tax charges
and owed the tax office $195,037.
These charges weren't something out of character for the lawyer turned
He had at least six prior convictions for tax offences, all of which were
hushed up at the time he took up his post on the County Court bench. How
can a court be regarded as fair when we have a known criminal sitting in
judgement of people being charged by the authorities - not all of whom
are criminals like Kent? Now had any mere mortal been charged with effectively
ripping off the tax office $195,037 the only possible sentence would be
jail. The only question would be how long.
For the amount of money owed and the fact that the charges stemmed from
several years of obviously systematic tax evasion, the logical (and based
on precedent) penalty would be conviction and several years jail. But because
Kent was a County Court judge he was exempted from the law that binds every
one else and given a so-called "Good behavior bond". He wasn't
Rip off a milk-bar for a "Mars Bar" and you'll get a conviction,
so what was happening here?
And who was the magistrate who decided to violate all decency and ethics
to let this criminal judge off the hook? John Myers of Frankston Magistrate's
Court. Now if you front Myers for a mere traffic violation or overstaying
a parking meter, expect a criminal conviction that will stay with you for
life. Ditto if you forget to vote.
That's the law and we all know that you can't break it!
But if you're a fellow member of the judiciary, it seems that you can just
about commit murder and he'll let you off the hook.
So the Herald-Sun was right in calling for Judge Kent's immediate
removal from the bench. However they didn't go far enough.
The paper should also have called for the immediate removal of John Myers
as a magistrate.
His decision to let the judge off the hook demonstrates a clear lack of
ethics and that he is totally out of touch with public expectations.
And then there are other people whose integrity should also be questioned
or at least revisited. Namely the bunch of lawyers and mates who gave character
evidence in favor of Judge Kent.
Included were Victoria's chief crown prosecutor, Paul Coghlan, former Commonwealth
DPP, Michael Rozenes, QC, three magistrates, chairman of the bar council,
Mark Derham QC, Liberal MP, Andrew McIntosh, Ex Supreme Court Judge George
Hampel (now a professor), and fellow County Court Judge Michael Kelly.
Now if these supposedly distinguished men are genuinely rushing out to
try to save the skin of a self-confessed criminal tax-evader, what right
do they now have to prosecute and/or hear criminal cases where people have
to defend themselves against the legal firepower of the state - many of
whom are innocent of the charges they may face?
In claiming mitigation of his circumstances, Judge Kent told the magistrate
and the media that he was disorganized. Maybe, but then how does this explain
his constant refusal to lodge tax returns and pay his taxes even after
the tax office sent him notices asking him to do so?
And then, if the man is in fact as disorganized as he claims (or was this
just a ruse to get off the charges?), then surely a man so disorganized
as to fail to lodge tax returns and rip off the tax office nearly $200,000
is not a fit and proper person of integrity or organization to be running
a court and sit in judgement of others.
Oh and how credible was Kent's evidence in front of the magistrate.
As far as we can make out, not very.
At one stage he told the magistrate he couldn't pay a $10,000 bill, but
then that apparently changed after he got together to do what appeared
to be a deal with the prosecutor and his lawyers.
And how much does he earn as a County Court Judge?
The base salary is $172,000 and that's for a five-day working week with
at best seven hours a day on the bench. Take out leave entitlements and
the like and we make it out to be about a grand a day.
It's the sort of thing average workers can only ever dream of.
And then there's the superannuating on top of that!
And then what sort of Judge is Kent when hearing criminal matters?
Based on what we can find out, bloody shocking.
He seems to side with the criminals!
In a case the previous month he told a woman who was sexually abused to
forget about it and stop looking for someone to punish.
Kent's comments came after the man had already pled guilty to sexual offences
against the woman over a four-year period when she was aged 12-17.
The woman now aged 26 said that she now understood why sexual assault victims
didn't want to come forward.
She described Kent as "trying to blame me".
Furthermore the pedophile had already offered compensation to the victim
before Kent made his unnecessary remarks.
For these very serious offences the man was to set to spend a mere nine
months in custody.
Further evidence that there are different laws for different people in
Victoria came to light again this week when one of Jeff Kennett's personal
friends avoided conviction for a series of serious assault-related charges.
The charges normally would have put any mere mortal in jail.
On February 26, 2000, Miles Simson, Andrew Denis, Andrew Hagen and Andrew
Turner gate-crashed a party in suburban Ashburton. The group arrived in
a car with illegally obscured number plates (but for some reason they weren't
charged with this) to disrupt the party being held by Andrew Scott.
Simson (then 18) punched Scott and then gouged his eye and then launched
a vicious attack on Scott's father as he tried to break the two men apart.
The blows to Scott's father took him out.
Yes, he was knocked unconscious.
Hagen (then 18) hit Mr. Scott's elder son Michael as he ran to the rescue
of his now unconscious dad.
Denis (then 19) brandished a Swastika-adorned club, ready to attack anyone
he deemed deserved a hit.
Turner (then aged 18) also joined the fracas.
The four men, all from the upper-crust Scotch College were properly charged
with recklessly causing serious injury and unlawful assault.
The men fronted court in March 2001. Now under normal circumstances, the
penalty for an assault that doesn't cause injury is at least a conviction
and $2,000 fine, or quite commonly jail.
Refer to The Hoser Files
for examples of these. Add the injury to the equation and jail becomes
effectively mandatory. However these four rich kids had an ace card up
Denis produced a reference from former Victorian
Premier Jeffrey Gibb Kennett.
And yes, it appeared that it was enough to sway magistrate Jillian Crowe
to let the four thugs off with good behavior bonds (no convictions).
Mr Scott complained to the press about the unduly lenient treatment of
these criminals by the magistrate, but his cries went on deaf ears.
In other words if thugs bash an old lady over the head and steal her money,
they may get charged and convicted … that is unless they are rich kids
from Scotch College who happen to have Jeff Kennett for a mate. Then they'll
just be let off with a "bond".
Makes you just want to walk the streets doesn't it?
Perhaps it isn't just Judge Kent who should be removed from the Victorian
judiciary. Maybe Jillian Crowe should be given the boot as well.
Or perhaps a broom should be swept through the whole judiciary and we start
For further information relating to the double standards of the Victorian
judiciary and other case examples refer to the latter chapters of the book
Victoria Police Corruption
As most bookshops have been illegally pressured into not selling it by
Victoria's Attorney General
Rob Hulls, you will probably only be able to obtain the book by ordering
it online at:
or from the people who publish this release.
For further information ring (in Australia):