Two Australians, including a former police officer, have been fined more than $20,000 after their trial at a court in Tasmania found they had breached their duty to protect the public from dangerous criminal activity.
Key points:Police were called to a property at the Four Corners, about 45km east of Hobart, in April 2017The couple, both aged in their 20s, were charged with breaching their duty in relation to a “dangerous criminal”They were convicted of offences including burglary, theft, unlawful entry and criminal damage to property, among others.
The case has attracted international attention and the couple are now appealing the case, arguing their actions were lawful and not illegal.
The Federal Court in Tasmania last week heard the couple, who are both from Melbourne, were arrested in April after a house party in the area turned violent.
Police were told there were people drinking and fighting inside the property and the men believed the party was being watched.
After the men were arrested, police were told a man was seen urinating on a pool of blood on the lawn, while another was found on the property with a large amount of blood.
Police say the couple’s lawyer argued the men should be allowed to go free because the men had no criminal record and that the property was unoccupied.
Police told the court the man urinated on the pool because he believed he was drinking in the pool and he thought he was “going to die”.’
We were going to die’The court heard the man, who was later identified as Robert James Wilson, was found to have broken into a vehicle parked outside the house, and he admitted to damaging the vehicle.
He pleaded guilty to three charges of burglary and three of unlawful entry, and was fined $5,000.
The court was told the men also urinated in the backyard, where they were found with a blood stain on a grass verge.
The defendant told police he was on the grass verge when he saw a person urinating in the garden.
He said he ran to the car and when he came back he saw the blood on a car, and thought the blood was on his own car, the court was shown.’
I thought he had gone to kill me’Police told Mr Wilson he was in “shock” and “very traumatised”, and said he had “a lot of anger and resentment”.
The court also heard the defendant told officers he thought Mr Wilson was going to kill him, and would “lose everything” if he didn’t hand over the money.
The Court of Appeal in Hobart found the defendant should have been allowed to walk free because he had no prior convictions, and there was no evidence of “violent or dangerous behaviour”.
Mr Wilson said he was also “sickened” by the verdict and had “nothing to say”.
He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
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