Friday 11 December 2009

Bryan Outlaw’s identity disclosed: Judge Griffin

Bryan Law recounts his adventure this week, as he headed back to court to appeal a sentence for spray painting 100 of Cairns MP Desley Boyle's elections signs with "Yacht Club".

It was a protest that Law said was to hold the MP to account for not protecting our historic Yacht Club building, which was demolished and removed from the waterfront, amid three large petitions and a campaign that spanned more than five years.
The Wharf Street waterfront site, where the old girl rested for over 100 years, remains empty and for sale to this day.

Bryan suggests, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, that his CairnsBlog cyber stalker "Bryan Outlaw", who has attained a predictable underground status over the last two years, might in fact be a Judge of the court. Yeah right.

On Tuesday I went for what I thought would be a pleasant excursion to the Cairns District Court, where I believed I’d have an honest intellectual discussion with a nice Judge and a personable prosecutor about civil disobedience and procedural fairness.

Things started out OK. The chairs at the bar table are really comfy. The staff provide you with iced water and placcy cups, and you get a lectern where you can place your notes when addressing the Court. My appeal matter won the lottery and we went on first. “Here come de judge”, only 10 minutes late.

I admit it, this caper can be daunting. Even with a prepared set of submissions, one must be prepared to answer questions. “What do you mean?” “What do you say to this alternative point of view?” “Is it true you are a left-handed Islamist terrorist with Catholic tendencies?”

The prosecutor is a nice young man starting out his career in law, and gives every impression of thinking this a doddle. Get a Magistrate’s decision upheld against an unwashed and unrepresented ratbag .

The judge is posh, wears a wig, and clearly knows who the boss is in these proceedings. It’s him, or so he thinks.

I just muddle through as best I can, and try my best to stick to relevant material in a straightforward way.

I meet with early success. The Judge agrees with me that Magistrate Joe Pinder, during the original trial in August, had failed to provide me with procedural fairness in sentencing – and his sentence of 150 hours of community service and $400 compensation is set aside. From this point on we fail to agree on much of anything else.

“Where do we go from here?” Judge Griffin enquires? Prosecutor Nathan tells him he can send the matter back to Magistrates Court for re-sentencing, or the Griffin can do it himself. Nobody asks me, and perhaps this is a clue.

“I’ll do ‘I'm now myself” says the Judge, and this perhaps is another clue, but I’ve been seduced by the comfy chairs and thinks to myself, why not? (Because Judge Griffin is really Bryan Outlaw. That’s why not).

I get my first hint of this when Griffo, as I like to call him, challenges me on my (risible, he said) suggestion some people actually think giving Desley Boyle a golden tiara improved the appearance of her election signs.

“Read the CairnsBlog of the time, I say. Some people were really offended, and some people wrote that they like the improvements. I guess it’s a partisan response in that where you stand on the issue determines how you feel about the signs”.

Spluttering with indignation, Griffo slaps me down. “I have no partisan opinions” he said, “but I don’t like the damage you did.” Oops.

From then on in things just get awkward. Griffo accepts (because Lord Hoffmann says so) that a category of offence called civil disobedience exists, but he seems unsure about what it really means.

“But your actions were unlawful!” errr yes m’lud, civil disobedience is unlawful by definition.

“But you behaved willfully!” Errr well m’lud, civil disobedience rarely happens by accident.

“But you’re not showing any remorse!” Errr m’lud, what the fuck do expect me to say to that? How can I be remorseful when all I was doing was making Desley Boyle answer questions from the electorate about her record and behaviour in office?

In a world where the meeting of minds is a beautiful and precious moment – one that can make all concerned gooey with joy, love, and understanding - Griffo and I spent the rest of the morning locked into conditions of arid poverty.
Every once in a while, in a well-meaning effort to introduce some humanity into the proceedings, Griffo would demonstrate his finely honed expertise in spluttering outrageously. The time he went off most was while we were discussing my 30 year history of civil disobedience.

I pointed out that my very first arrest was on world anti-uranium day 1977, when a key plank of our protest demands was to stop exporting Australian Uranium to Iran. “Stop right there! I’m not going to let you cover yourself with glory in your record of unlawful behavior”. I made another effort, and was rewarded by a display of spluttering so profound that I think it set a district record.

I tried to move on to where the arrest record was for free speech issues, subsequently the subject of findings by Tony Fitzgerald in his Commission of enquiry into corruption in Queensland – but Griffo was having none of that either.


Now, Bryan Outlaw says I’m stupid beyond redemption, and he may be right but even I can tell when a Judge is too angry to reason with. I desisted in my submissions, and we started talking about penalty. Griffo mentioned that he saw a need for deterrence.

BO “What do YOU think I should set” he said to me.

This is the point, as any good defence lawyer knows, when one presses the grovel button – talks about family responsibilities or falling in with a bad crowd, and begs for mercy while claiming remorse and a new-found determination to abbey the law and turn one’s worthless life around. I had a rush of blood to the head.

BL “A fine of $500, or make it a$1,000 if you want. After 30 years of practicing my principles it won’t deter me though. In this matter I won’t perform community service. So if you want to deter me, perhaps you should impose a term of imprisonment!”

Too stunned to even splutter properly, Griffo asked prosecutor Nathan what he thought, and prosecutor Nathan said that if community service was unavailable, a high level of fine would do the trick for the DPP. Thanks Nathan.

Through thin lips (if Griffo could have had me flogged at that point I’d be properly scarred up now) de Judge remanded me in custody overnight so I’d get a taste, and said he’d sentence me sometime later on. Welcome to the watch-house.

I spent the rest of that day, and the next morning, chatting to thieves, rapists, bashers and murderers in the delightful ambience of steel, concrete and fiberglass that is the Cairns lock-up. (Bryan Outlaw is right about the holiday accommodation. I was given a sea-view room, with spa, and chose to eat from the Indian menu during my residence.)

The next morning I was taken back before Mighty Lord Griffin to hear what he had to say for himself after his disgraceful performance the day before. Alas, he showed no remorse.

During his speech I realized that Judge Griffin IS Bryan Outlaw.

“The behavior you indulged in was one of lawlessness, nothing less than vandalism, defacing 86 signs. Your actions are made worse than simple vandalism because you had a political aim. You attacked the electoral process in Queensland. You need to be deterred, and you show a complete lack of remorse. Right thinking people everywhere will know that your behavior is nothing less than criminal, and you are disingenuous about it being civil disobedience. You engaged in the behavior for reasons of self-aggrandisement, and you need to be deterred. It’s not surprising that you refuse to perform community service. You are a hypocrite”. (I need to be deterred)

OK, he has better grammar than Bryan Outlaw usually displays, but apart from that the style and sentiment is spot on.

“You may see yourself as a martyr, but I have determined that a custodial sentence is NOT appropriate. I impose a fine of $1200”.

What a coward! Just like Bryan Outlaw. All that bluster and no follow through.

“I propose to order compensation of $400, payable to the ALP”.


BO “What do you say about time to pay the compensation?”

BL “Give me three months”.

BO “And the fine?”

BL “I won’t be paying that”.

BO “then I’ll set a default period of imprisonment of 14 days if the fine isn’t paid by 9 March 2010. What about the compensation?”

BL “I’m more likely to pay that”.

All of a sudden the spluttering machine came to life again, and a Judicial outburst follows.

BO “This is NOT a smorgasbord where you get to pick and choose the bits you like. Your behavior is close to contempt of Court. Do you have anything to say?”

BL “I’ve put forward what I believe, based on what I’ve practiced for thirty years. I can’t just change that on a whim”.

BO “I regard you as disingenuous”.

He then reads all the aspects of the penalty, for the record. In the pause which follows, I say from the comfy chair “I’m proud of what I did.”

Splutter, splutter, where’s my butter. “One more word from you and I’ll find you in contempt of Court!”

I’m briefly tempted to say that it’s not the Court I feel contempt for, only you. But I read somewhere once that discretion is the better part of valour, and Margaret is waiting in the gallery. Time to go home (and fight another day).

I’ll be doing my time in March next year. I hope no warships visit during.

I’m glad I finally discovered Bryan Outlaw’s true identity.


Bryan Outlaw, the Voice of Reason said...

So that's TWO judges and a majority of the community that you think you're smarter than.

Not bad for a serial pest and community ingrate.

Bryan Law said...

Gee Griffo, go a bit easy. You've had your fun for this week, so enjoy. You obviously don't get a lot.

kooka said...

shame there was no mention of the huge waste of tax payers dollars which were spent on this farce.

obviously you people dont know that when you are in custody overnight etc the government actually goes to huge lengths to make your stay super nice. they even supply you with all your medication for free and they usually give you enough for a few weeks. so why does brian not mention all the free stuff he got whilst he was there??

Flogging would have been cheaper and more suitable than a fine.

what a waste of human space.

Rob Williams said...

Bryan Laws acts on the basis of his principles and his beliefs. Aristotle formulated a law that said. "Everything that moves is moved by another". Bryan has been involved in many issues involving the effect on us. Uranium, Free Speech, Guided Missiles tipped with Atomic Bomb in the middle of our City. The subject of this case was the lies of Anna Bligh and Desley Boyle and involved the modifying of Desley’s portrait. As the 12,000 petition showed, Bryan was not alone in condemning the Labor Executive for destroying our Heritage. I wonder how he could have single headedly modified so many placards. But Bryan took all the blame and more power to him for that. Those who sit on the fence and criticize Bryan for his principles and the fact that he stands up and shows them, are people of little consequence.

NFI said...

2010, this just in:

After years of too and fro, Bryan Law and Desley Boyle have been witnessed leaving the maternity ward of Cairns Base Hospital together. Sources close to Boyle say after many years of forplay and secret admiration, the two have formed a passionate bond with one another, and Desley is said to be giving birth to Bryan's love child later this year.
When asked about her age and how this would effect becoming a new mum, the old battery hen said it was no surprise to them as the two lovers 'were at it day and night for years'

KitchenSlut said...

"Your actions are made worse than simple vandalism because you had a political aim."

Huh? If this is corectly quoted can the Judge explain how? I would have thought simple vandalism much worse than anything with an aim? Mindlessness is better than even a misguided aim? Can the Judge quote any philosophical or legal references here?

"You attacked the electoral process in Queensland."

Really? Those legally privileged corflutes, which I regard as graffiti anyway in themselves, are critical to the electoral process?

No problems from the electoral commission with other abuses of this critical democratic component such as election day signs at the last Federal poll in state of origin colours proclaiming a vote for Rudd because he's a Queenslander? Classy cerebral advertising, presumably from the affronted ALP, without even the required legal authorisations?

No doubt there are countless other examples on all sides and any candidate with a sense of humour probably has their own graffiti collection? So critical to the electoral process are the sacrosanct corflutes! There is a satirical commedy in here somewhere? I see something like the iconic Mick Malone film Crackerjack and it's satire on the reverence given to the 'wheel of cheese' at the bowls club!

KS still reckons an international festival of graffitied political corflutes could be an event bigger than a eukelele festival in international exposure and really put Cairns on the map?! Anything freely placed on public land should be fair game else candidates pay the public for the privilege! Thats what other advertisers have to do on public land?

Warren Entsch said...

Obese Bryan Law is about as credible as the fantasy Jesus cult he shares with those other failed egos Bush Cheney Howard Krud Blair Thatcher Mugabe Regan and the rest of the losers and killers.
No credit there, just waste.

Sadmerp said...

Premdas old bean, one really has to distinguish accurately between the fantasy Jesus cults, and not to just crucify them with the same nails.

Ronnie Regan was Presbyterian, Bush is Methodist, Cheney is Methodist, Howard was raised Methodist and became Anglican, as did Margaret Thatcher, Rudd was raised Catholic and became Anglican, Tony Blair was high church Anglican all through his Prime Ministership and then became Catholic afterwards (atonement anyone?), Robert Mugabe was raised Catholic and became a Marxist.

I sometimes see Bryan worshipping at St Monica’s in Cairns, and I know that Catholics like to think of themselves as the one true church (complete with Apostolic succession, and the numbers in heaven).

So please, be a little respectful and acknowledge that the big fella is a Tony Abbott supporter.

Warren Entsch said...

The false religion voodoo cult at St. Monica's is no different to the false and futile Jesus dribble all over so why request respect. Catholics murdered millions of good innocent people and pretend it didn't happen. Where's the glory there?
Bryan is a brainwashed cultist with Abbot, Turnour, Bjelke-Petersen and local priests and bishops. The failed egos. How many little boys schools does one have to own to get into this club..

Bryan Law said...

Hi KS, it became clear to me during the hearing that Griffo has something of a limited view and a closed mind. He took some pains to prevent me making any ‘political’ comments, while cloaking his own political opinions as the stuff of “right-thinking members of the community” (he actually said that) (twice). I’ve never seen a judge take things as personally as Griffo, and get so het up about points of disagreement.

I’ll be investigating avenues of appeal from here. Mostly I’m interested in the paradox that Griffo found as matters of fact that I was lying about civil disobedience, yet my actions were politically motivated – both of which counted against me.

Griffo was the judge who had to remove himself from the Lex Wotton case (Palm Island riots) because he pre-judged that Wotton was lying before he gave evidence. I’d say Griffo has issues.

One silver lining is that I’ll never have to appear before this man again – and I’m unlikely to meet him socially.

I’m thinking about some kind of “gathering of the signs” at Desley’s office before I turn myself in for prison. What do you think?

Marcella Gryffyn-Spicer said...

It is a magnificent blog!