Hearing of charges against Barry Abbott again delayed

 

By KIERAN FINNANE

 

The hearing of charges against Barry Abbott, former NT Senior Australian of the Year, and four others was again put off today because the prosecution had still not received a full briefing from police.

There are aggravated assault charges against Mr Abbott, 67, and two counts of depriving a person of personal liberty.

He is best known for looking after young people in trouble with the justice system and particularly petrol sniffers on his outstation at Ilpurla.  Over the decades he has helped rehabilitate hundreds of youths.

Mr Abbott’s co-accused – two younger men and two younger women – are facing multiple counts of deprivation of liberty as well as other charges. There are also aggravated assault charges against the men.

The matters had been listed for hearing on February 2 but postponed till today, again because the prosecution was not ready to proceed.

Magistrate David Bamber expressed some impatience from the bench, however as the missing prosecution material includes medical reports relating to the alleged victims of “serious harm”, it was not possible for the defence to object to the adjournment.

They were “not pleased” but “not in a position to oppose”, said the lawyers for the five.

Russell Goldflam, representing Mr Abbott, asked for one of his client’s matters to be able to proceed in the Court of Summary Jurisdiction. It relates to an allegation of aggravated assault occurring at a different time and concerning a different alleged victim from the other matters.

The Crown Prosecutor suggested that Mr Goldflam was putting on “a performance” for his client – angrily objected to by Mr Goldflam. However, for summary jurisdiction to proceed required consent of the Crown and Mr Goldflam was invited to put his submission in writing.

The matter was adjourned to March 6 for further mention.

 

Pictured: Mr Abbott outside the Alice Springs courthouse today.

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