Man on arrest warrant 6 months outstanding commits crimes

Please note: This story deals with issues reported in a post on April 8 which was withdrawn to allow further research.

 

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

“It’s just blackfellers.” That’s the reaction by many locals to the “anti-social behaviour” around Alice Springs, an irritation, at times scary, bad for tourism: “Something needs to be done about them.”
Last month “they” included Alvin Riley who inflicted what is termed legally “aggravated assault” on his partner and another woman, on three occasions, here in our town, right under our noses, in the Araluen park (at right) where children play and people picnic, and in the saltbush swamp (below) alongside the connector road between the Stott Terrace bridge and Centralian College.
While the mainstream averts its eyes, the players in this parallel universe are “family”, bottle shop attendants, paramedics, police, defendants, victims, doctors, nurses, magistrates, lawyers, gaol wardens.

Mr Riley had done a stretch last year for committing aggravated assault upon his partner.

On release he was subjected to a string of orders which amounted to a supervised existence: he was forbidden to purchase or consume alcohol when he was with his partner; he was the subject of a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) in relation to her; he had to report to police; and undergo rehabilitation. 
Mr Riley ignored most if not all of that, with a degree – initially – of impunity that makes a mockery of the trouble taken to impose those conditions on him.
Says Police Superintendent Brent Warren: “Mr Riley was released from prison in 2012 with a supervised suspended sentence. It is the responsibility of Community Corrections to ensure those orders are adhered to.”
Community Corrections is part of the Department of NT Correctional Services.
David Harris, Manager, Operational Liaison for the department says: “On 30 September 2012, Alvin Riley was released from the Alice Springs Correctional Centre on a supervised suspended sentence order.
“One of the conditions of his release was that he was required to report to his Probation and Parole Officer within two clear days of his release.
“Mr Riley failed to comply with this condition and breach action was initiated by staff at Alice Springs Community Corrections which included seeking a warrant for his arrest on the 9 October 2012.
“The warrant was issued on the same day. It was then up to the police to execute the warrant, to locate and arrest the individual.”

Warrant outstanding for six months
What happened then? We asked and will report it when the answer is to hand.

What we do know is that Mr Riley was arrested this year on March 27, following a complaint of assault first reported to police on March 13.

According to Supt Warren an investigation determined that previous assaults had taken place, but the victim had not reported them to police. Mr Riley was charged in relation to all assault incidents, refused bail and put before the courts.

“At no stage was the offender in Police custody between March 5 and March 13, 2013,” said Supt Warren in relation to a misapprehension by the Alice Springs News Online reflected in our earlier report.
According to court evidence, when Mr Riley got out of jail last September his partner simply said, “Come back to Kiwirrkurra with me”, and he did.

Life there was uneventful for them, but it was a brutally different story when they came to Alice Springs and got on the grog – still a man wanted by the police.

This prompted Magistrate David Bamber, whom Mr Riley fronted last week because of his renewed savage conduct, to say: “Some of these women need to be protected from themselves.”

Mr Bamber observed that Mr Riley had again committed much the same crimes upon his partner as he had when Mr Bamber convicted him last time:

“He thinks that’s normal behaviour, does he?” he asked in court last Tuesday.

Mr Riley, a small man with family connections to the Pitjantjatjara lands, as well as to the Ali Curung area north of Alice Springs, briskly said in the dock “guilty … guilty … guilty” as police prosecutor Lindsay Westphal read out three charges each of “engage in conduct that contravenes DVO” and “aggravated assault”.

If he was remorseful, he didn’t show it.

Mr Westphal then put the facts before Mr Bamber, for the purpose of sentencing.

On March 5 Mr Riley was at the Araluen Park (above right) and “became enraged as he was confronted by the victim [his partner] in the company of two other ladies.

“The defendant armed himself with a rock and hit the victim to the head with it.

“The victim walked in the direction of home [in a town camp and] the defendant put his hands over the mouth of the victim to prevent her from calling for assistance.

“
She kept walking.

“He grabbed the victim and bit her nose so hard that she believed he was going to bite it off.

“Then he choked the victim so hard that she could not breathe and that she feared for her life.

“The defendant said: I will kill you, I will kill you,” Mr Westphal told the court.

Rum and VB in the saltbush

Fast forward to mid-morning of March 9 when “the defendant and the victim began consuming an unknown quantity of intoxicating liquor being rum and VB beer while sitting together in the saltbush area on the Eastside,” said Mr Westphal.

“During the alcohol consumption the defendant and the victim became highly intoxicated.

“The defendant became angry with the victim for not listening to him, saying you are not listening to me, you are never listening to me.

“The defendant picked up a short stick from the ground and using the stick in his left hand he stabbed the victim through the left cheek and on top of her forehead, instantly causing the victim’s head to bleed.

“The defendant picked up a large stick, approximately one metre in length and five centimetres thick.

“Upon seeing the stick in the defendant’s hand the victim wrapped herself up in a blanket and the defendant used the stick to hit her body.

“The defendant said to the victim: Why are you wrapping yourself up in the blanket?

“The victim replied: Because you are hurting me and you are going to kill me.

“The defendant said: Let me hit you, let me hit you.

“Shortly after the defendant stopped using the stick to hit the victim. The victim was feeling scared and in pain, and began vomiting.

“She told the defendant she wanted to go to the hospital.

“The defendant replied: No, you look all right.

“As a result of the incident the victim suffered a puncture wound to the left cheek, which extended through to the interior of her month.

“The wound became infected and surgical treatment was required.

“She also suffered an unknown number of wounds to her head.”

A third attack occurred on March 13, this time on another woman drinking in the company of Mr Riley and his wife.
 Mr Westphal told the court: “The defendant consumed an unknown quantity of liquor together with the protected person [his partner], and the victim [ the other woman], in the saltbush area (pictured at left).

“The defendant became intoxicated and told the protected person … to be quiet, and not to talk to the victim.

“The victim got upset over the way the defendant was treating the protected person, and told the [defendant] to [change] his behaviour.

“The defendant walked away a few metres and picked up a possibly 30 centimetre long stick from the ground, and ran towards the victim.

“He then struck the victim twice in the face with the stick, in a stabbing motion, in the face.

“The defendant also struck the victim a number of times on her arms and hands, before the protected person managed to intervene.

“The defendant left the location.

“On the 27th of March [two weeks after the third assault] the defendant was arrested.

“As a result of the assault the victim suffered bleeding to her mouth and abrasions to her upper and lower arm, left forearm, and both her hands, which were treated at the Alice Springs Hospital.

Defence counsel James Tapueluelu, from Aboriginal legal aid, put to the court that it was “a bad idea in hindsight, coming into town because this is where he got into all that trouble he went to jail for last year.”

‘I gave him a chance’

Mr Tapueluelu said about Mr Riley’s partner: “She’s been waiting for my client when he got out of jail, she said come back with me.”

Mr Tapueluelu asked the court to give his client “a chance to do a CAAPU alcohol program … he’s never had a chance of doing alcohol rehabilitation and being under supervision before”.

Said Mr Bamber: “What do you mean he hasn’t had a chance before? I gave him a chance. He’s taken straight off.”

Quoting from the orders imposed on Mr Riley upon his release, Mr Bamber said: “The offender will not consume a dangerous drug and will submit to testing as directed. He will not purchase, consume [alcohol] … he will be under ongoing supervision. He will be assessed by counseling or treatment as directed. I mean you can’t say he hasn’t had a chance.”

Mr Bamber sentenced Mr Riley to a total of 18 months and 28 days imprisonment with a 10 month non-parole period, and the earlier suspended sentence was restored.

 

UPDATE Wednesday 1:15pm. Supt Warren responds to a request for comment from the Alice Springs News Online: “Once a warrant is issued by the courts an alert is distributed within the NTPF. When a person with an outstanding warrant comes to the attention of Police for whatever reason, they are arrested in relation to that warrant. Police do conduct Operations specifically targeting people with outstanding warrants. Due to the transient nature of people within the Territory, remote communities, outstations or people actively avoiding Police, on occasion unfortunately people can avoid apprehension for a period of time.”

 

UPDATE Wednesday 3:00pm. We asked: In the case of Mr Riley, what efforts, if any, were made to find him?

How may warrants are outstanding at present in the Alice area (Southern Command) and – a good guess would be fine – what’s the average time?

Police Media responded: We won’t be commenting further on this individual case. Police put enormous effort, manpower and resources into putting people before the courts who break the law.
In relation to outstanding warrants, those figures vary due to new warrants being issued while at the same time people with outstanding warrants are arrested. If you would like a figure you will have to submit an FOI request with a specific date range.

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2 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Dave Price
    Posted April 11, 2013 at 11:53 am

    There is a tendency to report crime involving Aboriginal victims only when there is an attempt to blame a whitefella, especially one in uniform, for the crime or if there is a football star involved.
    The message to Aboriginal people, especially to Aboriginal women, is simple, unless we can blame whitefellas or you’re a football star we are not interested in your suffering, your life has no value.
    Two young mothers, both in their twenties, both related to me by marriage, were beaten to death by their husbands this year.
    There was minimal reporting of these hideous crimes.
    In a country where angry white middle class feminists worry about seats on the boards of blue ribbon corporations and while our prime minister blames her own incompetence on the “misogyny” of dedicated family men, Aboriginal women are being bashed, raped and murdered in unprecedented numbers.
    The hypocrisy of white feminists, the silent “human rights” lawyers and even tax payer funded Human Rights Commissioners, turns my stomach.
    Young Aboriginal women are the sacrificial victims on the altar of “Culture” and white guilt.
    I have been saying this to all who’ll listen for over thirty years. Good on you Erwin and Kieran, keep it up.
    We desperately need more truth telling and less shallow ideology and gutless hypocrisy.

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  2. Alice Gap
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you for reporting this story. This is an all too regular example of what is happening within the Central Australian community. This is what the media should be reporting on.

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