For that I’m sorry. I’m sorry to budding young pianists who looked up to me as a role model. I’m sorry to all my audiences. I’m sorry to piano teachers everywhere. I’m sorry to Lane Cove Music Club who booked me when I was 9 in the hope I would turn into something special. I’m sorry to the late Fred Blanks for writing a mean article about him in this very magazine. He was right all along. I am sorry to the charity of which I am patron, the MicroLoan Foundation, and especially its beneficiaries: the toiling women of Malawi who must resort to cruel ingenuity to provide a plate of rice for their kids, to whom I am also sorry (even though, strictly speaking, they did come out on top as a result of my recitals). I don’t have any children yet, but I’m pre-emptively sorry to them as well. Mostly, I’m sorry to God.
For the last decade, I’ve doped. From Sydney Opera House to Campsie RSL, my performing career has been an exercise in subterfuge. Peruse my CV; let your eyes rest on a competition victory. I doped for that too. My childhood competitors probably remember an awkward, gangly-eyed boy with scant hair and a preternaturally calm demeanour. I was high even then. The plastic trophies I captured during Eisteddfod runs in the 90s were pawned to Happy Hockers in exchange for a fix. During the filming of Shine in which I was the hand double for the young David, I was embroiled in my own private psychodrama (currently being negotiated for the big screen, Charlie Sheen set to star). My recordings, noted for their slow tempi, should have had another name on the liner notes. Its scientific name is Metropolol, but is most commonly known by its generic name: Beta Blockers.
Even though my career is in the doghouse, I do not want to bow out of public life without trying to make something positive out of all this. I submit that nothing less than a full scale, zero tolerance crackdown is needed. Heads will need to roll.
– Compulsory stagefright checks at all stage doors throughout Australia.
– An inquiry headed up by Justice George Palmer to examine and weed out collusive behaviour by members of the classical music hierarchy.
– A media campaign titled ‘Beat da Blocker,’ figure-headed by Australian Rugby League legend Blocker, designed to rehabilitate classical music in the public’s eyes and simultaneously open it up to younger audiences.
– A televised interview between me and Oprah which will lend this cause the profile it needs in order to truly permeate the public consciousness. With the funds I have illicitly gained through doping, I will give each live audience member a house.
In the meantime, I hereby announce my retirement from public life. I intend to spend more time with my close family and pursue my other great passion: cycling.
Each participant was given an image of either an obese male, a lean male, an obese female or a lean female and asked to rate the guilt of that defendant.
Male participants judged the obese female significantly more guilty than the lean one, but female participants judged them equally.
There was no difference in either gender’s assessment of the men’s guilt, regardless of bodyweight.
”The results … indicate that bodyweight and sex of a defendant have an interactive effect on juror perceptions of guilt and responsibility,” the authors wrote of their findings, published in the International Journal of Obesity.
”Male respondents endorsed greater anti-fat bias than female respondents. In addition, female participants were more likely than male participants to attribute obesity to biological and environmental causes as opposed to personal shortcomings.”
Full story here.
Mr Lock said the pair had discussed acting out a master/slave sex fantasy for months before it happened on August 6 last year.
Mr Lock said they agreed to use the code word ‘red’ if either of them wanted to stop the role-play but, he says, the woman never mentioned the word.
She claims he put a rope around her neck, padlocked her wrists and made her bend over on the bed where he whipped her 14 times, cause 14 centimetre bruises on her backside.
After the whipping Mr Lock had sex with the woman and left her tied up while he used his computer.
The woman was able to send a text and a picture of herself tied up to a friend asking him to call the police because she had been ‘chained up and whipped like a dog’.
Mr Lock eventually released her and told her to leave which is when police turned up at his residence and noticed the woman in the street in a distressed state.
Asked by defence counsel Roger Thomson if Mr Lock and the victim had read Fifty Shades of Grey, Mr Lock replied: “That’s where we got the idea from.””
He said: “It’s the right verdict. This case should never have reached court. As far as I’m concerned, it was a consensual activity between adults.”
The court heard the couple took part in group sex and bondage together and the woman had the words “Property of Steven Lock“ tattooed around her genitals.
The ALS’s Dubbo office last year commissioned a study of hundreds of convictions of ALS clients for driving while disqualified, which revealed Aboriginal defendants were being sentenced to prison more often and for longer periods than their non-indigenous counterparts.
The ALS’s principal solicitor (western zone), Stephen Lawrence, had also been vocal in his criticism of sentences handed to Aboriginal boys in the region, including one case in which a 17-year-old with virtually no criminal history was given a 12-month head sentence for stealing $70 of hamburger buns.
In responding, Mr Clisdell blamed parental alcohol abuse, domestic violence and family breakdown for youth offending, but also took the opportunity to take aim at what he characterised as aggressive tactics by the ALS in defending their clients.
In an interview with The Australian, Mr Clisdell spoke of his frustration with the high rate of not-guilty pleas entered in the Bourke and Brewarrina jurisdictions, in particular for domestic violence matters and particularly relating to ALS clients.
“Where the ALS do a disservice to their clients is the constant inability to enter an early plea of guilty to charges where there clearly should have been a plea entered. The not guilty plea rate at Bourke and Brewarrina was close to 90 per cent,” he said.
Mr Clisdell suggested that defendants or their lawyers were aware victims would often fail to appear in court to testify, meaning that those who had pleaded not guilty would get off scot-free.
“It’s called the Bourke defence,” Mr Clisdell said.
“I don’t know whether the client is not prepared to acknowledge guilt, or whether there is an underlying idea that let’s make the police prove every single point. But it doesn’t do the clients much good if they get convicted after a hearing, and any discount that would have applied to a plea of guilty is forfeited.
“When you’ve got a rate of not guilties that is as high as it was in Bourke and Brewarrina, you have to wonder whether there is some campaign to take on the police absolutely every time and clog the court lists. Because inevitably what happened is that the victim wouldn’t turn up and the matter would be dismissed.”
Mr Clisdell suggested the ALS had “declared war” on the magistracy in the northwest.
He said Mr Lawrence’s comments were “a direct attack on the magistracy. Allegations of idiosyncratic sentencing, overly harsh sentencing, social engineering – if that’s not an attack on us I don’t know what is. And I reject each and every one of those contentions so far as they apply to me.”
ALS NSW/ACT chief legal officer John McKenzie vigorously defended the “fearless advocacy” displayed by ALS solicitors.
Mr McKenzie said there was “no place in our justice system for anyone to publicly question the privileged communications between a client and their lawyer”.
“One of the major reasons why the ALS was established in 1970 was to combat the widespread practice in magistrates’ courts of Aboriginal people being pressed into entering pleas of guilty in the absence of legal representation.”
“In most courts at the time, it was a very rare occurrence for an Aboriginal accused to plead not guilty, regardless as to whether they believed they had committed the crime.”
The whole team at Kernaghan and Associates wishes you all a very merry and very safe Christmas, this December. We hope your holidays are restful and that you start the new year with cracking success (much like, we hope, the Australian Cricket Team).