No Remorse – The sentencing of Craig Thomson and the upcoming appeal

Posted: March 25, 2014 in HSU Saga, Politics

Today in Melbourne Magistrates Court Craig Thomson faced the Magistrate and the media once again.

Magistrate Rozencwajg handed down a sentence of one year in prison to Thomson in a packed court room.

Thomson had been found guilty of several counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception in court last month, despite those charges not being on the list of charges at the time of the trial, something that has baffled many.

At the start of the trial Magistrate Rozencwajg had told both the Prosecution and the Defence that the whole case was a matter of authorisation. Upon hearing that the Defence based their case on proving authorisation, however in his findings after the case had been argued the Magistrate chose not to take the matter of authorisation into account at all.

Then between the trial and sentencing the police were given permission to “re-word” the charges before sentencing. This effectively created new charges that Thomson would not be given a chance to defend before being sentenced on them.

Thomson, was now facing sentencing for these new undefended charges and was in court to hear the sentence handed down. The total dollar figure relating to the charges is $24,538.42, which Thomson has agreed to repay.

Greg James QC had last week urged Magistrate Rozencwajg to not sentence Thomson to prison as he has suffered enough after his very public ordeal.

James had also claimed that Thomson is suffering from a major depressive illness.

Today the Magistrate ignored those pleas.

craig thomson

Thomson has spent the best part of four years being attacked in the media and being turned into a punchline for any joke involving brothels, prostitutes, or even credit cards. He has suffered humiliation after humiliation.

The attack from the media on Thomson has been relentless and often seemed to be more about a vendetta than straight reporting of facts.

There have been that many cases of sloppy journalism, deliberate printing of lies, distortion of facts, and plain negligence in the media trial of Craig Thomson that it has kept me busy writing for years.

It is clear that this hasn’t stopped.

The way the last weeks events were reported in the press one could have easily assumed that Thomson had admitted through his lawyer to what he had been accused of and was throwing himself at the mercy of the court.

There were reports of admissions of his client using union funds to pay for escort services from Thomson’s lawyer Greg James QC.

What the mainstream press ignored is that this is a sentencing hearing, not a part of trial as such. Thomson had no options to plead innocence as he had already been found guilty.

The so-called admissions were actually submissions based on the findings of guilt by the court.

For the layman they are scenario’s that are offered up as explanations in order to reduce a sentence that is based on behavior that the court has assumed as factual. What they are not, are admissions of guilt.

Those reporting events seemed to have forgotten that Thomson still had the option of an appeal open to him, and those reporting incorrectly about admissions from Thomson would have their articles exposed as either enormous errors or intentional misrepresentations of events should Thomson appeal the charges.

Today they have been reminded.

Sources close to Thomson have stated that there will be an appeal on both the sentence and the charges.

Why would someone admit to something and then launch an appeal?

I would assume the media will distance themselves from their earlier comments.

Last week Prosecutor Lesley Taylor SC stated last week that anything less than jail would be

Manifestly inadequate”

Taylor went on to say that Thomson had shown no remorse for his actions. It has been my experience that most people don’t tend to show remorse for something they claim they haven’t done and seek to raise a legal appeal against.

Personally I always thought that a jail sentence would be quite perverse even if Thomson is in fact guilty and had chosen not to appeal his sentence. Not for the reasons that Greg James QC has spoken of however, as if there are any mental health issues to speak of they should have been brought up years ago, and if he is guilty after all, then the years of attacks from the media could have been avoided by an earlier admission, say around three years ago.

A jail sentence would be perverse because the attack on Thomson was led by a few people in particular.

Tony Abbott for example, has defrauded the taxpayer of a similar amount of money to what Thomson is accused of, some of it has however since been repaid after it was exposed to the public. Abbott did performed his alleged crimes via expense claims for weddings, claiming travel from the taxpayer to go on fun runs and cycling events, and even for the marketing of his book Battlelines. Apparently on Planet Abbott, the public should foot the bill for these things.

Tony Abbott appears to look out the closed window of a private jet whilst shining a light into his own face

Another book to promote Tony?

George Brandis who interfered with the police by continually pushing them to make a case against Thomson was pressured to finally pay back to the taxpayer the money he claimed to attend the wedding of former shock jock and right-wing blogger Michael Smith.

Speaking of Michael Smith, he was there in court last week to see the event unfold accompanied by none other than Kathy Jackson and Marco Bolano, two others who have led the attack on Thomson.

These three showing up together like the Three Musketeers on crack is a clear indication of Smith’s bias in the case and also exposes the political leanings of Jackson and Bolano.

Should Jackson or Bolano (or his partner for that matter) run in the upcoming HSU elections members would be wise to remember that they accompanied Smith, a notorious cheerleader for the right-wing who seek to destroy both union movement and workers rights to court in a desperate bid to find a camera or microphone they could stand in front of.

Jackson is yet to be held to account for the allegations of vast amounts of spending of union members funds whilst she was secretary, amounts that make the allegations against Thomson seem like pocket-money by comparison.

Jackson and Bolano were in court again today to hear the sentence handed down to Thomson, Jackson making the interstate trip for the occasion, and Bolano taking time out from his busy schedule of being on workers compensation at the taxpayers expense.

Marco Bolano - struggling at home on a huge compenstaion claim at the taxpayers expense

Marco Bolano -hard work this workers comp gig…

There was some good news for Thomson last week however, the media attention was somewhat diverted away from his sentencing hearing by the shocking allegations of corruption against Arthur Sinodinos.

The allegations against Sinodinos have served to highlight the hypocrisy of those in the Coalition and in particular Tony Abbott.

Abbott and the Coalition you may recall wanted Craig Thomson removed from parliament as soon as the allegations were made against him, even before charges were laid.

With Arthur Sinodinos it is different apparently. In fact he has the total backing and support of Tony Abbott and the Coalition.

Allegations against Thomson total $24,538.42, Sinodinos allegedly stood to make a tidy $20 Million. Rather than Thomson’s alleged $24.5K over 5 years, Sinodinos was collecting $200K per year

Those expecting to see another childish bolt from parliament by Liberal Senators when Sinodinos casts a vote like Abbott and Pyne did in 2012 need not hold their breath waiting, tainted votes are OK when they come from a Liberal MP apparently.

The ICAC investigation into Sinodinos will take a while to run its course and just like Thomson, all of the Liberal MP’s that are now facing ICAC should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Arthur Sinodinos - In the $20 Million hotseat

Arthur Sinodinos – In the $20 Million hotseat

Innocent until proven guilty is a concept that Craig Thomson has only been able to dream about.

Those who profit from his trial by media have not allowed this basic human right be granted to Thomson.

In fact, contrary to what Lesley Taylor SC may claim it is the press that has shown no remorse when it comes to reporting falsehoods, and the justice system that has shown no remorse for allowing the charges to be changed and denying Thomson the civil right he has to defend himself against the charges.

Let’s hope next time around his basic human rights are respected.

Guilty or not, everybody deserves that right. Even the worst of Nazi war criminals was given the opportunity to defend the charges against them without them being changed after the event.

No matter what you think of Thomson personally the legal process that he has been forced to endure should alarm anybody who believes in both justice and the possibility of a fair trial.

Today those in the media who reported events falsely last week were exposed, however it remains to see if they will learn a lesson from it. Given the history of reporting from those in the main stream on this case, I have my doubts.

They can be measured by the truckload.

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  1. sue says:

    Thanks Wixxy.

    From media had no idea on actions of Magistrate, discarding authorisation & then letting police reword case.
    No wonder Thomson is appealing but I bet won’t see the the probable reasons in the media either.

  2. joy cooper says:

    Thank you Peter.

    How could the police be allowed to “reword” charges,, between the end of the trial & the sentencing hearing, without Thomson being given a chance defended himself? Isn’t this a step too far, even weird? This is a major conundrum & goes against all concepts of fair justice.

    Why has Kathy Jackson not been charged after the admissions she made under oath in Thomson’s trial? Seems strange that no one is pushing for this.

  3. Julie says:

    Hi peter
    I really want to believe craig. I don’t trust Kathy or Marc. I just hope justice prevails.

    I went to the marchinmarch and met some ladies from the hsu. I asked them did they know anything about Kathy Jackson. The didn’t and one lady said she would look it up. But they knew about craig and him using hsu money for call girls. When is the msm going to go after her, or is she a protected species like Abbott. Should he get jail time for using tax payers money for bike rides, book tours etc.

  4. jaycee says:

    My sympathies Thommo’….as for your prosecution.. Cosimo Medici couldn’t have done you over better!

  5. sebe (@sebe) says:

    “Those reporting events seemed to have forgotten that Thomson still had the option of an appeal ”
    including @NandosAus , chicken place, who tweeted “Craig Thomson you’ll love out Pri-Pri chicks (and you won’t feel guilty where they appear on your credit card statement)”

  6. whatismore says:

    Heard the report today and am very pleased to read your article. I will send it to my networks, many of whom, have accepted Thomson’s guilt and are quite despondent.

  7. Dave Bradley says:

    Craig Thomson’s courage and resilience was the only thing that stopped Tony Abbott’s New Age of the ‘Renaissance of The Rort’ from starting a year or two ago, probably with full control of the Senate considering the toxic political environment of the time. We would never have known about the Sinodinos alleged theft of public money from and reported his standing to make $20,000,000 from pushing this corrupt deal through a seemingly corrupt Liberal Party. There would never have been the protection of investors under the FOFA legislation that first Sinodinos was pushing the destruction of through parliament and now Senator Cormann has delayed the changes until after the WA senate election but has still unashamedly vowed to push through even after he has “considered feedback from stakeholders”. This LNP it may alleged are just greedy crooks and the friends of greedy crooks but they are now in power! Their arrogance is scary.
    The only stake holders who will be listened to by Cormam will be those industry stake holders who want to again run a stake through the financial heart of ordinary peoples savings and investments.
    Wendy Harmer’s reference to Lindy Chamberlain in comparison with the witch hunt against Craig Thomson is still a very relevant contribution to this debate. Remember how she was jailed and her family destroyed by a government influencing judicial process before she was exonerated.
    And come on Cathy Jackson in bed with the Judge Micheal Lawler.. gee imagine if the press got hold of that!!

  8. Dave Bradley says:

    correct typo :We would never have known about the Sinodinos alleged theft of public money from Australian Water Holdings and his reported standing to make $20,000,000 from pushing this corrupt deal through a seemingly corrupt Liberal Party.

  9. puffytmd says:

    Oh, I did not understand that Thomson had not made admissions. I was under the general impression he had, which is no doubt what the MSM/Liebrals wanted us mugs to think. I await the appeal. I hope justice, real justice, finally prevails, for all our sakes.

  10. Older Fogey says:

    There has NEVER been a more perverse and corrupt Federal Government in Australia’s political history as there is now. I’m not jumping on an Abbott bashing bandwagon…but it seems that every single day since the election a reeking skeleton is rising from the LNP graveyard and coming back to haunt them. Personally, I hope the LNP is flayed within an inch of their rotten Neo Conservative souls and thrown from Government in an even more concerted manner than that of the JWH Government. The whole rotting ex-Howard front bench needs consigning to the political cess pit from whence it rose.

  11. Tony Grant says:

    This just shows what we are up against…the establishment! We don’t have the power to fight these wars and Labor are a real piece of work? Many folk that supported Thomson both financially and on election day have been left in the cold, this area should have been maintained, lines of communication supporter base?
    If we only had the American fighting spirit…they’d be “Blood On THe Wattle”?

  12. Bloss says:

    I’ve been following Wixxy’s incisive reporting on Craig Thomson always look forward to his account of the latest. Having said that I’m not quite sure why Craig has paid back the $24,500. Have I missed something?

    • BillK says:

      He probably took the money. Otherwise why would he have to pay back the $24.5K?

      And IF he took it (and was found guilty of it in a Court of Law), how can he still claim to be innocent?

      And why would Zoe apologise for his conduct last week, if he did nothing wrong?

      Anyway Sam Dastiary said yesterday ““Unfortunately, myself and others were taken for a ride by Craig Thomson who has proven a very consistent liar” . Once someone lies, the goal posts keep shifting and you never know where you stand.

      • wixxy says:

        He was found guilty of charges he didn’t have a chance to defend…

        He may well be guilty, but best he has a fair trial

        Zoe did not apologise for his behavior, she said he was sorry that his woes had caused people to be hurt. This is not any kind of admission… The press love to insinuate… I’d suggest reading her quotes

      • BillK says:

        ”I know Craig is sorry for the hurt he has caused his family, friends, colleagues and supporters,” Ms Thomson wrote.

        Read more:

        His woes had nothing to do with it. He caused it himself.

        Oh and please tell me why he has to pay back $24.5K? Did he just borrow the money?

      • wixxy says:

        She is not referring to his actions, she is referring to his situation…

        He offered to pay back the money as it is cheaper than paying for a defence lawyer….

      • BillK says:

        BS wixxy.

        Zoe is very clear about what she says.

        He is already paying a defence lawyer.

        It’s simple – he took the money dishonestly. You know it, but just can’t bring yourself to say it.
        If he was entitled to the money, he should keep it.

        Typical Labor obfuscation, lies and spin. It’s probably best that I don’t comment further.

      • wixxy says:

        Even the main stream didn’t leap to the same conclusion as you over Zoe’s comments…

        I totally agree with your last comment however

  13. Sane person says:

    What is wrong with you people, he is so obviously guilty even the court could see it, grow up and get a life rather than defending hapless morons.

  14. Sane person says:

    No wonder the comments all agree with you, they are moderated!, fair and balanced eh!

  15. There are so many things about this whole affair which simply do not add up.

    There is only one thing I can say with absolute certainty: those throwing the mud are in no way any cleaner than he who has been rolled in it.

  16. I think I read somewhere where there is a civil court case against Karhy Jackson.Can anyone point me to the article?

  17. whatismore says:

    Totally agree with Dave Bradley’s statement and I hope that you, Wixxy, will keep fearlessly reporting on this case. Bear in mind the tenacity of the west Australian journalist, Colleen Egan who established with MP John Quigley the wrongful jailing of Andrew Mallard for murder.

  18. Bridget says:

    Wixxy – why haven’t you given James and his defence team a spray for incompetence? Why have they allowed this travesty of justice to befall an innocent man? And I understand James is a Labor Man. Who is James married to – will you inform us or haven’t you researched that? Which party appointed the Rozencwajg to the bench originally?

    I admire your blind faith. Prepared to still defend a man who has been so obviously proven to be guilty. This is doing wonders for your credibility – NOT. Many HSU members can’t wait until you end up in Court, yourself, proving your allegations against other ALLEGED guilty people and the HSU itself.

    Or is this whole facade a blind attempt to get your own Pre selection in a safe Labor seat? We don’t know what you have been promised but if Thomson, as expected, looses his appeal you can guarantee many of us members will remember your actions.

    • wixxy says:

      Well, she has doesn’t even have the guts to use her real name, why would I? He didn’t change the charges… and he hasn’t “allowed this travesty of justice to befall an innocent man”, in case you missed it he is appealing. Take the blinkers off and you might see the whole story.

      I am well aware of who Greg James is married to, I have written articles on her and the punches Abbott threw at her in the past, but I fail to see any relevance here, nor who appointed Rozencwajg to the bench.

      I can’t wait to go to court either, actually I thought I may have a chance when Lawler threatened through his lawyers, but they backed down…. alas the prospect of seeing him and Kathy on the stand answering my questions proved too scary it would appear.

      As for what I have been promised, not that it is your business, but I will come clean.

      I have been promised exactly what I asked for and what I hoped for. Stuff all.

      I’m not interested in running again.

      Plus, why would I get any preferential treatment for writing about an Independent MP, someone the ALP has gone to pains to distance itself from, someone who ran against the ALP candidate last election?

      I know when Jackson and her tribe land up in court attempting to explain how she and her BCOM buddies rorted the members of hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’re right, the members will remember my actions, and yours as we all know who you are.

  19. […] take on Craig Thomson's jail sentence, his appeal, and why we should all be concerned… #auspol #jacksonville— Peter Wicks (@madwixxy) March 25, […]

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