Saturday, January 30, 2010

Three years in jail in Australia - but not guilty

Locked up on speculation. I hope he lodges a BIG claim for compensation

A MAN who had spent three years in custody on remand was today found not guilty of the attempted murder of a New farm pensioner. It was the fourth time Mitchell Clay Dowling had faced a trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane after Stevo Curaji was left with severe head injuries after being "mercilessly and ferociously" bashed with a machete in a case of mistaken indentity. Two of Dowling's previous trials ended in hung juries while a third was aborted.

Dowling, 40, pleaded not guilty to attempting to murder Curaj, 60, and also not guilty to an alternate charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Curjac with intent. He also pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery in company with personal violence. A jury retired for only 2 1/2 hours before returning with not guilty verdicts to all three charges.

The seven day trial heard two men burst into the boarding house unit of Curaj, tied him hand and foot before bashing him with a machete, on May 19, 2006. Mr Curaj, a loner who spent long periods in his room at a boarding house in Heal St at New Farm, lived opposite a suspected drug dealer who was the likely target of the attack. He was left with severe head injuries including a fractured skull and a lacerated brain.

The prosecution argued that although it had no direct indentification evidence Dowling was one of the men there were indications he had been involved.

Barrister Don Mackenzie, for Dowling, said the case was purely one of identification and Dowling had not been at the attack.

Dowling was remanded in custody since being arrested in June 2006.

Original report here

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