Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Australian man seeks compensation from state government after being wrongly jailed

He was set up by crooked cops but no word of any action against the cops concerned

An Aboriginal man wrongly jailed for an armed robbery has been given the go-ahead by the Brisbane Supreme Court to seek compensation from the Queensland Government.

Terry Irving, 56, was sentenced to seven years five months in May 1993 for an armed robbery. Having repeatedly protested his innocence, in 1997 the High Court quashed the conviction and ordered a retrial. Mr Irving was released after serving almost five years.

In January 1999, the Department of Public Prosecutions filed a notice in the Court confirming it was no longer pursuing a retrial.

Maurice Blackburn Associate Trent Johnson said Mr Irving had struggled for years to represent himself after he was refused legal aid, and today's Supreme Court decision was a welcome step towards some finality. Mr Irving has been assisted on a pro bono basis by Townsville Solicitor Michael O'Keeffe.

"This has been a long and painful ordeal for Mr Irving. The High Court of Australia found that there had been a miscarriage of justice and the United Nations Human Rights Committee agreed," Mr Johnson said. "Maurice Blackburn has taken on Mr Irving's claim for an investigation into his conviction, an apology and to secure compensation for his wrongful detention."

Mr Irving said he was determined not to give up his fight. "The checks and balances did not protect me. This has affected my family, my friends. The thing that drives me is that I don't want this to happen to my children, my grandchildren, anyone," he said.

In 2009, Queensland Attorney General Cameron Dick abandoned a judicial review of Irving's case, which had been ordered by Mr Dick's predecessor, Kerry Shine, leaving Mr Irving with no other alternative than to pursue compensation through the court.

"Mr Irving has endured a prolonged period of incarceration for a crime he did not commit and the compensation we will be seeking on his behalf will clearly reflect that," said Mr Johnson.

Original report here

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