Friday, July 20, 2007

A charitable initiative

I'll be doing some posting over the weekend, but in the meantime, I thought I'd direct your attention to an online charitable initiative for a worthy public cause - the shaming of Matthew Newton.

In a shameful display this week, Judge Joseph Moore upheld Matthew Newton's appeal against a criminal conviction for aggravated assault against former girlfriend Brooke Satchwell. Apparently Newton's expectation of the consequences of pleading guilty to 'pushing' and 'punching' Satchwell didn't include any discernable kind of punishment.

We can only wonder if the hefty weight of Newton's pedigree had anything to do with the decision. After all, old Bert said himself (of the conviction), "We have always loved our son, admired him and believed in him. It's great news."

The petition is the work of Audrey Apple, and I think it's positively spiffing. I ask you all to contribute generously to this worthy cause.


Caz said...

I notice one of the comments suggests:

"i think he should be publicly shamed. like in the good old days (medieval)."

He hasn't been shamed enough? Or was it not sufficiently public? (It's not so far from medieval.)

Demonising one man over one incident is inappropriate.

Other men do far worse than this, and we don't here anything about it, they can get on with their lives, including their jobs.

I'd understand all of this hyperventilating if they were up in arms about the fact that only a few percent of rapists ever end up in jail (and that's of the cases that go to trial, not the thousands of cases never reported or never pursued by the DPP).

This is over the top, in the scheme of things. Newton has paid, FAR more than most men. Isn't that enough?

If this case was about Joe Smith from down the street, with the same outcome, would they still be having hysterics? Nuh, didn't think so.

Caz said...

Meanwhile this guy gets only six months jail for his kiddie porn collection - or "addiction", as he prefers to call it.

His collection included the rape of a five year old.

So, should we get hysterical about Newton having his life destroyed, or the kiddie porn collector getting off with a six month jail sentence?

Steve said...

I thought the comment by someone signing the petition "he is dead to me now" was splendidly over the top.

I also take the opportunity to be bitchy and say that Audrey's blog makes me grind my teeth. It's a case of "too much information" for too much of the time, if you ask me. You seem to have extraordinarily broad tastes in blogs, Tim.

Caz said...

Only just occurred to me: Wheatley gets 15 mth minimum for $300 K tax evasion (all repaid, of course), while the lawyer gets 6 mth minimum for his 29,000 kiddie porn collection, accumulated with significant commitment over 5 years.


TimT said...

Point taken Caz and Steve. I guess I like reading things from people with lots of different viewpoints, Steve, though the 'if you don't like it, don't read it' rule could be applicable!

I don't think the petition is posted on her blog, anyway, I was contacted through facebook.

nailpolishblues said...

Too much information on a personal blog - how extraordinary.

It's kind of a case, or cases, of those in the public eye being held to a higher standard than the rest of us, isn't it, Caz? Then again, they tend to get away with stuff that we'd never manage so I guess it works out.

P.S. The tax thing is just a cover, Wheatley is really going down for his services to John Farnham's career.

Caz said...

Don't know, don't know Nails.

I find it perplexing.

How do you reconcile the sentencing of the kiddie porn lawyer (100% culpable, he knew exactly what he was doing and it's illegality, and continued for five years anyway), and Newton's quashed sentence?

Noticed in a news break that the seven teenagers charged over the videod sexual assault down here are all likely to plead guilty AND NONE OF THEM WILL GO TO JAIL.

I trust Audrey Apple will organise a public protest, unless she only goes after the small, but "famous" fry.

Yes, you're right about Wheatley - it's just a ruse.

nailpolishblues said...

Damn, kiddie-porn-lawyer ruins my argument [how often does that happen?], I forgot about him. Something to do with it being cannibalism when lawyers turn on each other?

I saw the thing about the teenagers too. Makes you wonder why we even bother.

Caz said...

Nails - that gang of teenagers had me gobsmacked.

Hey, they provided their own proof of guilt, evaded arrest for months, sexually assaulted a young girl, were proud enough to film it, and now ... NOTHING??????

How the fuck does that work?

See, that's why I can't get even a little bit hysterical about Newton. He's already been punished into the ground, and his lawyers obviously figure the only place he might ever work again will be overseas, if he's really lucky - hence why the appeal was so important. Other blokes can still walk back into their day job (and do), so, you know, he has paid totally out of proportion to the crime. Hundreds of worse cases are processed every month and we don't hear about them, so tarring and feathering one guy, just because people know his name, seems twisted and stupid to me.

The porn lawyer won't ever walk back into his job either, but he shouldn't be able to, period, no brainer. Six months for 29,000 items of kiddie porn puts a low price of the value of children though, doesn't it. That's one day in jail for each 160 pieces of child sexual abuse that he went to the trouble of saving.

nailpolishblues said...

Fucked if I know, Caz. The world has me in confusion.

audrey said...

I hadn't heard about the kiddie porn lawyer, but that sentence to me is disgustingly lax. The point I was making with Newton however is that the judge's decision to quash his original conviction based on the fact that he has been 'punished' enough is bullshit. How has he really been punished? He's been embarrassed, sure, but he has maintained the support of some very powerful people in the entertainment industry.

I think it's more a reflection on Australian society in general. Newton's considered to have 'paid' enough for his crime, despite the fact that he hasn't really paid at all. But because Australia is supposed to say no to violence against women, it's kind of all supposed to be okay.

Interesting side note too - in America, the fine for downloading music is triple that of downloading child porn. Crimes regarding corporations and money are usually far more heavily punished than those involving individuals.

And obviously I've highlighted the Newton case because it's high profile, but it has garnered no criticism from influential celebrities - the entertainment world is eerily quiet on this one, which I think is crappy.

Sorry to hear my blog makes you grind your teeth Steve, but I guess you can't win 'em all ;)

BTW, 'he's dead to me now' is a particular thing that my friends and I say when discussing things we've previously liked that have disappointed us in some way. I wouldn't take it too seriously.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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