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Mitchell escapes justice yet again 17.12.2009

Roderic Neil Mitchell, the infamous former dairy farmer from Redpa, once again bluffed the justice system in Burnie this week.

Category: General
Posted by: Admin
Roderic Neil Mitchell, the former dairy farmer from Redpa, once again managed to escape justice in the Burnie Magistrates Court today, this time claiming a "bad back".

Chris Bartlett, Mitchell's lawyer, provided a medical certificate to the court which is believed to have only stated that Mitchell had injured his back - coincidentally, the day before. This follows the last scheduled date, when Mitchell submitted a medical certificate claiming a gastric illness. It is understood that he travelled at least 60km each way to obtain that certificate. StopTAC would like to know if he travelled a similar distance to obtain this current certificate.

Magistrate Rod Chandler on Wednesday appeared to be less inclined to believe this latest tactic, and required Bartlett to provide a Statutory Declaration from Mitchell's doctor, to contain full details of the "injury", treatment, and full reasons why Mitchell could not travel the relatively short distance from Victoria. He adjourned the matter to 2.15p.m.

At 2.15, Bartlett returned to court to claim that he had been unable to contact the doctor, who "does not work on Wednesdays". It appeared to be overlooked that most doctors in Australia would have mobile telephones and would not be incontactable. The matter was then adjourned to 10.00a.m. this morning, and all prosecution witnesses were instructed to be present again.

Defender of the indefensible, Chris Bartlett

Those witnesses present included DPIPWE veterinarians who had travelled from Hobart and Launceston and police officers from Smithton, who all attended again this morning; journeys all had made many times before, with still no outcome in sight.

Bartlett claimed that he had spoken with Mitchell's doctor this morning (but did not provide the Statutory Declaration). He further stated that Mitchell had "bruising" and had been prescribed Panadeine Forte, describing this as "strong pain relief". Despite Police Prosecutor Colin Buxton's application for an ex-parte hearing, the matter was adjourned yet again until January 20.

StopTAC's Stephanie Dyer was incredulous and outraged.

"The Tasmanian justice system is totally inept and indefensible", she said. "A half competent court would have issued a warrant for Mitchell's arrest when no statutory declaration was produced. How easy is it to ask a doctor a few leading questions to get the answers to suit the purpose?

"Furthermore, if there could be no ex-parte hearing, the matter could have been dealt with by videolink.

"In addition to apologising to the witnesses, who had travelled hundreds of kilometres yet again, the Magistrate should have apologised to the Tasmanian taxpayers who continue to foot the bill for this travesty, and to the hundreds iof cows and calves who would not have died brutal deaths at Mitchell's hands had he been dealt with with any sort of expediency".

The RSPCA's Senior Inspector in the north west, Frank Bingham, made a blistering statement to the media.

He noted the fact that peaceful forest protesters and minor drug and traffic offenders are hauled before the courts within weeks of being charged, yet he has been attending court all this year in relation to the Mitchell matters and not once has one been dealt with. He said that everyone concerned with the Mitchell case will be long dead before even one complaint is dealt with.

Mitchell faces over 200 charges, and the only ones listed for hearing yesterday and today were those relating to 2007 matters.

Tireless RSPCA Senior Inspector Frank Bingham

StopTAC understands from the current leaseholders of Mitchell's former Redpa property, John Coates and Alyssia Turner, that the National Australia Bank intends to foreclose on the property and seize the cows belonging to Mitchell tomorrow. It is also alleged that Mitchell entered into the lease under false pretences, leaving Mr Coates and Ms Turner and their four small children with no income and potentially no home, a week before Christmas.

"Apart from the gross abuse of the justice system, and the shocking injustice to Mr Coates and Ms Turner, the issue of the costs to Tasmanian taxpayers for this farce must be addressed. Mitchell and Bartlett continue to show the Tasmanian justice system to be a total embarassment", concluded Ms Dyer.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Dyer on  0406 109174

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