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Derryn Hinch Fined $100,000 For Contempt Of Court

Derryn Hinch, a former Melbourne radio broadcaster, has been fined $100,000 for contempt of court.

Hinch was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria by Justice Stephen Kaye. The contempt related to comments Hinch made on his website about the Jill Meagher murder case.

Hinch

In the decision, Justice Kaye referred to Hinch’s previous convictions for contempt of court: “You have a number of previous convictions for contempt of court, and for associated offences, which are relevant to the determination of your disposition in this case. In particular, you have three previous convictions for breaches of s4 of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958, namely, for publishing material that was likely to lead to the identification of a victim of a sexual offence. In addition, in 1986, you were convicted by this Court of two charges of contempt of court. The charges in that case concerned three radio broadcasts relating to charges of sexual offences committed by a priest. In those broadcasts, you referred to the priest’s previous convictions, and you accused him of committing further offences while he was on bail.”

The judge said: “Having given the matter careful consideration, I am not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that your apology was given to the court with true contrition for your wrongdoing. Indeed, in light of your conduct out of court, and the manner in which you gave your evidence, I am satisfied that you are not genuinely remorseful for your conduct.”

The judge also said: “This is the sixth time on which a court has convicted you for contempt of court, or for an allied offence. To put it bluntly, you have a disgraceful record in that regard.”

If Hinch does not pay the fine, he faces 50 days imprisonment.

Full text of the Supreme Court of Victoria’s decision on Derryn Hinch.

The Queen v Hinch (No 2) [2013] VSC 554 (18 October 2013)

Last Updated: 18 October 2013

IN THE SUPREME
COURT OF VICTORIA
Not Restricted

AT
MELBOURNE

COMMON LAW
DIVISION

No. S CI
2013 03249

BETWEEN

THE QUEEN (ON THE APPLICATION OF THE PROTHONOTARY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF VICTORIA)
Applicant
And
DERRYN HINCH
Respondent

JUDGE:
KAYE J
WHERE HELD:
Melbourne
DATE OF HEARING:
11 October 2013
DATE OF JUDGMENT:
18 October 2013
CASE MAY BE CITED AS:
The Queen v Hinch (No 2)
MEDIUM NEUTRAL CITATION:

CONTEMPT OF COURT – Sentence – Breach of suppression order
– Relevant considerations – Apology – Whether
apology sincere
– Disposition – Costs.

APPEARANCES:
Counsel
Solicitors
For the Applicant

Mr J Langmead SC and

Ms F Forsyth

The Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office
For the Respondent
Mr D Gilbertson
HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

HIS HONOUR:

1. Derryn Hinch. On 2 October, I found you guilty of one charge of contempt of court, alleged against you in this proceeding.[1] It is now necessary for me to determine what sentence should be imposed upon you.

2. The circumstances of the contempt are set out, in some detail, in my decision, and it is only necessary to summarise them briefly.

3. On 28 September 2012, Victoria Police filed charges against Adrian Ernest Bayley (“Bayley”) charging him with rape and murder in respect of the death of Gillian Edie Meagher. On 12 March 2013, at a committal hearing in that proceeding, Bayley pleaded guilty to one count of rape, but not guilty to two other charges of rape and the charge of murder. On the same day, he was committed for trial in the Supreme Court on those charges.

4. In the meantime, on 1 February, and subsequently on 4 March 2013, Victoria Police filed twelve charges against Bayley in three separate proceedings in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. I shall refer to those proceedings as “the first proceedings”. The charges brought against Bayley included charges of rape and other acts of violence against three female victims. Those proceedings are unrelated to the proceedings regarding the murder of Gillian Meagher.

5. On 5 April 2013, at approximately 10.30 am, you uploaded onto your website an article, entitled “Jill Meagher”.

6. On the same day, at 2.18 pm, Bayley pleaded guilty, before Nettle JA of this Court, to one count of rape and one count of murder of Gillian Meagher. His Honour made orders, the effect of which was to prohibit the publication of (inter alia), any information relating to previous convictions or previous criminal cases of Bayley, any information relating to the pending first proceedings in the Magistrates’ Court, and any other matter reasonably likely to reflect adversely upon Bayley’s character.

7. In my decision, I found that the article, published by you on your website, contravened the orders made by Nettle JA in four material respects. In particular, the article referred to the fact that Bayley was on bail at the time at which he murdered Gillian Meagher; it referred to the fact that Bayley was also on parole at the time that he murdered Gillian Meagher; it stated that, in the period preceding the murder of Gillian Meagher, Bayley’s parents had become concerned that he might attack a woman, and they alerted the authorities to that effect; and it alleged that the Sexual Crimes Squad of Victoria Police was so concerned about Bayley that it twice appealed to the Parole Board to revoke the parole of Bayley. As I stated in my judgment, in those respects, the article published by you was a substantial infraction of the function and purpose of the orders made by Nettle JA.

8. In my decision, I also found that I was satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that, during the morning of 8 April, you had sufficient knowledge and understanding of the orders made by Nettle JA, that a reasonable person, in those circumstances, would have readily understood that the article, published on the website, breached those orders, and that such a reasonable person would have immediately withdrawn the publication from the website.

9. Notwithstanding that knowledge, you continued to maintain the article on your website. On the same day, 8 April, at 4.25 pm, you posted a comment on your “Twitter” feed, questioning why Nettle JA had suppressed “so much material”. Two hours later, at 6.20 pm, you posted another comment on your “Twitter” feed that you had been ordered to appear before the Supreme Court the next morning in respect of your comments on “Twitter”. Fifty minutes later, at 7.11 pm, you again commented on your Twitter feed that you understood that the court was concerned about the article published by you on your website. On that Twitter feed, you posted another link to your website.

10. On the next day, a hearing was convened by Nettle JA after your article had been brought to his attention. His Honour ordered that, pursuant to Rule 75.07 of the Supreme Court (General Civil Procedure) Rules 2005, the Prothonotary apply by originating motion for the punishment of the contempt of court by you constituted by the publication of the article. Forty minutes later, you sought and obtained advice from your solicitor. As a result of that advice, you arranged for the offending parts of the article to be promptly removed from your website.

11. The principles, which apply to the question of sentence for a proven contempt of court, are well established and are not in dispute. Essentially, they reflect the principles which apply to sentencing for criminal offences.

12. The fundamental function of punishment, for the contempt which you have committed, is to uphold and preserve the undisturbed and orderly administration of justice in the courts according to law.[2] The principal purposes of sentences for contempt, which are designed to achieve that end, include specific deterrence, general deterrence and denunciation. Bearing in mind those purposes, the considerations, which are relevant to the imposition of a sentence for contempt, include the objective seriousness of the particular contempt, the context in which the contempt occurred, whether any harm was occasioned by the contempt, the subjective culpability of the person convicted of the contempt, the character and antecedents of the contemnor, and whether any apology has been made by the contemnor for the contempt.[3]

13. Considered objectively, the contempt committed by you was serious. It consisted of the intentional publication by you of material on the internet which contravened the suppression order made by Nettle JA in four respects. As I stated, collectively, the publication in question constituted a significant breach by you of the orders by Nettle JA.

14. In that regard, it is important to bear in mind that the orders made by Nettle JA were in relation to serious criminal charges against Bayley which were then before a court. The murder of Gillian Meagher by Bayley had attracted a significant amount of publicity. Understandably, the circumstances, in which the murder had taken place, evoked strong feelings of revulsion and disgust among the community. As a consequence, it was necessary for the court to pronounce orders in the form made by Nettle JA, in order to protect the right of Bayley to a fair trial of the charges which were the subject of the first proceeding. In that context, the breach by you of the orders of Nettle JA was, objectively, particularly serious.

15. As I have found, you were not aware, until the morning of 8 April, of the orders of 5 April made by Nettle JA. Thus, the contempt of court, which I have found you committed, consisted of the fact that, notwithstanding that knowledge, you continued to maintain the article concerning Bayley on your website. In that way, the publication, for which you have been found guilty of contempt, consisted of the maintenance by you of that article on your website for a period of one day.

16. In submissions, Mr Langmead SC, who appeared with Ms Forsyth for the applicant, contended that such a period of time was substantial for the maintenance on the internet of an article, which constituted a contempt of court. He contrasted the publication of the article for the period of one day, in respect of which you have been convicted, with a contempt committed on the television or radio, which is of much shorter duration. I do not consider that that comparison is valid in this case. The evidence discloses that only 221 persons read the article on your website on 8 April. By contrast, broadcasts on the television and radio are addressed to a far wider audience. In addition, they tend to have a far greater impact than the type of publication for which you have been convicted.

17. An assessment of your subjective culpability, for the publication of the article, is more difficult. In that regard, I accept that you did not know of the existence of the other proceedings against Bayley, which have been referred to as the “first proceedings”, until much later.

18. In your evidence, you also claimed that you were not, at that time, aware that it was a contempt of court to maintain on the internet a publication, which had been uploaded onto it before a suppression order was made. I do not accept that aspect of your evidence. You are an experienced journalist. You have a full understanding of the importance of suppression orders, and of the ends which they are designed to meet. You could not but have appreciated that the continued presence of the article on your website offended against the suppression order made by Nettle JA.

19. That conclusion is reinforced by your conduct in the evening of 8 April. As I have already stated, by 6.20 pm, you were well aware that the court was concerned with publications which had been made by you about Bayley. By 7.11pm, you understood that the concern of the court was with the article published by you on the website. You did not react to that concern by removing the article from the internet, or by seeking the advice of your solicitor. On the contrary, you posted a further link, on your Twitter feed, to your website. Your conduct on 8 April, particularly from 4.25 pm, demonstrates that you strongly disagreed with the appropriateness of the orders made by Nettle JA. You cavilled at the making of the order, and you set upon defying it. That act of defiance culminated in you posting, on your Twitter feed, the link to your website at 7.11 pm.

20. Taking those matters into account, I am satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that, contrary to your evidence in court, you did, at the time, well understand that by continuing to maintain the article on your website, you were acting in breach of the orders made by Nettle JA.

21. In submissions made before me, there was some debate as to the correct approach to determining what harm had, or had not, been caused by your conduct. In addressing that issue, it is important to keep in mind that the offence of contempt of court, for which you have been convicted, was constituted by the breach by you of the suppression order made by Nettle JA. In that way, as I stated in my previous decision, your conduct was calculated to undermine the administration of justice in this State. I have no doubt that members of the media might, on some occasions, disagree with suppression orders made by the courts. Nevertheless, it is the experience of this Court that, in the very large majority of cases, the media is conscientious in abiding by the terms of orders which have been pronounced by the Court, and by other courts. Put simply, it is not for the media, or anyone else, to pick and choose between which suppression orders should be obeyed, and which orders should not be obeyed. Our system of justice would be unworkable if others were to embark on the course of conduct undertaken by you on this occasion, and to deliberately choose not to abide by the terms of a suppression order, because they disagreed with it. It is in that way that your conduct, by wilfully disobeying a suppression order made by this Court, has caused harm, in that it was calculated to undermine an important aspect of the administration of justice in this State.

22. On the other hand, in determining the harm caused by your publication, it is relevant to bear in mind the limited audience to which the article was, in fact, published. In addition, I accept Mr Gilbertson’s submission that it is also relevant to take into account the purpose which was intended to be served by the suppression order, namely, the protection of Bayley’s right, as an accused person, to a fair trial of the charges against him in the first proceedings. In my decision, I found that I was not satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the article, published by you, had a real tendency to prejudice the fair trial of those proceedings. Thus, in determining the harm occasioned by your publication, I act on the basis that that publication has not, in the upshot, harmed Bayley’s right to a fair trial, nor has it interfered with the processes of that trial, which is now due to take place in May 2014.

23. You have a number of previous convictions for contempt of court, and for associated offences, which are relevant to the determination of your disposition in this case. In particular, you have three previous convictions for breaches of s 4 of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958, namely, for publishing material that was likely to lead to the identification of a victim of a sexual offence. In addition, in 1986, you were convicted by this Court of two charges of contempt of court. The charges in that case concerned three radio broadcasts relating to charges of sexual offences committed by a priest. In those broadcasts, you referred to the priest’s previous convictions, and you accused him of committing further offences while he was on bail.

24. In July 2011, you were convicted in the Magistrates’ Court of four charges of contravening s 42(1)(c) of the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005. Those offences involved the identification by you of two serious sex offenders on your website and at a public rally. The magistrate sentenced you to an aggregate term of imprisonment of five months, to be served by way of a home detention order pursuant to s26M of the Sentencing Act 1991. At the time of that sentence, you were suffering from cancer of the liver, for which you had just undergone a liver transplant. The magistrate stated that if not for your health issues, he would have sentenced you to an immediate term of imprisonment. The magistrate instead imposed a home detention order, so that you would be able to have access to appropriate medical treatment for your condition during the term of imprisonment which he imposed upon you.

25. In the course of submissions before me, Mr Gilbertson contended that your three previous convictions, for breaches of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act, should be distinguished, on the basis that they involved a different type of offending to that for which you are to be sentenced. I disagree with that proposition for two reasons. First, in each of those cases, you were convicted and sentenced for publishing material which the law prohibited. In the present case, you have, in the same way, been convicted of publishing material prohibited by the law. Secondly, as I explained in the course of submissions, while s 4 of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act is designed to protect the identity of victims of sexual offences, and thus to spare them from suffering further anguish, it is clear that a second purpose of that provision is to provide an assurance to victims of such offences that, if they report the offence committed against them, and if they give evidence in court, their identity will be fully protected by the law. In that way, s4 serves an important role in the administration of justice in this State. Thus, your previous convictions, for contravening that section, are allied to the offence of which I have found you guilty, namely, an offence against the administration of justice in this State.

26. Accordingly, the previous convictions, to which I have just referred, are important considerations in determining your sentence. You have, in the past, proven yourself to be a repeat offender in relation to the type of offence, of which I have found you guilty. That aspect is relevant to an assessment of the issue of specific deterrence, to which I shall turn shortly. It is also relevant to an overall assessment of your character. On the other hand, I am satisfied that, apart from your offending, both in respect of your previous convictions, and in the present case, you are otherwise a person of good character. You have had a long career in the media, which now spans some 53 years. During that time, and particularly in recent years, you have received a number of awards for your work as a journalist. In addition, for a long time, you have been involved in significant community and charity work, both in Australia and overseas. Those activities very much stand to your credit, and are relevant to the determination of your sentence in this case.

27. In the course of giving evidence on your plea, you tendered an apology for the contempt of court, of which I have convicted you. On your behalf, Mr Gilbertson submitted that your apology was sincere, and that, in making it, you have demonstrated genuine contrition for the offence of which you have been convicted.

28. In a case such as this, the tendering of an apology may be a factor of substantial weight. It is particularly relevant to the question of specific deterrence, if, by the tendering of such an apology, you have demonstrated sufficient recognition of your wrongdoing, and that you will not re-offend. Secondly, an apology, if accompanied with true contrition, may offset the subjective culpability of the contempt of court. Thirdly, a truly remorseful apology may be relevant to the issue of general deterrence, since it is a factor material to the assessment of the objective gravity of the particular offence.

29. In your case, the question of the sincerity of the apology, made by you in court, must be considered in light of your conduct between the date, on which I pronounced my reasons for convicting you, and the date of the plea which was made on your behalf, and in light of the evidence which you gave on your plea.

30. In this context, it is significant that, almost immediately after I had published my reasons for finding you guilty of one charge of contempt of court, you participated in a live media interview on the steps of this Court. At that stage, you had not read the reasons which I gave for convicting you. In the interview, you immediately maintained that you were innocent, and that you did not think that you had done anything wrong. You described yourself as being “a scapegoat and a whipping boy”.

31. Shortly after, and on the same date, you then published a “news flash” on your website, in which you again maintained your innocence. Five days later, on 7 October, you posted a comment on your “Twitter” feed, in which you continued to assert that you were an “innocent scapegoat”.

32. The submissions on sentence were made before me on 11 October. As I stated, in the course of those submissions, you made an apology for the contempt of court, of which you had been convicted. In the course of your evidence, you were asked a number of questions, both by myself and by Mr Langmead, in relation to the sincerity of your apology, and, in particular, in relation to the allegations, which you had made, out of court, that you were a “scapegoat” and a “whipping boy”. It is significant that when you were pressed on that issue, you could not, and would not, identify the person, or persons, who, you alleged, had made you a “scapegoat”. The allegation made by you out of court was serious in a number of respects. In particular, it was an allegation, made on two occasions, that someone in the justice system had deliberately attempted to transfer the legal fault of others onto the shoulders of an innocent person, that person being you. That being so, it is significant that when you were pressed on your allegation, you could not, and would not, identify the person, or persons, who you had maintained had made you a scapegoat. The answers, which you gave to questions put to you on that issue, were entirely evasive and unsatisfactory. It was clear that you had been prepared to make a serious allegation and insinuation out of court, which you could not, and would not, substantiate in court.

33. Pausing there, it is important for me to make it clear that there is absolutely no substance in the allegations, which you made out of court. The circumstances, in which you were charged for contempt of court, were set out in affidavits sworn in support of the application to have you convicted for contempt of court. Those affidavits were not challenged by cross-examination, or otherwise. The simple facts are that the solicitors for Bayley informed the media liaison officer of this Court of your article. That officer, as was her duty, notified the Judge’s Associate of that matter. The Judge’s Associate, as was his duty, brought the matter to the attention of the judge. In those circumstances, the Judge had no alternative than to direct the Prothonotary, under rule 75.07, to commence proceedings for contempt of court against you. The Prothonotary was legally bound to comply with that direction. Those facts unequivocally rebut your allegation that you have been made a “scapegoat” and a “whipping boy”. As I say, no attempt was made by you, or your counsel, to challenge those facts in court in this case.

34. The matters, to which I have just referred, are important. In particular, it is clear that, since your conviction, you have been attempting, out of court, to justify your unlawful and criminal conduct, by wrongly blaming some other person or persons for the charges, which had been properly brought against you. That conduct, by you out of court, is an important factor in determining whether you have achieved any insight into your wrongdoing, and as to whether I can have any sufficient degree of assurance that you will not re-offend again.

35. In the course of your evidence, you were also pressed, both by Mr Langmead and myself, as to the sincerity of your apology. On more than one occasion, you did apologise for breaking the law, but at the same time you maintained that you believed you had not done anything wrong. I paid close attention to the evidence which you gave in that respect, and to the manner in which you gave it. Having given the matter careful consideration, I am not satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that your apology was given to the court with true contrition for your wrongdoing. Indeed, in light of your conduct out of court, and the manner in which you gave your evidence, I am satisfied that you are not genuinely remorseful for your conduct.

36. On the other hand, I consider that there are two points, which may be made in your favour in respect of the apology. First, I am well satisfied that you are genuinely sorry for the predicament in which you now find yourself. You are 69 years of age. This is the sixth time on which a court has convicted you for contempt of court, or for an allied offence. To put it bluntly, you have a disgraceful record in that regard. You have twice been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, albeit that one of them was served by you by way of home detention. You have recently survived a bout of serious ill health. You now face a real prospect of being
sent to prison. I am well satisfied that you fully recognise the predicament in which you have placed yourself. I also am satisfied that, in that way, you genuinely regret what you have done, albeit only because you now find yourself in very serious trouble. Importantly, I do accept that you were genuine in your statement to me that, if you were placed in the same situation again, you would find other (legitimate) ways to achieve what you consider to be your purposes.

37. Coupled with that consideration is another factor. In considering your conduct out of court, and your performance in the witness box, it is clear to me that you are a particularly self-opinionated person, who finds it very difficult to publicly acknowledge that anything you have done is wrong. Thus, I consider that it is very difficult for you to publicly apologise, or to say that you are sorry for anything. The fact that you did make an apology to this Court was a significant step for someone of your personality structure.

38. Those two matters, combined, are important in considering the question of specific deterrence. In particular, they are important in considering whether it is necessary to send you to prison, in order to ensure that you do not offend again.

39. In the course of your plea, I received helpful submissions from Mr Gilbertson and Mr Langmead as to the course which I should adopt. Mr Gilbertson, in a persuasive plea on your behalf, submitted that I should impose a very large fine, amounting to many tens of thousands of dollars, on you. In that respect, he relied on a statement of assets, income and liabilities tendered on your plea as proof of your capacity to pay such a fine. In response, Mr Langmead submitted that, in this case, either a very large fine or a term of imprisonment would be appropriate.

40. Ultimately, the decision as to your sentence must be made by myself. The applicant has demonstrated strong reasons why it is necessary to impose a jail sentence on you. In particular, your offending involved a deliberate serious infraction of the orders of Nettle JA. You thought that his Honour’s orders should not have been made, and you wilfully disobeyed them. You have five previous convictions for contempt of court or associated offences. You are fully aware of the implications of the law of contempt, and of the consequences for those who breach that law.

41. In that way, your conduct was grossly irresponsible. Although you thought you knew better than Nettle JA, clearly you did not. In particular, you were not aware of critical facts, and, in particular, that Bayley was facing unrelated serious criminal charges. At your age, and with your experience, you should have been setting an example of responsible journalism. It might be tempting, but wrong, to endeavour to be populist by breaking the law. On the other hand, there are very many responsible, sensible journalists, who are able to achieve the same ends by remaining within the confines of the law. It is well nigh time that you learnt to do so also.

42. On the other hand, I do accept that there are a number of relevant circumstances, which were outlined by Mr Gilbertson, and which must be taken into account. First, the article only remained on your website for a period of 24 hours after you became aware of the order of Nettle JA. During that time, only a relatively small number of persons accessed your website and read the article. Secondly, I accept that you did not then know that there were outstanding charges against Bayley, and thus I am satisfied that you did not intend to cause any damage to Bayley’s right to a fair trial of those charges. Thirdly, I have already found that I am not satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that the publication by you of the article had a real tendency to prejudice Bayley’s right to a fair trial. Fourthly, as I have already stated, I am well satisfied that, although you have not exhibited any genuine remorse for your actions, you are significantly regretful that you have landed yourself in your current serious predicament, and that, for that reason, you have genuinely resolved not to offend again. Fifthly, and connected with that, you have apologised for the contempt of court of which you have been convicted, albeit that that apology was not accompanied by genuine contrition for your wrongdoing. Finally, you are no longer a young person. I accept that there is a risk that a term of imprisonment may bear harshly on you, because some of your media activities might have rendered you quite unpopular with some of the inmates of the institution, to which you would be sent.

43. Ultimately, it is necessary to balance those competing considerations to determine what is the correct disposition in relation to this case. In doing so, I take into account the particular importance in this case, of the considerations of both specific deterrence and general deterrence. It is most important that the sentence, which I impose on you, must be sufficient to make it clear, not only to yourself, but also to other members of the media, and the public, that suppression orders, pronounced by the courts, must be obeyed, regardless of whether the individual person agrees with the orders or not.

44. In the end, I consider that there is a fine balance between the considerations which dictate that you should be sent to jail, and the considerations which weigh in favour of the imposition of a very large fine, as a suitable punishment in your case. In determining on which side the balance should fall, I have taken into account the fundamental principle of sentencing, expressed in s 5(4) of the Sentencing Act 1991, that a court must not impose a custodial sentence, unless it considers that the purposes, for which the sentence is imposed, cannot be achieved by a non-custodial sentence.

45. After giving all the relevant circumstances anxious consideration, I have come to the conclusion that the purposes of sentencing, and in particular the necessity to uphold the orders of a court, and the principles of general and specific deterrence, would be sufficiently achieved by the imposition on you of a very substantial fine. That decision is based on my acceptance of your evidence, given on affirmation, that any fine imposed on you would be paid by you and by no-one else. The fine which I shall impose is intended to occasion a real and substantial degree of financial pain for you, and thereby to make it clear to you, and to the community, that your offending was very serious, and that this Court will not tolerate any repetition of it.

46. In determining the amount of the fine, I take into account the statement of your assets, liabilities and income tendered on your plea. That statement discloses that you have net assets valued at $1.18 million, and that your annual income (I assume before tax) is $212,000. Two of the properties, owned by you, are the subject of a Family Court proceeding settlement involving your former wife. In addition, I take into account that you will be liable to pay the applicant’s costs of this proceeding.

47. Taking those matters into account, I convict you of one charge of contempt of court, and I impose on you a fine of $100,000. I shall allow you a reasonable time within which to pay that fine. In default of the payment of that fine within that period, you are sentenced to a term of imprisonment of fifty days. In addition, I order you to pay the costs of the applicant, including reserved costs, on the standard basis.

48. Subject to any submissions from the parties, I therefore propose to make
the following orders:

(1) That you are adjudged guilty, and are convicted, of contempt of court for making a publication in relation to criminal proceedings against Adrian Ernest Bayley on the website humanheadline.com.au from 8 April 2013 to 9 April 2013, in contravention of a non-publication order of the Supreme Court dated 5 April 2013.

(2) That you pay a fine of $100,000 in respect of that contempt. In default of the payment by you of that fine, you are sentenced to fifty days’ imprisonment.

(3) For the purpose of the order in paragraph (2), a warrant of committal be issued but that it lie in the office of the Prothonotary until the date fixed for payment of the fine. In the event of the payment of that fine by you by that date, the warrant be forever stayed.

(4) That you pay the applicant’s costs of the proceeding, including any reserved costs, on the standard basis.


[1] The Queen v Hinch [2013] VSC 520.

[2] Registrar of the Court of Appeal v Maniam (No 2) , 314 (Kirby P); Registrar v Nationwide News Ltd & Ors [2004] SASC 223, [45] (Gray J); Corporation of the City of Woodville v Williams (1992) 57 SASR 278, 280 (Mullighan J).

[3] DPP v John Fairfax & Sons Ltd & Ors (1987) 8 NSWLR 732, 739-742 (Kirby P), 748-9 (Mahoney JA), 750-1 (Clarke AJA); Attorney-General for New South Wales v United Telecasters (1990) 23 NSWLR 323; DPP v Johnson [2002] VSC 583, [59] (Osborn J); R v The Age Co Ltd & Ors [2008] VSC 305, [22] (Kyrou J); R v General Television Corporation Pty Ltd [2009] VSC 84, [15] (Smith J); R v David Syme & Co Ltd [1982] VicRp 16; [1982] VR 173, 180-2 (Marks J).

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