Top blokes, totally out of character: when five white men beat an Aboriginal man to death

These are the facts, as they were agreed to by the perpetrators. After a long night of drinking, Scott Doody, Timothy Hird, Joshua Spears, Anton Kloeden, and Glen Swain left a casino at 6am in the morning of 25 July 2009. They ranged in age from 18–23. Most of them were drunk, but Kloeden, the driver, was not.

Kloeden, in the words of Chief Justice Martin, then thought it would be fun to ‘take on the challenge of driving along the Todd River bed to the Telegraph Station’. Even more fun, Kloeden then ‘made the offensive and stupid decision to harass the Aboriginal people camped in the riverbed’, nearby Schwarz Crescent causeway. They drove towards a group of at least six campers. The campers fled to trees for safety, except for an elderly Aboriginal person, who was too elderly to respond with adequate speed. Kloeden drove within a metre of him, with the intention of terrifying him by narrowly missing him.

Having driven away Kloeden turned the car back to the camp due to a fenced off exit. Kloeden had not yet had enough fun for the night: he drove over the elderly man’s swag as they passed the camp again. One female camper, who saw the young men coming, threw a small log at their car. Some of the men got out of the car and ‘yelled abuse’ at the Aboriginal campers. The form of this abuse was not recorded.

The night, now morning, was not yet over. Kloeden thought there was more fun to be had, so he drove at another Aboriginal camping group. The three Aboriginal people were sleeping. They were woken up by the car speeding towards them, and fled for their lives. Kloeden parked near the campers, and again ‘words were exchanged’. The sort of words exchanged is not yet on the public record.

After this, the group decided to return to the home of Hird and Swain. Fun was still to be had. Once there, the group picked up more alcohol, Hird’s gun and blank ammunition. They drove along and Hird shot his gun, though at one point it jammed. As they approached Schwarz Crescent causeway, they stopped the car so that Hird could fix his gun. Having fixed it, he shot it again. Justice Martin noted that the car was intentionally stopped so that Hird would be able to ‘scare the Aboriginal occupants’ of the first camp they had terrorised previously.

This goal was achieved. As Swain testified to the police, the campers began running, and obviously ‘feared for their lives’, according to the judge’s rendition of Swain. Hird plainly contributed to this by holding the pistol outside the car in the direction of the camp.

An Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, was one of the campers who had been terrorised by Kloeden’s driving in the first instance. He responded this time by throwing a bottle, which hit the side of the car.

Kloeden immediately executed a sudden u-turn. He stopped so close to Ryder that Ryder could grab the bullbar. All four passengers raced out of the car, with Hird the first one out. Without checking the damage to the car, they chased Ryder, who tripped and fell. Confronted with a man ‘lying defenceless and incapable of posing any threat to any of the offenders’, they repeatedly kicked him in the head, and Spears struck his head with a bottle. They told him ‘Don’t fuck with us’.

Swain, who had kicked Ryder in the head twice, noticed he was lying motionless, and that something was plainly wrong. He called out ‘Let’s go’, considering that the most appropriate reaction. They got into the car. Kloeden hadn’t gotten out of the car because he was executing a three-point-turn. Apparently untroubled by what he saw, Kloeden was ‘seen to drive away at a leisurely, normal pace’.

The men proceeded to lie to the police over the course of a week. Swain and Kloeden lied to the police, saying they had gone by themselves to a racecourse and fallen asleep there. Hird lied to the police, saying that he had gone to the casino with Doody and hadn’t seen Swain or Kloeden. Justice Martin did not comment on it, but the matching alibis point to some collusion among the defendants.

Justice Martin noted to the defendants that it was apparent they ‘would inevitably be caught’, which may help explain why Swain offered a full confession within a week. Out of the group of five, Swain was the ‘only person who made a full and frank confession to the police and who gave them every assistance possible’.

Those are the facts. Justice Martin then had the task of interpreting them. He concluded that this ‘crime is toward the lower end of the scale of seriousness for crimes of manslaughter’. Not enough violence was inflicted, and the defendants supposedly could not have foreseen a serious risk of death from their violent attack. Repeatedly kicking someone in the head and hitting him with a bottle and then fleeing when the victim was motionless is apparently not recklessness, but negligence to Justice Martin.

Justice Martin then considered the possible value of inflicting a heavier sentence for deterrence value. He dismissed this too. His grounds for this are particularly striking: the violence ‘arose out of an angry and aggressive reaction to a perceived insult’. Plainly, there could be no value in deterrence with a mere crime of violence perpetrated by intoxicated youths responding to a perceived insult.

What didn’t feature in his discussion of deterrence was what he acknowledged repeatedly was the ‘atmosphere of antagonism towards Aboriginal persons’ manifested by the defendants. Nor was this mentioned as an aggravating feature. Which goes much of the way towards explaining his lenient sentencing: Doody, who did not physically strike Ryder, was sentenced to four years imprisonment to be suspended after 12 months. Hird, Kloeden and Spears were sentenced to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 4 years. Swain had half a year taken off both measures, on account of his confession.

Yet there is one other factor which played a crucial role in Justice Martin’s sentencing, and is arguably the most appalling part of his decision. Justice Martin went out of his way to provide character references for every single defendant. Doody is ‘a person of positive good character’. Hird is a ‘solid, hard-working young man of good character’. Kloeden has an ‘underlying good character’. Spears is a ‘person of very good character’. Swain, like Kloeden, was a ‘person of underlying good character’. These men of good character repeatedly terrorised Aboriginal people for being Aboriginal, before getting a gun to terrorise them further, ending the night by beating a man to death, and then casually driving away without checking if their victim was okay.

Justice Martin’s grounds for these conclusions are astonishing. He notes character references in their favour, proving that many of them have friends and employers who think nice things about them. This hardly balances out what they did. He then scrapes the barrel in special pleading on their behalf, holding, for example, that Spears had never previously ‘come into contact with the criminal law’. Considering he was 18 at the time, this is hardly such an achievement. Hird, Kloeden, and Swain, on the other hand, despite their youth had previously had difficulties with the law. Yet Justice Martin was able to claim that this was ‘totally out of character’ for all of them, and also that they were ‘genuinely sorry’. Presumably he was able to judge their tremendous remorse from how they casually left the scene of the motionless man who soon died from their beating. This too was in their character. Or perhaps their remorse was manifested in the lies they worked on together to tell the cops. Or perhaps he judged their remorse in the fact that four out of five of them didn’t cooperate with the police at all, and the only one did when it was already apparent that they would be caught.

What was missing from Justice Martin’s sentencing remarks, and sentence, was a sense of revulsion at what happened. The five young men engaged in recreational activities that wouldn’t be out of place in a gathering of Klansmen.

This disgusting crime was not just an attack on Ryder. It was an attack on Aboriginal people in Australia. It – and Martin’s judgement – was an attack on our decency as a people. I am appalled as a human being to live in a country where such a terrible crime can take place, where the media and public intellectuals – with the honourable exception of National Indigenous Times Chris Graham, who gave me the judgement on Friday – have reacted with complete indifference. I am horrified as a Jewish person to live in a country where a member of a small, vulnerable minority can be victimised in such a shocking manner, and the perpetrators can still be described as basically good people.

And I am ashamed as an Australian that this is the country I live in.

Cross-posted from Michael Brull.

Update: And a week later (Thursday night, the decision was Friday last week), there have been no op-eds run in any paper. NIT, I’ve been told, will cover it. No one has seen anything significant in the decision. There were a few news stories – none of them describing the facts at the length given here – and I found one blog which discussed it (it’s a blog devoted to casinos). No one has seen fit to analyse the decision, and the media doesn’t care.

Update 2: The first op-ed I’ve found in several weeks to even mention the issue. It says an Aboriginal man ‘was killed’ after five young white men went ‘hooning’. It mentions the white guys kicked and struck the victim whilst he was on the ground. This paragraph is the most that has yet been written by any commentator: no one, as yet, has deplored the judgement. Ms Hudson describes this case as ‘tragic’, not outrageous.

Update 3: Chris Graham writes about the case in the latest NIT (‘Deep South justice in the Red Centre’ May 13 2010). Graham is also very critical of Chief Justice Martin’s comments, but largely takes up different points. Also, I noted in what I wrote that the words ‘exchanged’ between the campers and the five white men were not recorded in the judgement. Graham writes: ‘The words that were “exchanged” are not mentioned in the summation. For the record, it was racial abuse. And for the record, it wasn’t just by Kloeden.’ I urge everyone to read the article (and I also recommend subscribing to NIT, which in my view is just about Australia’s only paper worth reading).

This may be the end of the issue, unless we take it up. So, dear reader, now that you know the facts, what are you going to do about it?

Michael Brull

Michael Brull is a columnist at New Matilda. He’s written for other publications including Fairfax, the Guardian, Crikey, Tracker and the Indigenous Law Bulletin.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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  1. Try this one Anthony, and while you’re about it, let him know that he’s been “aiding and abetting” villains. Let him know publicly with your name attached so he can have the same right of reply. Ring him up, or better send him a letter so your accusations are in writing and a matter of public record. Have the strength of your obviously strong convictions, rather than hide in the anonymity of the internet.

      1. So, who is gonna appeal these charges. Who? Anyone offering to take these assholes to the Supreme Court. Guess not aye, bloody cowards. Bet they on segro!

  2. Reading this makes my own pain trivial. At least I have access to a GP with morphine. What and whom did the six campers in the riverbed have to protect their pain, their lives. Who will do so now – and when?

    1. So sad when i read this…where the people.crawled out from…animals have more empathy than the Chief Justice and those men…shame shame Shame on you ppl.

    1. I’m not sure. I’ve deleted it. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      Just to reiterate: offensive comments and commenters who do not provide an email address will not be published on the site.

    2. When will it stop, a similar case in Katherine not so long ago as well….so glad I left the NT where there are two sets of rules

  3. Personally I think you completely misrepresent the facts. If you were to change the race of the offenders and victim this could be an Andrew Bolt piece. Before people continually express their ‘outrage’ why don’t they read the case in full. I think it’s quite a good judgement. The sentence is proportionate to other manslaughters with similar facts. Judges will often include evidence of good character of the offender in sentencing remarks. Often this is done so that if the sentence is appealed it is clear they took into account all the facts. Right-wing columnists love to jump on this kind of thing, and take cheap shots, just as this ‘left-wing’ columnist has done.
    Please, spare me your outrage in respect to Justice Martin. The facts in this case were tragic and outrageous, but to attempt to use the judgement to draw wider conclusions about Australia or the Australian legal system as you have done here is ridiculous, and tabloid.

    As a person who lives in Alice Springs I can tell you this was a crime which shocked the community. It was not, by the vast majority of residents, considered in any sense normal or acceptable. Clichéd, ignorant and judgemental comments from down south do not help anyone.

    1. I disagree, obviously. Your argument is lacking evidence and examples and your opinions should represent yourself and and not the community of Alice Springs. Unfortunately, taking the opportunity to bad mouth people who disagree with you (with good reason) only negates all the hard work toward justice and equality in Australia. My opinion? Black people are being sentenced to more gaol time and criminal repercussions for lesser crimes than this, so it is blatantly insulting to say that this is a typical case, because unfortunately, it is…

      1. How sad is this an indigenous person gets coldbloodly Murder by these men and they receive very light sentences They should have received Life in prison for what they did Its not as if it was Accidental They deliberately kicked him to death and I cant understand why his family didn’t do everything within their power to get justice for him I believe the case should be re-opened and that those responsible should be made to either Compensate his family or there should be a Re-Trial Its just so Sickening to think that these men were not held accountable by an honest judge for the crimes that were committed no matter that they or some of them had consumed alcohol it still doesn’t give them or anyone else the right to go around taking peoples lives just for kicks or the fun of it no matter what religion or race we all have a right to be here and to be treated fairly

        1. I totally agree with you Bernese this is so unjust. It should be reopened and a much stiffer sentence be given to these men who took another man’s life. Yes and compensation to his family. I don’t care that they are Indigenous folk. I don’t mean I do not have compassion for the way you have all been treated since Federation I just mean it is cold blooded murder by a pack of psychopaths. Who have the idea that as a gang they have some entitlement to render this kind of hell on innocent people just minding their own business. This is totally outrageous. This Justice Martin should be struck off. I wonder if he would feel the same if it were his child that was killed would he defer to the good character of the murderer. I think not. Where is justice for the victim and his family. ????i am very sad and angry. we pay these judges lots of cash to wrought just judgements. AND DETERENTS. Stop messing with our ancient heritage. Our Indigeous folks. Karen Cloherty.

      2. This disgusting crime was not just an attack on Ryder. It was an attack on Aboriginal people in Australia. It – and Martin’s judgement – was an attack on our decency as a people

    2. Wow, so what your saying is change the victim to your grandfather, uncle, brother who got beat to death by 4/5 people after been terrorised over a course of a couple of hours and You would be ok, comfortable with the sentencing???? You are just as racist as judge martin and is what is wrong with white peoples..

    3. I think you are getting “Politics” and “The Law” mixed up… There is no left wing or right wing of The Law… It’s just The Law.. although the right wing & the left wing are constantly tinkering with it to suit their own political gain..

  4. Interesting development: Justice Martin has ‘retired’ (exiting on a racist tirade, basically advocating for the removal of Indigenous children for the next 25 years or so):

    In words laced with anguish and despair, Justice Martin announced his surprise resignation – eight years before compulsory retirement age – admitting that “some of the cases have been rough and demoralising”.

    “You reach a point,” he said, “where you say enough is enough.”

    Justice Martin said jail had become an ineffective means of rehabilitation and that he had become tired of seeing a growing tide of Aboriginal men repeatedly before the courts for violent crimes against women.

    Am I the only one who suspects he was forced out because this case has attracted too much negative attention? Or is that a bit too optimistic?

    1. Jacinda, I am in your camp. When the good justice retired, he cited indiginous DV as the reason for his retirement. I wonder how many white locals have wandered throughhis court.
      Gratitous violence is just that; gratuitous and no different from the one punch murders that we are seeing in our capital cities; why is it that they are getting longer sentences than the nice white guys in the Territory. Truly, racism is no closer to dead than it was a century ago.

      1. Vicki, the only difference between this and one punchers in the city is they are usually full of ice, I am making absolutely no excuse for them you take the drug you pay the consequences of your actions while under their influence. 20 years for mine. These other blokes were on an alcohol fuelled sports trip, there is a pack mentality here and it is very dangerous. The thing is our society needs to put a value on lost life, drugged one punchers, pack sports, domestic violence, killing someone while driving under the influence, these should all receive a 20 year term, no parole, no good behaviour, a straight 20 years. Then every one would know what they were up for if they took a life. The justice system needs to put a value on our lives and follow it through.

        1. Peter is on the right track. You made the most sensible comment … it reflects society in general, it’s fair and unbiased. All crime that leads to death that is accidental still needs to be judged by the circumstances. 10 to 20 years maximum term is a long time for a young idiot who got drugged or drunk and wasn’t in his right mind. Yet people must pay a served time in jail as punishment, as family and friends never stop mourning a loved one; possible outcome could be family is involved in the sentencing decision. All premeditated violent crime of pedophilia, sexual, or physical abuse that leads to death could get life in prison or bring back the death penalty seems fair.

        2. Do you really think these young thugs were only on alcohol, ICE is endemic in Alice Springs and is getting worse. I am an ex army ex nurse and social worker since my early teens. I have seen the many changes over the years both good and bad. The only way to make change is with People United against corruption and lawlessness within the ranks of Governance. Common Law should rule not Corporate law. Corporate law rules for the privelidged, in this case White society therefore createing racism and violence against the Original peoples and common peoples of Australia. The states are breaking Constitutional laws to achieve these outcomes which leaves all magistrates and police officers with liabilities of crimes against humanity.

          1. Ice wasn’t at its peak back then but come on really they are good boys ffffffffft they took a life and should be jailed appropriately for that.

  5. Note how in the Australian article, it says “some Aborigines feel the men should have received longer than the non-parole terms imposed”.

    Martin is actually only 62, so it seems to me this is a pretty young age for a justice to retire. I have no idea if public criticisms of this case has made a difference. It would be very flattering to think so, but he’s been through a much bigger storm before, and right now he’s only had two public critics (and it was largely due to chance – the good favour of Overland, then Deveny, then twitterers – that I broke into ABC, which has a bigger audience).

    That said, his retiring comments say it all. After ruling on this horrendous case, he says how traumatised he is by the terrible things he’s seen… Aboriginal criminals. Obviously he can’t think of any white people who have done any things lately that he has found rough or demoralising.

    And his solution for the high crime rate? Saving Aboriginal children from their families. As Jacinda rightly points out, I think this might have been tried before. And as an important (and also ignored) article in the Australian pointed out last year – it’s still being tried. Ah this country hasn’t changed much since the 50s. or the 1850s for that matter. I’m going to go to a STICS rally and try not to feel too bitter.

  6. That’s a very one eyed view Micheal. He didn’t say that white people haven’t done anything…..that is your interpretation. He did say that it is very depressing and traumatic constantly dealing with the terrible crimes that aboriginal men inflict on their own people, mostly their women. As I have stated in earlier posts, there are a whole raft of reasons for that. What is fact is that there is a much higher rate of violent crime amongst aboriginal people, mainly men, which is why they are over-represented in the legal system.

    Unless you deal with this stuff regularly you are not in a position to make a judgement on someone who has. I have worked in the criminal justice system for a number of years and I work with these men on a daily basis. The majority of them are quiet, respectful men…..many of good character……unfortunately, they got drunk and did terrible things, mostly to family. Many of them get less sentences than the subjects of this blog. Many of them get out of jail and go and do it again, and again. 95% of the time there is alcohol involved. As has been stated about the 5…..that is no excuse…..but it keeps happening.

    Regardless of what you like to write here, it has very little to with racist legal systems, or racist judges and a lot to do with the fact they do these crimes. As has been noted in the ABC blog you have been posting also, by people who know, the sentences handed out were in line with sentences handed out to other people who have committed similar crimes…….regardless of their colour or race.

    Some of the sentiments expressed and absolute hatred I have seen posted in this and the other ABC blog just make me sick. I’m sure everyone who has posted is as pure as the driven snow……not. One of the sad things about the internet is that it allows people to just slag, flame and defame other people with anonymity and impunity…..whether they are in possession of the facts or not. A number of people have posted here…and there….who are in possession of the facts, some of whom were actually at the trial, and because their posts do not support the original poster and the mob rule they are dismissed or worse.

    I realise I’m wasting my time posting here but I can’t let it go without saying my piece.

    1. Diverting attention from the crime and the criminals to victim blaming is despicable. I am shocked at such attitudes but then I am not sure why I should be. After all. This history continues since you arrived on the shores as prisoners of mother England.

      1. Wow Dianne… thats a lower blow…just because we have some bad apples in this beautiful country…we dont throw all of them in one basket

        1. Now cut that out Naffa, you know very well that, that is not what Dianne meant, as that is not what she said. Putting words in someone’s mouth then damning them for what you said, is the real lower blow mate.

  7. Jacinda, you are being optimistic. He retired for the reasons he stated, not because of a few blogs about one of his cases.

    “Justice Martin said jail had become an ineffective means of rehabilitation and that he had become tired of seeing a growing tide of Aboriginal men repeatedly before the courts for violent crimes against women.”

    That is very true, jail is becoming an ineffective means of rehabilitation, sadly for many of them (I have been told this many times by the men themselves) jail life is a good break from some of the conditions on the outside. So what do you do, punish them by sending them home? Let them do terrible things and then let them go back to community….to do it again. With white people it seems that you all expect them to be locked up forever and a day.

    Equal time for equal crime.

    1. And carefully neglected to mention anything about the crimes committed by any white people that he has FAILED to punish with any level of severity while he has been on the bench

  8. These aren’t isolated incidents either. This happens all over Australia. I know… I’m an Indigenous Aussie so I would have more of an insight and would know more than a non aboriginal person. Ever heard of the grapevine and personal experience? I’m just reading some of the comments and believe me its not worth me posting anything because the majority of White Australians share the same views as martin and those white boys and their families. They can always explain things away and my people are always painted in a bad light so they can justify their actions. If you are coloured watch your back if you do come to Australia.

  9. whoops truly didn’t think that my comments would be posted they haven’t on other sites and i was more diplomatic in them. I guess the more i got rejected the more patience i lost and just blurted angry sentiments. Quite a human reaction really. That’s not to say that what i wrote wasn’t true it is but i know that not all non Indigenous Aussies are like that just the majority. That’s what needs to change people like you on this website need to become the majority. You see i have various bloodlines in me including white so i’m quite fair but i am aboriginal always have been always will be as are my children and when we are all painted with the same brush or generalised it really is offensive, disheartening and frustrating and you react to that kind of treatment. Yes the poor man (don’t wish to say his name- cultural reasons)was aboriginal but he was also a son, a brother, an uncle, a person. What sort of person was he? When we hear about things like this all we think is this is just another link in the chain of injustice done to our people. Don’t you see? That chain needs to be broken not added to. The laws that govern Australia are made by whites for whites. Aboriginal history did not have jails for wrongdoers but exile or tribal punishment. Jail is not our way never was. That was a British solution. Why aren’t our ways of justice recognised? I know a lot of the tribal elders have asked for it but it’s been rejected. Now that’s racism. Look up the meaning in the dictionary if you don’t believe me. I can sympathise with BT to a certain point. I worked with the Ministry of Justice as an AVS(Aboriginal Visitors Scheme)officer which came about from the high instances of Aboriginal deaths in custody and its true you see the same ones over and over again that it really is disheartening, frustrating and can seem hopeless. The 2 differences between BT and myself is 1.I know from personal experience and from other Indig Aussies across Oz why and how injustice in your own country can really affect you as a person as a human being. 2.I truly believe that there is good and bad in all regardles of race, nationaly, financial status etc. Cripes there’s even good and bad in families. People are people and should be taken as such. We are all individuals even aboriginal people and maybe if we were all looked at as such then we might be able to move forward a little easier and stop adding to that chain. Racism breeds racism and that’s what white Australians really have to realise. They have the luxury of starting from the time their life existed we don’t we are still dealing with the consequences of the past. Yes racism exists all over the world, I’ve even gotten it from both sides(black and white), but we aren’t talking about the rest of the world we’re talking about our own beautiful country, Australia.

    1. ghoontown girl your so right,people pick on poor,wealthy it never ends honestly,doesent matter weather there good boys or not ,the issue in front was a man died because of them ,and the law is to be charged as so

    2. ghoontown girl-I wish everyone had your clarity of thought and human compassion. Our leaders could do with doses of what you have. Go well.

  10. I have tried to leave comments at other sites such as Crikey, the Stump, Illawarra and Matilda but have been unable to. This is the ONLY site i have had my comments published. Gotta wonder why.

  11. yeah I agree, I try to put my opinions as a young Aboriginal male but they dont get posted, im now taking screen shots to demonstrate my comments are relevant, and add to the debate, dont let it get you down, I have come to the conclusion the key issues dont rest with Aboriginals, I can never be treated equal even though im more.moral and proactive that these aussies flocking to the pub while their children are at home, and thats just 1 example of many, they dont even realise they are the cause of assertive Aboriginal pride, they reinforce my moral understanding of our people by being themselfs, Aboriginals are as beautiful as the land they have been connected to for 60,000 years.

  12. Chief Justice Martin,
    Apologist for white brutality put in charge of the Royal Commission into abuse of Koorie children in juvenile detention. He should be facing the enquiry not heading it! Please read this article, it is a clear example of two systems of justice. Brutality for Blacks and soft and disgustingly apologetic for white criminals.
    I am reminded of a line from a film, ‘A Time to Kill’ about white rapists of a black child. The lawyer asked the jury to close their eyes and listen to a description of the crime and then imagine if the victim had been white. Read the article and imagine if the Koorie victims had been white!
    I sent a message to my local member Jason Wood MP with a link to this article. This Judge is a part of the problem not a solution to it!

  13. I’m an Australian but my place of birth is South Africa.My family & I left SA in 1978 to start a new life away from a place deeply entrenched in segregation/apartheid which I’m thankful to this day,unfortunately we will always have these type of perpetrators inflicting evil acts on people of colour… It’s disgusting & I know it’s only a minority in our society that are racial bigots,it’s extremely sad that it cost an innocent man his life.

    1. well put -its good to see someone who has seen the overt racism comment on this horrible incident to an innocent aboriginal – it proves not all South Africans were supportive of their apartheid system – good luck

  14. None of these matters are finished, judgement is coming for everyone without exception it is a promise prophesied, my best advise is start praying people for mercy and forgiveness, you are about to pay a high price for your crimes Australia everyone of you that have hurt or harmed one hair on any of these my Black People and when that day comes we shall rejoice with gladness that the pain and the sorrow will have been lifted and your doom an unremembered period of shame not worthy of memory !!! SELAH

  15. When i read this i was apalled at the behaviour of these boys and im disscussed that the judge in this case was such a twat sticking up for dickheads such as these 5 morons os showing the younger generation that its ok do what ever you want you’ll b fine its time we as a country started shower these kind of kids that if they do anything any crime against another human then the penalty is going t get tougher we have t stop these pissy sentences and start with hard labour for dickheads that do almost any crime that is against another human being or property harden up judges for all of our sakes or this world wont b worth living in for anyone

  16. You know until we can all get over the way we look compared to another person we are all racist. Stop referring to these men as white or black or Australian or Aboriginal… because if we are all equal, then 5 awful drunken violent men killed 1 defenseless man. That is the end of this story, they need to be sentenced for their gang mentality because if alcohol contributed to their inability to function as human beings, then they deserve to stay out of main stream society for a very long time because they would pose a threat to others one day in the future. The End.

  17. Terrorism continues in this country, perpetrated by the Other in its many guises. Love is missing. Love for one’s brother – one’s sister. May we rejoice in what unites us. Honour our differences. Variety is the spice of life. I watched a documentary in the mid-80s and a Jewish leader stated that Australia was indeed fortunate that Indigenes did not start a civil war – we are culturally a peaceful people. When you remove the purpose of life and decimate (traditional) ‘gender’ roles, a sense of hopelessness and despair replaces purpose. Imagine if profit/money was replaced with service/volunteering – MANY would be lost on this planet. Listen to “Walk a mile in my shoes” by Elvis. What is the value of the person of colour?? Blessings.

  18. Clearly racism still flourishes in Australia – not enough the white man to steal the land from the Aboriginal Peoples but they have to torture them to the point of slaughter as well. Lovely place Australia – NOT. In the news last night about the torture of Aboriginal boys – disgusting.

  19. 1– To bully and terrorise any camper is despicable and irresponsible
    2- To, actually kill an Aboriginal in this case
    3- the “group..of mongrel killers” are in breach of…HUMAN RIGHTS HUMAN RIGHTS” of the Indigenous peoples of Australia

    1. Judge Martin and those 4 should share the same cell and the 5th one because he came clean in helping the investigation…a yr of community service and 10yrs of good behaviour bond.

  20. I have never posted on any site before. I am English but lived 30 years in nz. I was saddened as a young white woman in England by the racism I saw there. I loved what I first felt was a very non racist NZ but learnt that unfortunately it was there but different. This news report and others like it just show man’s inhumanity to man exists everywhere. I’d like to think we will one day get past it but it won’t be in my lifetime. But those of us who see people, not colours, types or disabilities need to stand up and be heard. If we change one person’s prejudices in our lifetime it is at least something. Nobody should die because they are different.

  21. Violence is legalized by calling it sport so children are trained as soon as they are born hence why I hate league and rugby they are taught to box as it’s good cardio but yet rearly do you have non violent players like hens with teeth Australia is full of violence also USA and the main and largest group of perpetrators are police yet they are also train to kill first question later most assaults via this gang is racially induced go figure happy holidays

  22. I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THE ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE judgement or at least read the reasons for judgement of the criticised CJ…..there is a marked difference in saying *…character references that have been tendered by the defence that allege the defendants are of good character…* *against ,*…on the basis of character references tendered by the defence counsels for the defendants,I find that the defendants are persons of good character…*…… is factual and would always be mentioned by any Judge in Australia …while the other is an example of extreme racial prejudice….But then again statements following the undisputed outline of the facts relating to this outrageous behavoir that say *..I*m not saying that all non indigenous Aussies are like THAT ..just the MAJORITY…* that too is extreme racial prejudice..!!.This was plain and simple MURDER in the cases of those who physically assaulted the victim …but,a judge does not decide this, the jury do …But ,on the undisputed facts …Manslaughter,was legally applicaable to ALL those in the car….Mere presence at the scene can constitute abetting and in Tasmania ,
    Section 2 of the Criminal Code Act 1924 says * Any person who aids, abetts ,instigates ,counsels or commands a person to commit a crime is guilty of THAT CRIME.* my considered opinion the judge who is in control of the sentencing process should have given the main players 10 years on the bottom…..I can understand why people are Outraged and cry out for justice….Keep up the good fight …you ARE winning…..but be careful that your justifiable rage is not watered down by loose statements which aren*t the truth although understandible in the circumstances….

  23. ………i can not believe it would be considered minor*…..not so serious. I wonder if this was the other way around,them black fellas being the culprits,and the white boys, the victims. …..ummm i wonder ??? maybe i am missing something..???but then i am not too smart.

  24. This is just criminal that the good justice thought these men were of good character and was a referee for them. Bring them all back to face their charges a d lock them up.

  25. I wonder how many of these cases Martin has resided over against Australia’s First People. I don’t call him CJ because he has not delivered justice for this man, he has delivered a ‘I am a white man and my law is what I say it is sentence, and that is of ‘my good character’ and not the law. He has broken every human rights violation, he has broken constitutional law for not upholding the law. And to retire and make it about Aboriginal people in the criminal system what an absolute joke, he should be hauled in front of the Australian High court outside of the NT to explain why he has watered down their sentencing so that this country’s whole population can see how the NT justice system only benefits those of so called ‘good character’

  26. I felt sick reading your account and totally agree with you. The violence and racism is abhorrent and there is not good character in there. I am sure they are ‘sorry’ they got caught. And alcohol is no excuse. I cannot begin to imaging the terror the aboriginal folk camping would have experienced as they so called “hooned” into their quiet space. it would something out of a nightmare. Trauma plus and i am sure PTSD for all of them. No more peaceful nights camping.

  27. A group of people were harassed by some young guys who were tanked up and looking for trouble, resulting in the brutal death of a person minding his own business. This should be a straight forward case of a joy killing,and the those charged with this crime SHOULD be in jail serving time…….at least 10 to 15 yrs, but they won’t. Its that black and white thing and white wins every time.

  28. As a proud young Aboriginal man this story is worse than appalling and as a previous reader wrote “Chief Justice Martin is worse than the perpetrators themselves” I totally agree. Now it’s time to recognise the problems so what are we “Australia” going to do about this deplorable behaviour that exists within this Australian Federal Government. What sort of Australia do I want to live in?? To be honest myself I am Gen Y and have a very pessimistic view of the outcome of mankind, we as humans build things just to destroy it. But getting back to the purpose of this contact I have very little faith in a “Judicial System” that never recognized my peoples in the first place, I have read Australia’s stance on signing any Treaties for the UN thanks to John Howard another disease that’s just here but I believe we all have our own purposes for being here one of mine is to “Keep the bastards honest” by being outspoken about antagonistic behaviour such as this. I love this country but everywhere I look all I see is bloodstained earth. I would not have expected anything less out of “Chief Justice Martin” or his 5 new buddies or from the so called “Federal Government”. Please people we all live on this planet PEACE

  29. This case dragged on for more then a year considering how it was dealt there’s no evidence to show these men who committed the crime was innocent all facts showed they were acting on personal instincts to cause bodily harm even murder hardly a good character they’re intent was to terrorized harmless defenceless humble people who basically lived off the gutter.And the men who did this were people of a second class their family’s owned businesses in Alice Springs they were we’ll off materially own houses went to luxurious holidays basically grew up with the silver spoon in their mouths. Obliviously their parents did no good to their upbringing taught them nothing about respecting other peoples life.Personally they got what they deserved life for life is what the good old book says life for life isn’t that what the justice system is built on. What a misuse of justice even the judge who handled it was corrupt in my opinion the whole system is corrupted.

  30. So who would or how would one go about getting this judge kicked from his position, say like a partition or something. Would that hold any power?

    It is a gross misconduct of justice, driving a car into groups of people and weilding a firearm should be more than enough grounds to say they threatening their life and committing terrorism. In no way should throwing anything at the car be seen as anything but self defence or at least base human instinct of fight or flight. Its is disgusting that it can be called an insult and therefore justification of why they were only just then provoked into violence. Even if that were true that should still be manslaughter. This is sad day for Australia.

    1. The judge has already retired, apparently ahead of his due time.. This whole case, judgement, evidence, everything should be reopened, along with all other such cases & I’m sure there are many.

  31. Wake up Australia… This is just one town in a large continent.Don’t think this is not happening in many other communities . As it turned out , a man was murdered for retaliating against a,probably regular, harassment by ‘decent young drunks’ with nothing ‘better to do’.Just as long as they are in the company of other decent,often white,young,not always drunk,men of any town,in all corners and the centre of our country . Judges and fellow whites would rather condemn the retaliation rather than the agressors. I write this not to condemn all races of racial discrimination , just the very few that get to face the courts ,then get off because they have not been ‘caught’ before it got to the stage of a death that had to be bought before the judicial system.
    Do no harm to others.Karma will come to us all,good or bad,depending on your acts in Life…

  32. Ever noticed that when white folk commit crimes whilst intoxicated the alcohol or drugs are seen as mitigating circumstances. We hear things like, “not in their right mind” or “their judgment was impaired” or “they acted totally outside of character”. Yet when Aboriginal folk are intoxicated that is seen as a crime in & of itself. Why is that, do you suppose?

  33. disgusted by the details, how come a judge would would be as racist as the criminals who commit the crime, Justice in Australia? not for aborigines, we live still in a society full of red necks and white young males especially who believe their are superior pig heads and full of shit in their heads.

  34. even that idiot judge should be made to pay, as it is in oz, almost all WHITES can do anything and get away with it, a black fulla just has to piss in the street and he’s locked away for a few years, my thoughts go out to his whanau(family)Kia Kaha(Be Strong)

  35. Top blokes, totally out of character: when five ABORIGINAL men beat a WHITE man to death.

    would the judge, use the exact same words, if these were a gang of aboriginal men? would the media, condone this bullshit, and continue to spread these word of these certain white men, that chose to act as they did. how could the these ( white ) MEN take the law into their own hands, and NOT DEALT WITH APPROPRIATELY. WHAT THEY WERE GIVEN IN REGARDS TO BEING SENTENCED, IS JUST BULLSHIT!!.. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING TO THIS AUSTRALIAN JUDICIAL FUCKING SYSTEM.

  36. From what I have just read, a strenuous investigation into justice Martin should be made. Inclusive of every similar trail in which he adjudicated.

  37. As a fair skined Aboriginal I had my honeymoon in NT driving through the national parks. At the end as I returned my car I asked why I had seen so few Aboriginal people working.I was told that they were not hired because they would not work. My reply was “Shurly there are at least some that are like me who are willing to hold down a job.” The reply was plain and simple. “IF I KNEW YOU WERE ABORIGINAL YOU WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THIS CAR”.
    That is racism. A simple case of tieing all with the same brush.

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