The Long Trial Begins
My defamation trial commenced on Monday, 26 August 2021. The weeks leading up to the trail were quite stressful. I could no longer push the matter to the back of my mind. I had to prepare for court.
When together with my support worker I entered the Cairns courthouse, we were greeted by the bailiff, who announced our Judge, Dean Morzone. He was a relatively young judge, looking to be in his late 40s. Distinguished and attractive, Morzone, could best described as resembling a young Robert De Niro.
I was not impressed when Hallam’s Solicitor (Mark Williams) and Barrister (Mr Amerena) entered the court room with volumes and volumes of documents and binders. It just seems such a case of overkill. The LGAQ representing Queensland Mayors was mounting a multimillion-dollar case against me. This was a case, if ever there was one, of using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut.
Judge Morzone did not seem impressed either. His first actions were to forcefully reprimand Amerena for his conduct at the start of the day. Apparently, he had spoken in a rude manner to the young Bailiff. Indeed, Morzone was that upset at Hallam’s barrister, he took the unusual step shortly after commencement of standing to reduce himself until he calmed down.
This was much to my amusement and I was quietly punching the air. I wanted nothing more than to say to Williams and Amerena, ‘Yeah buddy who do you think you are coming into my town and bullying the locals. If you don’t start behaving, we will kick your butt.’ Of course, I didn’t.
From the 26th the trial continued for three weeks straight. I was incredibly surprised to find myself enjoying the process. It was interesting to experience how being in a court room is similar to, and in some ways very different from, what one sees on television.
At this stage I have three support workers helping me at various times during the week. They ranged in age from 38 to 52. They found themselves interested and enjoying the process as well. Not the least of their enjoyment came from the demeanour of Judge Morzone.
I was amused to har of their admiration of the judge and witness them take a greater interest in their presentation appearance the trial. It seemed to me they had a distinct fondness for Judge Morzone, whose authority was matched by compassion and tolerance.
Council Mayors the Real Enemy
Hallam pursued the line that his action litigation was all about personal attacks on him and damage done to him personally. However, it was clear to me he was simply the name behind the defamation claim. The action was to support Queensland mayors and the LGAQ to reduce criticism and silence whistle-blowers. Hallam had acknowledged this. It was revealed in Court he said to his doctor, “I put my hand up to say Pyne is a grub”.
My hatred for Hallam dissipated during the trial. After all it was not him driving be litigation, he had simply ‘put his hand up’, to do the bidding of those with more influence and power than him. The trial also heard of his mental health issues as well as his poor state of his general health and many other embarrassing revelations about his life that I will not re-state. I almost felt sorry for him, but not quite. Not after what he put myself and my family through.
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