GAY, LESBIAN, TRANSGENDER, HIV/AIDS HATE CRIMES

CHAPTER 5

2011 to 2020

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2011

9 JUNE 2011

Report in The SMH 9 June 2011:

Gay housemate killed after advance: court

By Daniel Fogarty
June 9, 2011
AAP

A Melbourne man who was angry at being propositioned by his gay housemate assaulted him with a platypus statue during a fatal fight, a court has heard.

Aaron James Johnstone, 29, "lost it" after his drunk and naked housemate Phillip Higgins propositioned him in September 2006.

Johnstone told police he assaulted Mr Higgins before dropping the platypus statue on him.

Johnstone has pleaded not guilty to murder and is facing trial in the Victorian Supreme Court.

In his opening address to the jury, prosecutor Mark Rochford SC said an office chair was also used in the alleged murder.

He said Johnstone carried out a sustained attack on 46-year-old Mr Higgins.

Mr Higgins, who was openly gay, was found lying dead on the floor of their Seaford home with a pair of underpants beside him.

There was blood beside his body and on the office chair, Mr Rochford said.

Also nearby was the 8kg platypus statue, he said.

Mr Higgins suffered numerous injuries including a fractured bone in the neck, and abrasions and lacerations to the head, Mr Rochford said.

A post-mortem showed he had a blood alcohol concentration of .32.

Mr Rochford said in Johnstone's record of interview he told police Mr Higgins had come out of the bedroom and said he would like to have oral sex with him.

At that point Johnstone told police he lost it, hitting and kicking Mr Higgins.

He said he then dropped the statue on Mr Higgins.

Johnstone intended to kill or cause really serious injury to Mr Higgins, Mr Rochford said.

Johnstone's barrister, John Desmond, said while he did not dispute his client's actions caused the death of Mr Higgins, he did not intend to kill him.

"The evidence will show that Higgins propositioned Johnstone in his drunken state," Mr Desmond said.

It was not the first time Johnstone had been propositioned by a drunken Mr Higgins, he said.

Mr Desmond urged the jury to look closely at the evidence about the platypus.

The trial before Justice Robert Osborn continues on Friday.

23 JUNE 2011

(From what’s on Tianjin)

Oz man Aaron Johnstone kills gay housemate Phillip Higgins with platypus statue

Updated: 23 Jun 2011

A Melbourne man who fatally bashed his gay housemate with a platypus statue during a fight has been found guilty of murder.

Aaron James Johnstone, 29, "lost it" after his drunk and naked housemate Phillip Higgins propositioned him in September 2006.

Johnstone told police he assaulted Mr Higgins before dropping the eight-kilogram platypus statue on him.

Johnstone had pleaded not guilty to murder in the Victorian Supreme Court but a jury took less than a day to find him guilty.

In his opening address to the jury, prosecutor Mark Rochford, SC, said Johnstone carried out a sustained attack on 46-year-old Mr Higgins.

Mr Higgins, who was openly gay, was found lying dead on the floor of their Seaford home with a pair of underpants beside him.

Johnstone's barrister, John Desmond, said in his opening address that while he did not dispute that his client's actions caused the death of Mr Higgins, he did not intend to kill him.

Johnstone, formerly of Seaford, closed his eyes and shook his head slightly as the verdict was delivered.

He will face a pre-sentence hearing next Tuesday.

20 OCTOBER 2011

Report in The Southern Star Observer:

Hate crime sentence to be appealed

Posted on 20 October 2011

Victoria Police may appeal a three-month suspended sentence handed to a Melbourne man for his part in a violent gay bashing on Sydney Rd last year.

The man, Billal Ali, was also fined $1500 and placed on a 12-month community-based order for the brutal attack which left a gay couple with bruising, cuts and one victim with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The incident occurred at 9.30pm on Christmas night 2010 when Ali and his cousin Houssain El Halabi, from a car, approached the two men who were holding hands.

Ali and El Halabi hurled homophobic abuse at the couple and Ali threw a bottle at the head of one of the victims before the two offenders set upon the pair, chasing them down and viciously kicking and punching them.

Two of Ali’s brothers, Haydar and Barry, later arrived at the scene and joined in the attack. The three Ali brothers were sentenced in the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court on Monday. Haydar Ali received a 12-month community-based order and was fined $1500 for his part in the attack.

Barry Ali was fined $1500.

In 2009 Victorian sentencing laws were amended to require judges to take into account crime motivated by hate or prejudice when handing down a sentence.

Magistrate Peter Mellas told the court he was satisfied, given the evidence, the victims had come to Billal Ali’s attention because of their sexual orientation.

However, in sentencing Haydar and Barry Ali, Mellas said he could not prove beyond reasonable doubt the pair were specifically motivated by prejudice in the attack.

Mellas rejected Billal Ali’s use of steroids, said to have given him ‘roid rage’, as an excuse for the attack.

El Halabi did not show up at the court for sentencing and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Victoria Police prosecutor Danielle Pastoors said an appeal will be lodged with the Office of Police Prosecutions (OPP) in the coming days to challenge the leniency of the sentence in line with changes to Victoria’s hate-crime sentencing laws.

Victoria Police launched its first-ever strategy to combat prejudice-motivated crime earlier this year to train police to better respond to hate-motivated crime.

The case is thought to be one of the first to test the state’s new sentencing laws on homophobic-motivated crime.

Anti-Violence Project Victoria convenor Greg Adkins told the Star Observer the outcome of the case does not clearly demonstrate that changes to sentencing laws are having an effect.

“It may take this case moving to a higher court before the gay and lesbian community can see the evidence that the prejudice motivation provision in sentencing is truly in operation,” he said.

HOMOPHOBIA PART 1
HOMOPHOBIA PART 1a
HOMOPHOBIA PART 2
HOMOPHOBIA PART 3
HOMOPHOBIA PART 4a - LESBIAN AND GAY SOLIDARITY MULTIMEDIA PAGES WITH FORUM AT UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN SYDNEY ON ISLAM AND HOMOSEXUALITY
HOMOPHOBIA PART 4b
HOMOPHOBIA PART 4c
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5a - Same Sex Marriage Issues
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5b - Same Sex Marriage Issues
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5c - Same Sex Marriage Issues
HOMOPHOBIA PART 5d - Same Sex Marriage Issues
HOMOPHOBIA PART 6
HOMOPHOBIA PART 6a GLTH SUICIDE PART 1
HOMOPHOBIA PART 6b GLTH SUICIDE PART 2
HOMOPHOBIA PART 7
HOMOPHOBIA PART 8
HOMOPHOBIA PART 9
HOMOPHOBIA PART 10
HOMOPHOBIA PART 11
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - PREFACE
Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Hate Crimes - INTRODUCTION
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 1 - AUSTRALIAN 1971-1980
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 2 - AUSTRALIAN 1981-1990
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 3 - AUSTRALIAN 1991-2000
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - CHAPTER 4 - AUSTRALIAN 2001-2010
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part 1 - A to I
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part 2 - J to S
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV Hate Crimes - INTERNATIONAL - Part 3 - T to Z

GAY AND LESBIAN HATE CRIMES - BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RECOMMENDED READING LIST



FURTHER RECOMMENDED READINGS

LESBIAN & GAY SOLIDARITY PAGE


Mannie & Kendall Present: LESBIAN AND GAY SOLIDARITY ACTIVISMS
Mannie De Saxe also has a personal web site, which may be found by clicking on the link: RED JOS HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM

Mannie's blogs may be accessed by clicking on to the following links:

MannieBlog (from 1 August 2003 to 31 December 2005)

Activist Kicks Backs - Blognow archive re-housed - 2005-2009

RED JOS BLOGSPOT (from January 2009 onwards)





This page created on 26 APRIL 2012 and updated on 9 NOVEMBER 2016

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