Politician criticised

MARK Spagnolo thinks Steve Cansdell should stick to politics and stop trying to run the judicial system.

The Maclean based solicitor, who advised barristers representing Craig and Dylan McNeill in the Yamba riot trial, said Mr Cansdell’s comments about the trial were ill informed.

“It seems Mr Cansdell’s comments about the Yamba riot trial were purely political and ill informed,” he said.

“As far as I am aware Mr Cansdell was not present in court during any of the six weeks of hearing.”

Since a not guilty verdict for all 10 adults accused of their involvement in the Yamba riot was handed down by Magistrate John Andrews on Monday, Mr Cansdell had voiced his disgust to the media.

Rather than make comment on a trial he had little knowledge about, Mr Spagnolo said Mr Cansdell should seek answers through political channels as to how the verdict came to be delivered by Mr Andrews.

“Mr Cansdell would serve the community better as our elected representative by seeking answers from the police minister and the commissioner about the proper training of officers in the field,” he said.

Mr Spagnolo admitted it was true that a police car was burned and it was bad for our community.

“But the law requires that guilt must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

“Surely we do not want to have a society where police, who have not been honest in the witness box or in the fulfilment of their duty, are applauded rather than investigated.

“My view is that if society authorises you to carry a gun, a taser, capsicum spray and possess the power to arrest and detain citizens that they as police must act with the utmost honesty and integrity.”

Defence solicitor for Glen Ayres, Joe Fahey echoed Mr Spagnolo’s comments.

“It appears that politicians and would be politicians put their two bob’s worth into matters they have little understanding of and little knowledge of,” he said.

A letter from Bob Thompson, the defence solicitor for another of the accused rioters, Jesse Marsden, concerning Mr Cansdell’s comments is printed on page 10 today.

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