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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chris Hurley has been found not guilty. Slightly old report before the news below:

Jury retires in Hurley trial

THE jury hearing the trial of police officer Chris Hurley - charged over a death in custody on Palm island - has retired to consider its verdict.

In his closing instructions to the jury, Justice Peter Dutney urged the panel to judge the case against Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley on its own merits and consider their verdict carefully.

Snr Sgt Hurley has pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

Justice Dutney told the Townsville Supreme Court jury: "This trial is not concerned with police in general, it is not concerned with the riots which occurred after Mulrunji's death was published."

Yesterday, Special Prosecutor Peter Davis, in his closing address, said Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley had admitted killing Cameron Doomadgee, now known as Mulrunji, after a violent struggle that led to a fall in the doorway of the police station.

Mr Davis told the jury it was up to them to decide if the lethal blow was "deliberate or accidental". "He told a lie," Mr Davis said.

"We know the accused has had time to stand up, pull Mulrunji out of the doorway, and, the Crown says, drop his knee into him.

"We are not trying to rebuild ancient Rome, it is simply as he gets up, he has lost his temper and bang."

Hurley, who has pleaded not guilty to unlawful assault and unlawfully killing Mulrunji, clearly did not intend to kill him, Mr Davis said.

"We don't say he intended to cleave his liver across his spine, probably all he intended to do was wind him and disable him temporarily and put him in the cell."

Mulrunji, who was arrested for swearing, died from massive internal bleeding due to his liver being virtually split in half and his portal vein ruptured by the compressive force, most likely a knee, less than an hour after being taken into custody on the morning of November 19, 2004.

His death sparked riots on the island and led to locals burning down the police station, watch house and barracks.

Mr Davis ridiculed Hurley's claims he was mistaken in his evidence to investigators and the whole incident was a grey area.

"He can't help you with the booming question of this case: How could he so badly injure this indigenous man without noticing?

"What he said was a part of a body must have touched him, well, that must be an understatement when you look at the medical evidence."

Defence barrister Bob Mulholland, QC, told the jury the death was a tragedy and to convict Hurley would be "a double-tragedy".

"Mr Hurley will never forget that he was the accidental instrument of another man dying, that is the cross he will carry for the rest of his life despite what happens here."

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41,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Palm Island officer not guilty
Cosima Marriner | June 20, 2007 - 3:00PM

A Queensland police officer charged after a Palm Island died in his custory has been found not guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of assault.

A Townsville Supreme Court jury handed down its verdict today.

Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley pleaded not guilty to one count each of manslaughter and assault over Mulrunji Doomadgee's death at the Palm Island watchhouse on November 19, 2004.

The death triggered riots on the island.

Last week, the trial heard Mr Doomadgee had died of internal bleeding after his liver was cleaved in two across his spine and his portal vein burst.

The injuries resulted from the application of what was described to the court as moderate to massive force.

Earlier today, in closing instructions, Justice Peter Dutney urged the 12-member jury to weigh the case against Hurley on its own merits and to dismiss all feelings of prejudice and sympathy.

"This trial is not concerned with the police. It is not concerned with any riots that took place," he said. "It is not concerned with any other indigenous issue or death in custody.''

The judge told the jury they must decide whether that force "was intentional or unintentional'' by Hurley.

Medical experts testified that the injuries could have occurred as a result of Hurley falling on top of Mr Doomadgee with his knee protruding as they tripped through the doorway of the watchhouse.

Alternatively, the court was told the officer could have intentionally performed a "knee-drop" immediately after the incident.

Justice Dutney said the jury must decide whether or not the injuries had occurred before or after the fall, and whether or not Hurley had lied in his accounts of the incident.

Hurley initially told investigating police he fell beside Mr Doomadgee.

But in testimony to the court last week the policeman conceded he "must have" landed on top of Mr Doomadgee.

Justice Dutney said if the jury decided Hurley intentionally injured Mr Doomadgee they needed to decide whether "a reasonable person" would have considered his actions could result in the 36-year-old Aboriginal man's death.

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41,147 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm a little annoyed with the reaction. Some Aboriginal leaders (don't know which ones) are calling for people who offend aboriginal law to be trialed under aboriginal law.

There just wasn't enough evidence as it was all hear say. I am not surprised he was not guilty.
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