And this is one of them. Both Minister Carl Scully and Opposition Leader Debnam (he still is, isn’t he?) are having another populist hairy-chest show over the sentence handed down yesterday on the 18-year-old who was one of the triggers (but not the cause) of the Cronulla riots a year ago. The magistrate said what needed to be said, in my view; see Cronulla fighter betrayed our safe haven: magistrate.
In Sutherland Local Court the magistrate, Jacqueline Trad, told Osman: “By your conduct you have turned your back on your family, your culture and your real country, all for the sake of some juvenile, impulsive and misplaced allegiance.”
She said the instigators of the “mindless violence” against the lifesavers could not have predicted it would become the “catalyst for the riots that victimised and traumatised an entire community”.
“It was just a stupid fight started by stupid people, not a deliberate strategy to bring about large-scale racial violence.”
She convicted Osman, who had no previous conviction, of affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The court had heard he was part of a group and did not knock out the lifesaver.
Osman was the only person charged over the fight, which was followed by racial riots and attacks in the following weeks.
“It would be appropriate that you undertake some work in the community that … I think satisfies the purposes of punishment of the offences, but also allows you to re-engage to demonstrate that you have a commitment to the community,” Ms Trad said.
“Over the last 100 years or so ancestors of many citizens, mine included, came to this country seeking refuge from hatred, intolerance [and] violence.”
She added: “Mr Osman, this sort of behaviour not only showed disrespect for the community that has provided you and your family a home, a livelihood, a future, but showed an insensitivity and disregard for the choices and self-sacrifice that was made for you, so that you could have a good life.”
Not good enough for Scully and Debnam, who have proceeded to whip up forces potentially at least as damaging as the riots themselves, by further undermining the independence of the judiciary.