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Headstone Vandals Walk Free...

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Following on from this article,  Queensland Police will now push for a change in the law after four people accused of vandalising graves at Toowong Cemetery walked free without facing a jury.  The four accused walked away from Brisbane Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, largely because it could not be proven the defendants did not have permission to damage headstones.

And last night, a spokesman for Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan confirmed he had launched a review into the decision.

 

A Brisbane magistrate has dismissed charges against four people accused of the 'Satanic' vandalism of graves at Toowong Cemetery last year, in part because it could not be proven the group did not have permission to do so.

Zoe Louise Wilson, 24, Benjamin Lionel Garland, 19, Shane Alan Bell and Michael John Smallbon, both 27, walked free from Brisbane Magistrates Court this afternoon following the decision.

The foursome had been charged with the wilful damage of 82 graves at the historic cemetery in August last year.

The court heard one of the group bragged about inverting crucifixes at the cemetery because it "had meaning to Satanists".

But following evidence from several witnesses at a committal hearing yesterday, lawyers for the four accused today argued their clients had no case to answer.

Lawyers Jann Taylor, for Ms Wilson and Mr Bell, and Debra Wardle, for Mr Smallbon, told the court the element of unlawfulness could not be proved by the Crown.

This was largely because no one could be certain the defendants did not have permission to damage headstones, because police had not contacted the owners of the plots.

Sources:  'Satanic' charges dismissed           
                  Review launched into 'Satanic' dismissal

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