The Verdict

20th March 2000

I could see that it was going to be another perfect Queensland day when I rose early at 4.30am to prepare the on-line @notd. I stood outside the front of my home and took a photograph of the full moon setting behind some clouds with my digital camera... it was such a tranquil setting...

By 8.30am I was ready to leave and face Magistrate Donna McCallum, the moment had at last arrived.

Image right: Leaving Court after the decision.

Outside the Courthouse I met Jeremy Lee and his sister Nancy and Dan O'Donnell. We chatted briefly before going up to the first floor and sitting outside Courtroom 3 where McCallum would make her final ruling.

Although I hadn't let on to my supporters I was extremely nervous. This was where the Rubicon would be crossed. I felt this enormous pressure rising in my head... I had to take deep breaths and close my eyes to force myself to relax. This is what I had waited so long for. To clear my name of this ridiculous charge inspired by The Courier-Mail.

Melanie Wendt from Channel 9 greeted me as we sat there. It was a different world here in the Court where cameras were not allowed. Here, without the cameras, we were all equals.

It was only at 9.35am that my name was called and I entered Courtroom 3 followed by my supporters, Wendt and other members of the media. Magistrate Donna McCallum smiled warmly at me as I entered, feeling re-assured I sat down and waited as the police prosecutor Ian Wright took his seat alongside me.

For the next hour McCallum spoke at length about the evidence tendered, the unusual nature of the Court case and the lack of direct evidence implicating me as the author of the article and the issue of jurisdiction.

Then, at 10.32am she summed up her argument with the simple statement "I find the defendant, NOT GUILTY!".

It took some minutes for the decision to sink in. While the media left the Court I walked up to Ian Wright and shook his hand.

Outside the Courtroom I met Jeremy Lee who confided in me, "I didn't want to say anything before the Court case but I thought that you were a gonner..."

"No Jeremy," I replied, "justice has prevailed in this case and it is the men and women on the coal face of the judiciary who have brought events back into balance. Thank God for them!"

Statement to the media:

When I left I made a short statement to the assembled media,

"I feel no joy in this victory.

"I feel an immense burden of sadness that the Australian way of life has fallen victim to powerful forces within the Labor government, the public administration and the media who use their collective influence to strangle the values that once made us proud to be Australian.

"The real heroes are the men and women in the police force, the Magistrates Court in Ipswich and the police prosecutor Ian Wright. These are the people with integrity who are scrutinised day after day by those who have the most to answer for.

"Wake up Australia, for God's sake, wake up."

Just one of many, many email received:


Hi Scott,

I was pleased to hear that the case against you was dismissed.

I suggest that they (the police, parliamentary and public sector parasites) knew that they had no case against you, but just persisted to gain for themselves the sense that they have been able to maltreat you.

Of course, it also served the purpose for distracting attention from Darcy and his alleged crimes.

Once again, all the best.


Russell G H Mathews

See the Court Case - March 8th