Below is a verbatim transcript of the court proceedings on 28th July 1999 in which the lawyers for the man facing 50 child sex charges raise the allegation that he had been named on the Internet:

Mr MacGroarty (lawyer for man facing 50 child sex charges): Good morning your worship.

Bench: Good morning.

Mac: Your Worship, thank you for waiting for us. A matter of some considerable concern has occurred. Some time yesterday it was published on the Internet the name of the defendant. Now that's - it would be my submission, Your Worship, that that's an offence against the sexual law - criminal law, Sexual Offences Act of 1978, section 7, strictly prohibits publication of the name or particulars of a defendant in relation to a prescribed offence, and there is a prescribed offence before Your Worship here.

It's designed - a 20 year old law, Your Worship, designed to protect the victim and the defendant, and it seems to me it's been breached by the publication of his name in relation to these charges on the Internet yesterday. I understand I don't have positive proof, but it's my instruction it's a publication to do with the One Nation party. But however that may be, the publisher is clearly in breach of the law.

Now, Your Worship, that's a matter for the Attorney-General, not yourself. It may be a matter that Your Worship may wish to consider as to whether it constitutes a contempt of your Court, but that's a matter for Your Worship. Suffice to say, Your Worship, we propose on behalf of the defendant, to contact the Attorney-General and ask him to take injunctive action to ensure that this does not happen again. To enforce the law that was clearly laid down 20 years ago, or 21 years ago, to protect victims and defendants in relation to prescribed offences which is the case here.

Now, Your Worship, I would simply ask that Your Worship - it's a matter for Your Worship whether you want to take any action, but at the very least I would submit that Your Worship would direct the members of the press that the defendant's name is not to be published under any circumstances for the remainder of this hearing in this Court.

Bench: Well, it hasn't been so far, but I certainly.....

Mac: Well, except on the Internet. I'm not talking....

Bench: .... understood that.

Mac: ... about these members of the press. I don't know if there's anyone here from the publisher who did publish it on the Internet, but I appreciate Your Worship giving that - or reinforcing that direction.

Bench: Mr Bullock, did you...

Mr Bullock: Yes, just very briefly, Your Worship. This matter is a possible breach of the Act as my friend has said. In relation to the publisher, there's just one thing I'd like to mention. That at five to nine this morning, a Mr Scott Balson, B-A-L-S-O-N, telephoned me and said he was the publisher of the newspaper that had published this article. And I told him that I didn't want to discuss the details of the matter, and I asked him to be in Court here at 10 o'clock this morning in case something arose. I don't think he is here. It doesn't appear that it's necessary to be here anyway.

But as far as this action is concerned, in my submission Your Worship has done all that Your Worship can do, just ask the press again not to do it.

Bench: Yes, I don't think it's really contempt of this Court.

Mr Bullock: No, I don't think Your Worship has powers of contempt inside this Court.

Bench: No. It might be in the Supreme Court, but....

Mr Bullock: Yes, I think the Supreme Court could do it, and also it's an offence under - a possible offence under the Act. And the Attorney-General has asked Mr Miller QC, the director, to look into the matter.

Bench: Very good.

Related links:

Return to the Courier-Mail response to the allegation that their complaint prompted the arrest of Balson