Gold Coast Prisoners Treated Like Animals at Southport Watchhouse

IT’S been labelled the Southport “zoo” — where people are kept in “inhumane” conditions with no natural light, beds or privacy for weeks at a time.

The Queensland Law Society and the state’s top civil libertarian have slammed conditions at the Southport Watchhouse which they say has become “a de facto prison” not fit for a dog.

“Everyone in the watch-house is presumed to be innocent awaiting trial and to keep them for 10 days in a place designed to hold people for a few days is one of the greatest scandals across Queensland,” said Queensland Law Society president, Bill Potts. Continue reading Gold Coast Prisoners Treated Like Animals at Southport Watchhouse

Gold Coast Police Brutality: Another Alleged Incident Captured On CCTV

THERE has been an explosion of allegations of police brutality on the Gold Coast, with shocking footage emerging of a recent attack.

The Courier-Mail has obtained disturbing CCTV footage from inside the Surfers Paradise police station which shows a handcuffed Michael Cox, 29, being physically restrained and his head slammed into the tile floor.

The footage shows Mr Cox and watchhouse officer Peter Nummy talking on a bench inside the station. Both men appear relaxed. At no point does Mr Cox lunge at the officer, but moments later the footage shows Officer Nummy twist Mr Cox’s handcuffed wrist backward and slam his head into floor. Continue reading Gold Coast Police Brutality: Another Alleged Incident Captured On CCTV

Former Lead Investigator Cross Examined by Wilson’s Lawyer

Wilson, the former head of criminology at the Gold Coast’s Bond University, returned to court in Brisbane on Thursday for the third day of a committal hearing.

The 73-year-old faces six charges of indecently dealing with two girls under 17 in 1973 and 1976.

The former lead investigator on the case was cross examined by Wilson’s lawyer Bill Potts on Thursday. Continue reading Former Lead Investigator Cross Examined by Wilson’s Lawyer

Christopher Cairns to Fight Tumma Cousins Gold Coast Balcony Death Charge

AAP | May 28, 2012 10:51AM | The AUSTRALIAN

A GOLD Coast man with outlaw motor cycle gang links will “vigorously defend” a charge of murdering a nightclub promoter who plunged 31 floors to his death, his lawyer said today .

Christopher Cairns, 24, from Hope Island, was arrested on Saturday and charged with the murder of Tumma Cousins, 29, earlier this month.

Police will allege Cairns threw Mr Cousins from the balcony of his unit at the Beachcomber Resort in Surfers Paradise on May 11. Continue reading Christopher Cairns to Fight Tumma Cousins Gold Coast Balcony Death Charge

Accused Surfers Paradise shooter granted bail

Amelia Bentley – Brisbane Times | Sydney Morning Herald | Fairfax Media

August 10, 2011 – 2:34PM  – Click here to view the article online.

Shooting victim Hylton Miller, 42 (pictured in the blue shirt) was gunned down in Surfers Paradise.
Shooting victim Hylton Miller, 42 (pictured in the blue shirt) was gunned down in Surfers Paradise. Photo: Channel Ten

The man accused of shooting a father-of-three who was walking with his family in Surfers Paradise last December has been freed on bail.

Rick El Masri, 35, is charged with shooting Hylton Miller, 42, on December 4 last year after he fired a handgun indiscriminately from balcony of an apartment of high rise Circle on Cavill.

Mr Miller had been walking along The Esplanade with his wife, children and friends when he a bullet entered his arm and then penetrated his chest. He spent four months in hospital recovering.

Mr El Masri, a car dealer, was arrested on December 22 and charged with causing grievous bodily harm, two counts of dangerous conduct with a weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Police have alleged Gold Coaster Mr El Masri was firing the illegal weapon at a strip club where he formerly worked, but the bullet hit Mr Miller.

At a bail hearing today in the Brisbane Supreme Court, defence barrister Tony Kimmins argued Mr El Masri had already spent seven and a half months on remand and if refused bail, he could spend more than two years in jail before his case could get to a trial.

Justice Jean Dalton ordered Mr El Masri be released, saying she did not consider him an unacceptable risk to the community.

She ordered his freedom on an $80,000 surety and a condition not to possess any firearms or have contact with two Crown witnesses who allege he was behind Mr Miller’s shooting.

The Crown had opposed his bail, arguing he had been in possession of an illegal firearm which he used to fire dangerously into the air that night.

Prosecutor Andrew Lossberg said Mr El  Masri had a history of domestic violence and a history of making threats in domestic situations, as well as access to weapons.

He said the gun used to shoot Mr Miller has never been found and it was possible Mr El Masri could access it if allowed out of jail.

A false bottom of a drawer in his home was found when police searched his residence, which matched evidence from a witness who claimed that was the spot where Mr El Masri kept the gun, Mr Lossberg said.

Mr El Masri is also accused of firing the same weapon into a garage of a home in Molendinar, on the Gold Coast, on November 6 last year.

Charges were laid against him for that offence after police matched the bullet found in Mr Miller to the bullet fired into the garage.

Outside court Mr El Masri’s solicitor Mark Williams said his client would return to living at his address at Pacific Pines, where he was living before his arrest last year.

Mr El Masri is next due to face court in October for a committal hearing on all charges at Southport Magistrates Court.

Alleged Gold Coast sniper Rick El Masri, charged with shooting Hylton Miller, gets bail

Tony Keim From: The Courier-Mail  | August 10, 2011 11:39AM  | Click here to view the article online.

THE alleged Gold Coast sniper who shot a father while he was walking in Surfers Paradise in December has been granted bail.

Rick El Masri, 35, of Pacific Pines, is charged with shooting father of three Hylton Miller, 43, as he was walking along the Surfers Paradise Esplanade with his family on December 4.

Brisbane Supreme Court judge Jean Dalton granted El Masri conditional bail, including that he post an $80,000 surety, obey a curfew, report to police daily and not possess a firearm.

However, Justice Dalton noted the Crown case against El Masri on a charge of causing Mr Miller grievous bodily harm was a strong one.

“I think there is a strong Crown case (against El Masri) on the grievous bodily harm,” she said during the hearing.

Barrister Tony Kimmins, for El Masri, said his client had been held in custody for seven-and-a-half months and was not scheduled to appear for a committal hearing on one count of GBH and three weapons offences until October.

Mr Kimmins said it was likely his client would not secure a trial before having spent 22 to 26 months in custody.

The Crown opposed the application

Australian Defence Lawyers Alliance Conference

The first annual conference of the Australian Defence Lawyers Alliance ADLA was held successfully last weekend at the Sofitel Broadbeach. This was a gathering of the country’s largest criminal law firms.

Click here to read the article – Gold Coast Bulletin 9 April 2011

Bill Potts Speaks To Courier Mail On Armed Robberies

By Greg Stolz & Jeremy Pierce

If it wasn’t so terrifying for the victims, the long series of Gold Coast crimes could almost be described as monotonous.

Forty-four hold-ups on the Coast so far this year, twenty this month alone. Barely a day seems to go by on the Glitter Strip when someone doesn’t pull a knife, gun, syringe or an iron bar on some hapless shopkeeper, service station attendant, pizza delivery driver or – in the latest robbery, which happened on Thursday – a teenage worker at McDonalds.

With the strip in the grip of what one leading criminal lawyer describes as an amphetamine-addiction epidemic, drugs are seen as the major cause of most of the hold-ups. Continue reading Bill Potts Speaks To Courier Mail On Armed Robberies