Bill Potts Comments On The Patel Case

Amid discussions of whether the Queensland Director of Public Prosecutions will re-try Dr Jayant Patel for manslaughter and grievous bodily harm charges, there are also families of victims awaiting the chance for fraud charges to be proceeded regarding his appointment to Bundaberg Hospital.

Bill Potts comments on whether the DPP should re-try Dr Patel. Continue reading Bill Potts Comments On The Patel Case

Shooting accused argues self-defence

Leah Fineran   |  July 13th, 2011

A GILSTON father-of-three charged with shooting dead a man outside his house has been granted bail after aruging he acted in self-defence during a violent home invasion.

Lawyer Bill Potts said Kane Ronald Cook was the true victim and had wrestled a 9mm Luger from a balaclava-clad robber before shooting him in the leg.

FOR MORE ON THIS STORY, SEE TOMORROW’S GOLD COAST BULLETIN

Police allegedly found the shot man lying dead in the street with a 50 metre trail of blood behind him.

Cook, 29, faces one charge of manslaughter over the shooting death in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Glenn Whittle opposed bail but Mr Potts said Cook had strong case for self-defence.

“He is the victim here,” he said.

Magistrate Catherine Pirie granted bail after noting the serious charge would likely eventuate in a trial some time in the future.

He was granted bail under conditions that he continue to live at his home of 10 years, report to police once a week, not apply for a passport or approach international departure points and not have any communication with neighbour witnesses except through his lawyers.

Cook’s case was adjourned for mention on August 24.

A friend of the dead man this afternoon told reporters he was “good bloke”.

“I can’t really say too much, my friend is lying in the morgue,” he said.

“I am not even sure if his family knows yet.”


Man accused of shooting death of man who allegedly broke into his home on Gold Coast is granted bail

Click here to read the article online – Courier Mail

A MAN accused of shooting dead a home invader during a desperate struggle has been granted bail in Southport Magistrate’s Court.

Kane Ronald Cook, 29, faces one charge of manslaughter over the shooting death of one of a group of four men who allegedly ambushed him in his family home at Gilston in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The injured man fled but collapsed and bled to death in the street where Mr Cook lives.

Police prosecutors opposed bail, but defence lawyer Bill Potts said Mr Cook had acted in self defence.

“He is the victim here,” he told the court.

He said Mr Cook had simply been trying to defend “his home, his castle” but had now been lumbered with a manslaughter charge.

“What kind of world is it we live in when a person who defends his own home from invasion can be opposed bail and then charged?” Mr Potts told the court.

Police told the court Mr Cook should not be granted bail, but the magistrate decided to free him, on the condition he report to police once a week.

The case was adjourned until August 24.


Man who shot Gold Coast home intruder is the ‘real victim’

MANSLAUGHTER CHARGE: Police at the scene yesterday following the fatal shooting of an intruder. Pictures: Inga Williams Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

MANSLAUGHTER: Police said the man came home to find three men inside.

  • Court told shooting an act of self defence
  • Man shot with his own WWII Luger pistol
  • Intruder had made map of man’s home

A GOLD Coast man who shot and killed an armed intruder did nothing wrong and was simply defending “his home, his castle”, a court has been told.

Kane Robert Cook, 29, faced court today charged with manslaughter after he shot one of four intruders he said were in his house when he returned home at about 1.40am yesterday.

The fatally wounded man lurched out into the street and bled to death in a gutter 50m away from Cook’s home at Gilston.

Mr Cook’s lawyer Bill Potts told the Southport Magistrates Court it was staggering that a man who’d simply defended himself against intruders was now facing a criminal charge.

“Under the law a man is allowed to use lethal force against a person who is demonstrably armed with a weapon and prepared to use lethal force against him,” Mr Potts told the court.

“Does a man have to be killed or bashed to pieces to justify killing an armed robber in his own home?”

Mr Potts said his client had returned home to find four intruders lying in wait for him inside his house.

Mr Cook struggled with one man, who had a gun and was wearing a balaclava, and managed to grab the weapon and shoot the intruder in the upper leg, Mr Potts told the court.

Police prosecutor Glenn Whittle said the wounded man ran up the street towards a car parked nearby and bled to death before he could reach it.

Inside the car, which was registered to an address at Benowa on the Gold Coast where the dead man had been staying, police found a jewellery box carrying the name of Mr Cook’s partner, a black balaclava, a homemade club and amphetamines.

When police later searched the Benowa home they found a hand-drawn “mud map” of Mr Cook’s house with his name on it.

Sergeant Whittle confirmed there’d been a struggle inside Mr Cook’s house before the shooting, with the dead man shot with a World War II Luger 9mm pistol.

Mr Cook had it in his hand when he went to his neighbour’s home and told them: “Call police, call ambos, I shot someone”, Sgt Whittle told the court.

He said after putting the gun down Mr Cook was allowed inside to call triple zero and told the operator he’d shot someone and had been robbed.

When police arrived, they found a pool of blood outside the house.

They followed the blood trail up the street and found the man’s body in the gutter, Sgt Whittle said.

Police told the court Mr Cook should not be granted bail, but magistrate Catherine Pirie decided to free him, on the condition he report to police once a week.

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No jail time over senseless death

Emmaline Stigwood   |  June 22nd, 2011

Mark Leslie Fitzgerald and Bill Potts
Elanora graphic designer Mark Leslie Fitzgerald (left) and solicitor Bill Potts. Pic: Philip Norrish.

ONE of the witnesses said it himself — put testosterone, alcohol and the early hours of the morning together and nothing good was ever going to come of it.

A jury yesterday acquitted Elanora graphic designer Mark Leslie Fitzgerald of manslaughter, but it came after years of “hell” for all involved with a group of young, drunk men who got into a fight outside the Big Chief burger shop at Coolangatta on Father’s Day, 2009.

Fitzgerald, 23, pleaded not guilty to unlawfully killing Andrew Houlahan, of Pottsville, by punching him in the head during a fight in Griffith St about 2.30am on September 6.

What sparked it seemed to come down to a spray of verbal insults traded inside the burger shop as Mr Houlahan, 23, and his two friends passed Fitzgerald and his mates.

All had been drinking for hours.

Some witnesses said it started with Mr Houlahan’s friends calling Fitzgerald’s group “faggots” and “emos” for the way they dressed in tighter pants.

Before long one of Fitzgerald’s mates threw a punch at one of Mr Houlahan’s friends and a messy group fight flared.

Lawyers for Fitzgerald raised self-defence and accident, telling the jury in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to look at the CCTV footage of the “dynamic” brawl that ended when Mr Houlahan slumped to the ground and never got back up.

Mr Houlahan died from irreparable brain injuries in hospital later that day as his family made the decision to turn off life support.

During the trial the Crown argued Fitzgerald had no need to punch Mr Houlahan and a reasonable person would have foreseen that his actions could have ended in death.

The jurors were told to ignore the One Punch Can Kill campaign, and instead focus on the facts.

They returned a not guilty verdict. Outside court defence solicitor Bill Potts said Fitzgerald wanted the case to be a lesson to others.

“Can I simply say this, there are no winners,” Mr Potts said.

“Mr Fitzgerald is, ah, pleased, but at the same time he is very concerned that a lesson be learnt and a message be sent and that is that one punch can kill and one simple moment of stupidity can lead to a lifetime of regret.”

For the full story see page 6 of today’s Gold Coast Bulletin.

Victim’s Mother Forgives Killer Bouncers

Emmaline Stigwood   |  June 10th, 2010 | Gold Coast Bulletin

Tira Tararo (mother of the victim) and Stewart Kaiaruna (uncle of victim) outside court yesterday.

SUNDAY nights at Fishos were known for their live music, lax dress codes and good times — until a man died on the boardwalk out the front.

Fisherman’s Wharf Tavern hosted big crowds and steel fixer Terii Tararo ended up there on May 18, 2008, with three mates and about 1000 other people out for a drink. Continue reading Victim’s Mother Forgives Killer Bouncers