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You and I would never be so lucky
He’s a lucky man Heath Scotland, the Carlton footballer.
We are all supposedly equal before the law. Perhaps not if you are an AFL footballer.
Heath Scotland was in Court yesterday after a nasty pub brawl up at Mulwala in New South Wales. He could have been jailed for up to five years.
He wasn’t. He got a two-year bond. No conviction.
Three other men involved in the brawl had been fined and convicted. Not Heath, despite a bad history.
But the thing that really grates here is that the Magistrate even used his AFL career as a reason for the lenient decision.
According to the Herald Sun, the Magistrate Tony Murray said Scotland could be fined by Carlton and suspended and that a conviction may stop him flying overseas with the team.
Well, so bloody what?
Any person convicted of anything has implications in their workplace. If I was convicted of high-level drunk driving I’d probably lose my job.
But if I was guilty, I should be convicted. Heath Scotland was not. And the Magistrate as good as said it was because he is an AFL player.
But what is worse, Heath Scotland has been in court before. It was widely reported, and I have the file from Channel Nine and the Herald Sun.
He was in Court for slapping a woman in a nightclub toilet after being charged back in 2006, six years ago, for recklessly causing injury and unlawful assault.
Again then, no conviction recorded.
He paid $3000 to Beyond Blue, wrote to Police apologising and went on a diversion program – worked well!
In that case, the Magistrate said he had been provoked. But he slapped a woman.
He’s a lucky man, Heath Scotland. Two Magistrates being generous to him, to cases of violence, no conviction.
And you know the other theme through this. Not only is he an AFL player. In both cases, he has said he wants to be a fire fighter, and a conviction could end that.
Well, if he keeps going like this, the fire brigade won’t want him.
He’s a very, very lucky man. You and I would never be so lucky.
SCOT FREE: Six years after being told by a Magistrate that he would ‘only get this opportunity once’, Carlton footballer Heath Scotland has escaped conviction to an assault charge after pleading that his firefighting career ambitions would be derailed.
Magistrates and Judges spend their early careers as court lawyers, rubbing shoulders, if not being actual mates, with lawyers like Bernie Balmer, pictured above, who was Scotland's mouthpiece in court.
There's a culture of understanding between these law professionals. Scotland's non conviction demonstrates the culture of the bar is alive and well in Victoria.Rumpole Thursday 11 October, 2012 - 9:09 AM
he didn't get convicted cause the other guy king hit him first that's what the judge said butthe media only wants to report what they want heath did not king hit the judge said so media stop reporting that he didbill Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 2:11 PM
Its not fair. AFL players get away with everything. How many times have they been accused of rape etc and how many times have they gone to jail?Ric Flair Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 10:54 AM
This man is a thug, he bashed someone and slapped a woman. What a complete joke the system is, for once I agree with Neil, the MFB should not want him anywhere near them, and yes, didn't that diversion program just work a treat! What hypocrisy that the other men involved were convicted...should have been footy players! What is the matter with this country, it disgusts me that the football have their own judiciary system there is no hope for the human species. One can only hope that perhaps next time he bashes one of the judges' relatives and that might give them some realistic perspective!Wendy Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 10:32 AM
The Magistrate also considered Scotland's community work. And the reason these types do "community work"? So as their mouthpiece can regale the court with the altruistic,selfless work ethic of their community minded client and then and only then if the beak is gullible enough to tumble in to this ubiquitious pocket pi--ing exercise we then end up with another insult to the collective intellect of the unwashed plebs out here in, we can only hope land.Hope that we come up in front of the same wet pocketed fool when or if we transgress.jgl Melb Wednesday 10 October, 2012 - 10:22 AM