The Mercury 1st Article
The 1st Mercury article was printed on the 3rd October 2022, the very day that the first election postal packs were being delivered to voters.
Given the 6-month's delay and the timing, and contents, of the article, the only conclusion is that the article was designed to do me as much damage as possible in the HCC election.
The headline of the article was:
Main Heading: "Council candidate breaches restraint order against elderly lady"
I was not found guilty of a 'breach', there never was a restraint order and she's not elderly, she's 10+ years younger than me. 3 serious errors in just 8 words.
Sub-Heading: A council candidate has been accused of “bullying” after he breached a restraint order against an elderly tenant in his son’s West Moonah unit.
Clearly, the Mercury reporter, Kenji Sato, either doesn't know, or chose to ignore, the difference between:
- an 'Interim Restraint Order' (fill in a form with some allegations, pay $45, and get an interim order, even without the other person's knowledge).
- a 'Restraint Order' (issued only by a court after a trial - not a hearing - and a guilty verdict).
How damaging is that! I never harassed or bullied her. The Mercury ignored the Magistrate's words in order to do me maximum damage. Here we have an unfounded accusation of bullying, I was not guilty of a breach, she's not elderly, and she was not a tenant in my son's unit.
It's the oldest trick in the book: she accused me of the very things that she herself was guilty of.
So many errors in just the headlines.
The letter that I sent to XX, mentioned in a derogatory way in the 1st Mercury Article, was a proposed “Agreement”, prepared for me by a lawyer as a starting point for conciliation. It was never a 'final' document. It contained the following:
- 1. both parties will not approach, or speak to, the other party, directly or indirectly, except by registered mail or through a solicitor
- 2. Brian Corr will not enter the private land belonging to Unit 1
- 3. XX will not enter the private land belonging to Unit 3, except with the permission / invitation of Unit 3's tenant
- 4. RC [the owner] will deal with any Strata Titles Act issues that may arise, acting as owner of Unit 3
- The interim order be revoked.
Kenji Sato should have known that this is a standard legal format for such an agreement. The Magistrate referred to it as an attempt “to resolve the matter”. It was a proposal, an attempt “to resolve the matter”, so why did the Mercury portray it in such a negative way?
The document to XX also contained the following:
- When AW (outgoing tenant) was leaving, I was at the door of Unit 3 and they (2 vehicles, 6-8 people) were on the road, driving away, about 40 metres from me. When they honked, I thought it was to me and I waved them goodbye. I don't think they honked at you, but if they did, it's an issue between you and them. I wasn't involved.
- I walked slowly past your unit when arriving for the home open. Yes, I did. This was because I had, and still have, a sore back. I've been to the doctor and a physiotherapist. My back is still taped, getting better slowly.
- I put grass clippings, from the lawn in front of Unit 2, in the wrong bin. This is not Unit 2's lawn – it's common ground. And I have cut the grass before, usually at each home open, and also when helping the previous tenant, [name]. Putting the grass in the wrong bin was my mistake and I apologised to J (Unit 2). In any case, this is an issue that is between me and Unit 2.
- I called out to you, when I was at Unit 3's front door and you accidentally left your car door ajar, that the door was not closed property. I was hoping that you might say hello, now that a new tenant was being found, and that we could then put the past behind us with a new tenant coming.
Do you see “bullying” in the above? It does, however, clearly show how XX twisted non-events into something negative.
The incredibly damaging Mercury article was boosted and shared all over social media, increasing the damage to my reputation substantially.