More from the NSW Enquiry (Or: Not Guilty Wins by a Nose)


Wayne Roser spent the week at the NSW enquiry into clerical child sexual abuse grilling Detective Fox on behalf of other police in the Newcastle District. The intention was to cast doubts on Fox’s integrity and also to paint him as a bit of a rogue who has trouble following orders.

Mr. Roser is an experienced lawyer. More importantly he is an experienced prosecutor, having worked for a long time in that role for the NSW Attorney-General’s Department. This is probably why the transcripts of proceedings read more like a prosecution of Detective Fox, as readers comments to the Newcastle Herald suggested.

Mr. Roser gained prominence as a prosecutor when he successfully prosecuted Justice Einfeld for perjury in relation to a speeding ticket, resulting in a two-year term of imprisonment for the judge.

Interestingly, Mr. Roser became a Senior Counsel on the same day as the Commissioner, Ms. Cunneen, although he did not have to wait five times to get the promotion like she did.

Mr. Roser has attracted some criticisms from his time as a prosecutor in the case of Roseanne Catt. Wendy Bacon, in a NewMatilda article, is quite scathing of Mr. Roser’s role in this case. In an extraordinary letter to the NSW Attorney-General, Greg Smith, Sister Claudette Palmer does not mince words in her criticism of Mr. Roser (see references below).

Mr. Roser tried very hard to discredit Detective Fox’s assertions, but probably lost the case overall, in the court of public opinion.

Eventually, it was Mr. Fox’s lawyer’s turn. He quizzed the head of the NSW sex crimes squad, Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec. Mr Kerlatec agreed that the early response by police to claims of sex abuse cover-ups within the diocese appeared to lack urgency. He also agreed that while an investigating officer appeared keen to proceed quickly, he was being ‘‘shut down’’ by his superior officer, Detective Inspector Dave Waddell. Asked if the allegations raised in material given to police by Herald journalist Joanne McCarthy seemed ‘‘very serious,’’ Mr Kerlatec also agreed.

Next week, certain police officers, whose names have been suppressed by the Commissioner, will be excused on the basis of ill health. Others will, nevertheless appear. Expect more of the same from Mr. Roser and his clients.

One reader of the Newcastle Heraqld summed things up very well by saying he thought the enquiry was about getting the paedophile priests, not about prosecuting Detective Fox.

Read more here:

TOMORROW: An idiot speaks

That’s all I can say

Lewis Blayse (né Lewin Blazevich)


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