Thursday, 12 April 2012

Aussie lawyer found guilty over insult in Perth

An Australian lawyer who abused a security officer at a Perth courthouse and told him to go back to Singapore was found guilty of professional misconduct by a tribunal in her country.

3 comments:

Guanyu 道 said...

Aussie lawyer found guilty over insult in Perth

By K.C. Vijayan
09 April 2012

An Australian lawyer who abused a security officer at a Perth courthouse and told him to go back to Singapore was found guilty of professional misconduct by a tribunal in her country.

Ms. Megan in de Braekt had told security supervisor Rajandran Kanapathy: ‘I know you’re from Singapore, go back to your country, we don’t need people like you here.’

She also hurled an obscene word at him several times and said he had the ‘short man’s syndrome’, a derogatory term that refers to a person having an exaggerated sense of his importance to compensate for his short stature.

Ms. in de Braekt, while admitting she ‘may have used’ an obscene word against him, denied she was being racist when she told him to go back to Singapore.

In her arguments before the three-member State Administrative Tribunal, she said her stepmother, her half-brother, her chemist, her hairdresser and her best friend in high school ‘are all Singaporeans’.

But in their testimonies, Mr. Kanapathy and a receptionist at the Perth courthouse who overheard the exchange, Ms. Benita Wood, said Ms. in de Braekt’s remarks about Mr. Kanapathy being Singaporean were made in the context of insulting him.

The incident took place in January 2009 and the tribunal gave its judgment late last month. The penalties plus costs are expected to be decided next month.

The encounter happened when Ms. in de Braekt was visiting the central law courts building. She had walked past the security counter to the noticeboard without stopping to have her bag checked.

Mr. Kanapathy, who is believed to have a Singaporean background, asked her to go back to the security counter to have it checked.

She was upset by his insistence, the tribunal heard.

But the tribunal, chaired by Judge D.R. Parry, found her behaviour ‘transcended unsatisfactory professional conduct and constitutes professional misconduct’.

It also said in its 52-page judgment: ‘Ms. in de Braekt’s extraordinary display of discourtesy and abusive conduct to a member of the court security staff compromised not only the good standing of the legal profession, but also the important relationship between the legal profession and security staff in courts and tribunals.’

The tribunal was also not convinced by her explanation that Mr. Kanapathy was very angry with her for interfering with his duties.

It also threw out the evidence of another security officer, Mr. David Cox, whom she had called as her witness. Mr. Cox, it was found later, was not on duty on the day of the incident.

On the other hand, the tribunal found Mr. Kanapathy to be an honest and credible witness.

Ms. in de Braekt was also found guilty of four other unrelated complaints at the same hearing.

Anonymous said...

This woman is a menace to all in the community and wanting of manners and consideration for the feelings of others. Not only this but her professional capabilities are sadly lacking in the most basic elements in law. Disbarment would be a benefit to society. For once perhaps the judiciary could do the right thing by the people who pay their salaries.

Anonymous said...

Yes, far from the Security officer being someone we don't need here, Ms Braekt has displayed qualities that are not welcome in Australian Society- even worse that she is in a profession who should be guarding the law and upholding the law.