Monday, December 5, 2011


Mallard lawyer to face tribunal

COLLEEN EGAN, The West Australian Updated December 6, 2011, 2:15 am
Mallard lawyer to face tribunal

Proceedings will be commenced against a lawyer who prosecuted Andrew Mallard for the 1994 murder of Mosman Park jeweller Pamela Lawrence by the legal professional body in the State Administrative Tribunal.

The proceedings will determine whether barrister Ken Bates failed to disclose information that pointed to Mr Mallard's innocence and failed to withdraw submissions to the court that pointed to his guilt.

However, the Legal Profession Complaints Committee decided not to commence proceedings against Mr Bates in the SAT on the more serious allegation that he deliberately withheld evidence.

In a letter explaining its response to a complaint by Mr Mallard, who spent almost 12 years in jail for Mrs Lawrence's murder before being exonerated in 2006, the committee said it accepted Mr Bates' explanation that he accidentally overlooked a forensic test.

The test on a pig's head before Mr Mallard's trial showed the injuries to Mrs Lawrence were unlikely to have been caused using a Sidchrome wrench.

Despite being told about the test, Mr Bates conducted the trial on the basis of a false confession that included a claim that Mrs Lawrence was killed with a Sidchrome wrench.

"Having considered this issue, the committee is of the view that the proposition that the practitioner deliberately withheld the relevant information of the pig's head testing appears extremely unlikely," the committee's complaints officer wrote.

"The committee considers that the practitioner's explanation is plausible, that is, that he failed to recall such information."

Mr Bates has maintained that he conducted the prosecution under difficult circumstances and did not deliberately fail to disclose any relevant evidence.

The issues to be determined by the SAT involve questions of whether Mr Bates failed to comply with the prosecutor's duty to disclose what he learnt from police about Mrs Lawrence's injuries not matching the wrench.

Other issues are whether he failed to ensure there was a reasonable foundation to make submissions of fact to the jury, failed to lead independent evidence that questioned the reliability of Mr Mallard's so-called confession and, having failed to lead the independent evidence, whether he failed to withdraw the prosecution's allegations at the trial.

The Corruption and Crime Commission made two findings of misconduct against Mr Bates after a three-year inquiry into the Mallard affair. The CCC recommended Mr Bates be disciplined, stating that his conduct could result in him being sacked as a public servant.

It also recommended he be referred to the LPCC.

Mr Bates was not disciplined and received a six-figure payout when he resigned as second-in-charge of the Director of Public Prosecutions office in 2009. He now works at the independent bar.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;;