Jeremy Roberts. The Australian. Canberra, A.C.T.:Aug15, 2006. p. 4
A JUDGE will decide today whether to throw out South Australia's firstcriminal
defamation trial in 46 years after the defendants argued they had no caseto
answer because the "victims" had never publicly denied they werepedophiles.
If South Australian District Court judge Marie Shaw decides the ninecharges
against Wendy Utting, Barry Standfield and Craig Ratcliff stand, she mustthen
decide whether the case will be divided into two, with Mr Ratcliff facinga
separate trial. Mr Ratcliff in March last year alleged to journalists thata
Labor MP was a pedophile and had engaged in illegal sexual conduct witha
The controversy took a surreal turn when then parliamentary speakerPeter
Lewis, a self-styled anti-corruption campaigner, and his two volunteerstaff,
Ms Utting and Mr Standfield, repeated the claims and, along with MrRatcliff,
suggested two gay men who also knew about the Labor MP had beenmurdered.
At the height of the controversy, a fax was sent to numerous media
organisations naming the Labor MP and three others -- two servingpolice
officers and a former state Liberal politician -- as pedophiles.
Ms Utting's lawyer, George Mancini, has argued his client had "no caseto
answer" because none of the victims had denied the claims to thecourt.