Au: Mother jailed for throwing a stone
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Au: Mother jailed for throwing a stone

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John Ahni Schertow
January 6, 2007
 

Rioting mother jailed, By Peter Michael
EMOTIONS ran high on Palm Island yesterday as a mother-of-four was jailed for throwing a rock in the November 2004 riots.

Alissa Norman, 32, hugged and kissed her children goodbye in an emotional outpouring at the island’s airstrip yesterday before she was flown to Stuart Creek Women’s Correctional Centre, near Townsville, for her four-month prison stint.

Ms Norman, affectionately known as Minnie, handed herself in after being allowed to spend Christmas with her family and was taken into custody, handcuffed and flown off the island on a police charter flight about 11am.

Her three youngest children Keifer, 13, Noel, 5, and 18-month-old daughter Sioni sobbed openly as the plane disappeared from view.

“It is one rule for police and one for everyone else,” said her emotional mother and Palm Island councillor Rosina Norman, who will care for the children.

“She had no police record, no criminal history, had never been in trouble before.

“But … she throws a rock in a riot and gets the book thrown at her, while a policeman kills a man and gets off scot-free – it’s not right.”

Ms Norman’s prison term was the result of Attorney-General Kerry Shine successfully appealing the leniency of her original sentence – a 12-month intensive correction order, to be served in the community.

Australian Council for Civil Liberties president and lawyer Terry O’Gorman said the case highlighted the growing perception of
double-standards in the state’s justice system.

“The perception is there is one standard for the aboriginal community who have the full weight of the law thrown at them including by the Attorney-General who appeals the leniency of the sentence.

“And the other is despite a coroner finding Mulrunji was killed by Sergeant (Chris) Hurley there is no basis for criminal charges.

“It highlights our ongoing call that whoever is going to review the DPP decision has to be from interstate and desirably has to be an ex-High Court judge,” he said.

Note from Ahni – I have a couple follow-up stories related to this; or, I think I still have them. I wasn’t planning to add them, but they seem appropriate now. I will do my best to find them.

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