Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Pathetic Swines

A HUSBAND and wife faced a Queensland court yesterday accused of feeding an intellectually disabled man dog food while holding him against his will for five years.
Stephen Thomas Hamilton, 45, and Linda Katherine Hamilton, 38, have been charged amid allegations the man was chained to a water tank and assaulted at their property near Gatton, west of Brisbane.
The Ipswich Magistrate's Court hearing was yesterday told Steven Richard Pickering, 36, sustained serious injuries as a result of his time at the property, which began some time in 1999 and ended on April 5, 2004, when police found him hiding in a paddock.
Psychologist Brian Hazell, who said Pickering had an IQ of 80 and the intelligence level of a seven or eight-year-old, recounted details of an interview he had with him after he was found by police.

"I hoped someone in the coppers would find me," Pickering is alleged to have told the psychologist. "I'm scared to be alone. I cry a lot, I hide from people. I just go and hide."
But defence barrister Craig Eberhardt, for Stephen Hamilton, alluded to other motivations for the arrest, claiming Gatton detective senior constables Dave Neumann and Mark Newton had targeted his client following previous dealings with him.
Mr Eberhardt claimed that in the late 1990s, Sen-Constable Neumann had been ordered by his superiors to take no part in any investigation of Hamilton, who had allegedly threatened him and was later unsuccessfully charged with stalking.
"That is utter crap," Sen-Constable Neumann told the court. Sen-Constable Newton also denied any wrongdoing.
Mr Eberhardt asked the detectives why they had not charged two other people accused of hitting Pickering with a hammer and throwing him down a set of stairs. He also flagged evidence which indicated Pickering had been able to come and go from the property at will.
Pickering's parents Allan and June were questioned on why they had not filed a missing person's report.
The Hamiltons have been charged with one count each of torture, deprivation of liberty and stealing. Stephen Hamilton has also been charged with two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Magistrate Donna MacCallum adjourned the committal hearing until today when Pickering is expected to give evidence.


Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

would this be filed under "only in Oz?" hehe

6:06 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hammer ~ Hehe...afraid so :(

6:12 PM  

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