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Baby-Swinging Video Uploader Hires Top Barrister

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/web/2009/06/09/1244313123500.html?page=2


Asher Moses
June 9, 2009 - 12:36PM
Page 1 of 2 | Single page
A Queensland man facing child-abuse charges for republishing a video on the internet has gone to extraordinary lengths by bringing in a high-profile barrister to defend him.

The controversial case has already set him back more than $12,000 in legal fees.

Chris Illingworth, a 61-year-old father of four, will face a committal hearing at Maroochydore Magistrates Court on July 8.

He is charged with accessing and uploading child-abuse material after he published, on a video-sharing site, a video of a man swinging a baby around like a rag doll.

He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment for each of the two charges.

Illingworth's lawyer, Michael Byrne, QC, has worked on some of the biggest criminal cases recently, including as the defence lawyer in the manslaughter case against former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel.

He says he will argue that the video is not child-abuse material but "a training film for a Russian circus family".

Illingworth published the three-minute clip on Liveleak after obtaining it from YouTube, but had no involvement in the creation of the video, which has been published widely across the internet and shown on Australian and US TV news shows.
The clip can still be found online and has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. Australians who simply view the video can be charged with child-abuse offences and face a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Byrne said it was unusual for a case such as this to involve silks but he did not believe it was excessive "when he's facing charges of this sort".

He said he was "surprised they [police] charged in the first place", as the video was "certainly not your run-of-the-mill child pornography".

"Our argument is that this is certainly not what the legislation was aimed at. It was aimed at the sexual abuse of children," he said.

"This seems to be a training film for a Russian circus family."

At the committal hearing the magistrate will decide whether there is enough evidence for a jury to convict Illingworth at a trial.

It is understood the defence will present other examples of Russian circus family clips, showing, for instance, the practice of strapping weights to the ankles and wrists of toddlers to make them stronger.

If the magistrate does not agree with Byrne's assertion that the clip is not child abuse, the case will most likely be fought in the District Court.

Illingworth said today he had already spent $12,300 on legal fees trying to clear his name and had been admitted to hospital four times due to the stress of the case.
He said he had not been on medication before but was now taking valium and blood-pressure medication.

Asked why he hired a high-profile silk, he said Byrne's name "carries a bit of weight" and "when you've got something like this facing you, you've got to have the best".

A conviction against Illingworth would widen the definition of what constitutes child-abuse material, and would have an impact on all Australian web users, Byrne said.

The comments echoed similar statements earlier this year by Illingworth's solicitor, Chelsea Emery of Ryan and Bosccher Lawyers, who said that, if the case went ahead, every Australian who surfs the net could be vulnerable to police prosecution.

"Who made the decision to prosecute a man with child-abuse-related charges for sharing a file he did not create, of images not filmed in Australia, taken from a foreign website?" Emery asked.

Queensland Police's brief of evidence centres on a witness statement from Susan Cadzow, specialist pediatrician at Royal Brisbane Children's Hospital.

The footage, viewed by Cadzow, shows an adult male vigorously swinging a baby by the arms but, at the end of the clip, the baby is shown laughing and smiling. Cadzow thought it represented child abuse.
"The child's demeanour at the end of the video would seemingly suggest that no significant injury has occurred. However, it does not exclude the presence of a [hidden] injury," Cadzow said in her statement.


Click to view image: 'dd1418e251be-baby11_wideweb__470x3510.jpg'

Added: Jun-8-2009 
By: biggles9
In:
News, Your Say, LiveLeaks
Tags: Task Force Argos, chris illingworth, biggles9, ass holes, queensland police, corruption
Views: 9176 | Comments: 66 | Votes: 9 | Favorites: 4 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • this could go up as the most ridiculous case of the year, maybe the decade, you should get off

    Posted Jun-8-2009 By 

    (11) | Report

  • Good luck Mr. Illingworth. I hope the Courts come to their senses and throw this case out the door as soon as possible.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (6) | Report

  • "The child's demeanour at the end of the video would seemingly suggest that no significant injury has occurred. However, it does not exclude the presence of a [hidden] injury," Cadzow said in her statement.

    that's evidence to Australian prosecutors? The possibility of hidden injury that may or may not have occurred?

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (5) | Report

  • These charges are soley based on assumptions.
    Fvcking crazy

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • its ok, biggles will be a millionaire when this is all over with.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

    • If it were against another person, or even a corporation, I would say there is a good chance you are correct.

      But he's fighting a government agency that has to justify it's reason for existing, they are going to fight as dirty as they possibly can to come out on top and they have resources that are virtually unlimited whereas Mr. Illingsworth does not.

      If nothing else they can beat him down via financial attrition.

      Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

  • Addendum:

    This is a case of egg on face, if they admit how stupid they are being it will hurt them politically and the media will tear them up.

    They know that getting a conviction is the only way the shitbags can come out looking good.

    Task Force Argos may lose funding if they lose such an embarrassingly stupid case so they are going to press it to the ultimate.

    This is what happens when government agencies are created and cannot justify their funding, they go looking for scapegoats so they More..

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • The whole case is utter BS.Unfortunatelly an expensive BS too.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • I opened up a magazine last week and it had a picture of Hugh Jackman throwing a baby up in the air. Somehow, I'm guessing that neither the movie star nor the magazine that printed the picture will have the slightest problem from the assholes who railroaded Biggles. What a disgusting travesty this whole thing has been.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • And as I stated months ago, they are dragging it out and dragging it out so that the public is less likely to remember what jackasses Task Force Argos are and make it easier to stick him with a conviction.

    A disgusting miscarriage of justice.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • Cadzow's an f'n idiot.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

    • yep.i'm under the impression that it is that individual responsible for all of biggles9 angst.what a bitch.

      Posted Jun-12-2009 By 

      (0) | Report

  • bust out the big guns!
    you go biggs!

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • 12k ? wtf..man thats Fed up....gl biggles

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • What joke of a case, those assholes must be bored to death. Don't they have real issues to be busy with?

    Posted Jun-10-2009 By 

    (3) | Report

  • I hope this lunacy ends quickly, and in your favour.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Don't let them do this to you Chris...fight, fight, fight!

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • If he has taght us anything never talk to the cops without your lawyer and even with a lawyer don't talk ever unless you want to help them againt someone else.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (2) | Report

  • Stay strong Sir.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Comment of user 'bs3ac' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • "Biggles shared a video
    of a circus dad & a circus boy.
    Daddy swung the boy around like a toy.
    If they watched it they would see that the boy enjoyed it."

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=804_1237055447

    Good luck brother.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

    • He doesn't need luck, papagang. It's an open and shut case. Either they're going to railroad him to attempt to send a message to Aussies on the Internet or it'll be dismissed for the complete joke of a case that it is.

      I'm glad Chris is putting his best guns behind this as it seems to be a fairly significant case for Australians using the Internet. It's also a precedent for the rest of us in the free world.

      I'm 100% sure he's going to get off as the case is so pathetically weak.

      Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

      (1) | Report

  • Just saw this on sky news uk!

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • The new paradigm is that perception is the new reality. If someone(like this susan idiot)percieves something, than that makes it so. Pussies think they can legislate morality according to their mores.

    Don't worry Bigs, you'll come out looking good when this is done. Justice is on your side.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Way to freaking go bigs! Hit them with the big guns and nothing less. Maybe now they know exactly how big of a mistake this whole thing was. We support you biggles, though the evidence clearly indicates you did absolutely nothing wrong and it should result in a judge admonishing the prosecution for tying up public resources with this bullshit. FFS! Cheers sir.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • Keep your chin up Biggles...

    "Our argument is that this is certainly not what the legislation was aimed at. It was aimed at the sexual abuse of children"

    Even regarding physical abuse... The baby was grinning and laughing and having a blast. This is generally not what you expect to be the result of child abuse.

    I can't see someone taking seriously the argument that this baby was being injured or traumatized, any more than any baby is when it's an airplane ride (which would be all of More..

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • go for it man, best of luck and walk it up em sideways.

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report

  • SUPPORT BIGGLES!

    Posted Jun-9-2009 By 

    (1) | Report