ADELAIDE: A case where a man bashed another after the victim allegedly made homosexual advances to him was understandable and perhaps excusable, a Supreme Court Judge said on April 13 [1983].

Mr. Justice Bollan was hearing the case against Christopher John Noy, 20, of Victoria, who pleaded guilty to having bashed a 27 year old man in Adelaide last October and robbed him of $35.

Sentencing Noy to a four year suspended term, the judge said that Noy had claimed that his victim had made homosexual advances to him and tried to kiss him. The judge said that it was becoming common for people charged with assault to claim that their victim had homosexual advances.

However in this case the Crown had not contested Noy’s version of the facts, and the victim’s version of the incident was incomplete, and there were discrepancies in his evidence in a lower court.

I am not making a positive finding that the victim made advances to you, but proceeding on the most favourable view to you, the judge told Noy.

He said that in the circumstances the assault had been understandable and perhaps to some extent excusable, but nothing excused the robbery.

Commenting on the decision, the chairman of the Gayline Counselling Service, Dr Roger Knight, said that Mr Justice Bollen’s remarks were dangerous for homosexuals.

Assault victims who are homosexuals will be discouraged from reporting incident to the police, he said.

Justice Bollen’s remarks mean homosexual people enjoy only limited protection from the law and this makes a mockery of the homosexual law reform of 1975.

For a supreme court judge to appear to condone assault of this kind is a matter of concern to the whole community because it can only lead to an escalation of public violence.”

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