Protester: ‘It’s time for my people to come home’
THE main offender of three people accused of invading the Gympie Regional Council's upper Mary St offices on Tuesday will remain behind bars until July following a defunct appearance in Gympie Magistrates Court today.
Instead of applying for bail, Gary Roy Tomlinson, 50, of Southside who had no legal representation, told the magistrate and police prosecutor they were breaking constitutional law.
"It's time for my people to come home," he said, still sporting two black eyes and a cut nose following Tuesday's scuffle.
"International criminal court will be here and you'll be up for genocide."
Magistrate M. Baldwin ordered a full brief of evidence for the seven charges Mr Tomlinson is facing, which include assaulting Mayor Mick Curran, Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith, a police officer and two other council employees, as well as trespass and public nuisance.
When the magistrate questioned Mr Tomlinson's risk of committing further offences he said he would not be offending in the same manner again.
"I've made my point," he told the court.
"The international criminal courts have noticed and the UN have noticed it."
Mr Tomlinson's co-accused, Diane Patricia Redden-King, 58, of Curra, who appeared just prior, took a more peaceful acceptance of her situation.
During her application for bail, Mrs Redden-King's duty lawyer, Chris Anderson, said his client had never intended for the protest to be anything but peaceful.
He said the group was fed up with the lack of response from Gympie Regional Council so they wrote an eviction notice and attended the council office and presented it.
He said Mr Tomlinson had written many letters to the council for a number of months expressing concern over council works at sacred Kabi Kabi sites.
He told the court Cr Curran promised Mr Tomlinson a workshop between the council and Kabi Kabi elders if he was re-elected.
"To date there has been no workshop," Mr Anderson said. "Apparently Curran is silent on that issue."
Mrs Redden-Smith was was granted bail under strict conditions, where she was banned from visiting Gympie except to attend hospital and banned from contacting the co-accused.
A DISARRAYED trio appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on serious assault charges following a native title claim that "got out of hand" in the Gympie Regional Council's upper Mary St office.
Physical evidence of the protest, which turned violent after the trio allegedly tried to evict the council from its offices, were obvious when the three defendants were led into the court room this afternoon after spending the night in the Gympie watchhouse.
Southside man Gary Roy Tomlinson, 50, (aka Wit-boooka), whose nose was bruised and still covered in blood, stood in the dock beside his Bundaberg cousin, Mervyn Alfred James Tomlinson, 51, whose shirt sleeve was torn and hanging.
Curra woman Diane Patricia Redden-King, 58, sat beside them.
The defendants are each charged with the assault causing bodily harm of Gympie Mayor Mick Curran and two other council employees, the common assault of Gympie Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith, public nuisance and trespass.
The two men, who allegedly resisted arrest, also face charges of obstructing police.
When Magistrate M. Baldwin asked if the accused understood the charges, Mr (Gary) Tomlinson said he did not.
"I don't stand under you. I have my own rules," he said.
Some of these "own rules" seemed to be in play at the council's Mary St office yesterday, according to events recounted in the court by the Gympie police prosecutor which alleged Mr (Gary) Tomlinson entered the council office, handed staff an eviction notice and demanded to see the mayor.
He is accused of then using a chair to climb over the front counter, shouting and knocking an employee into a television when he pushed past her.
When asked to leave he said: "No, I'm the boss here - you will leave," the prosecutor said.
Mrs Redden-King insisted to the court that the trio had not intended to cause any violence, saying she suffered a hit, which she "assumed" was from Cr Curran.
"A hand came out and it hit me. It was so hard it broke my tooth," she said.
Mrs Redden-King said she had taken a video at the scene, but police said there was no evidence of a video when her phone was seized.
"I went there not planning for violence, but to act in a peaceful means within the law," she told the court.
"They're destroying sacred sites, it's genocide against the Kabi Kabi people."
"'I kept asking Mr Curran to sit down and talk but he seemed hell-bent on trying to throw a punch."
The prosecutor said he had witness statements that negated her assault claims against Gympie Mayor Mick Curran.
"Well what's this?" Mr (Gary) Tomlinson said pointing to his bloodied nose in response.
Mr (Gary) Tomlinson's cousin, Mervyn, who admitted to being "just new at this" expressed surprise at how the incident had got out of hand.
"I turned up on the day to hand out pamphlets and thought we were really just going in to talk to the mayor and it got out of hand," Mr (Mervyn) Tomlinson said.
"I'd like to get back to my business in Bundy," he told the Magistrate.
Mrs Baldwin said she had grave concerns for the defendant's bail application because they were not legally represented, but granted Mr (Mervyn) Tomlinson bail with strict conditions including living and reporting restrictions and no contact with the co-accused.
Mrs Redden-King and Mr (Gary) Tomlinson, who both expressed concern about not being able to return to their children, had their bail applications adjourned until tomorrow morning to seek legal representation.
"We've been assaulted. The video disappeared mysteriously and we have not been allowed to talk to a lawyer," Mrs Redden-King said.