Friendlyjordies’ big win in legal stoush with NSW Police
YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies has scored a big legal win after NSW Police pulled a court application for him to scrub two videos from the internet, resulting in a five-figure costs payout.
NSW Police was set to make an application for Jordan Shanks to pull down two videos from his channel that attacked the arrest of one of his producers.
Lawyers for the NSW Police had previously told the court that the videos could influence witnesses, though Mr Shanks’ side said any take-down orders would be tantamount to shutting down criticism of the force.
Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge was scheduled to hear arguments in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Friday.
However, lawyers representing the NSW Police pulled their application after Ms Milledge had previously commented that she did not see how the videos amounted to contempt of court.
“It’s a reasonable conclusion today, I think it’s appropriate for all sides,” Ms Milledge said on Friday after the police withdrew their application.
The videos concerned charges laid earlier this year against Mr Shanks’ producer Kristo Langker, who is accused of stalking former deputy premier John Barilaro.
Mr Langker has pleaded not guilty, vowing to fight the charges at a hearing in May 2022.
The police will also be forced to pay Mr Shanks’ $19,250 worth of legal costs as well as being ordered to pay $2772 of Mr Langker’s costs.
Mr Langker was arrested at his Dulwich Hill home in June and charged with two counts of stalking or intimidating Mr Barilaro.
Mr Langker has pleaded not guilty to allegations relating to two incidents at Macquarie University on April 19 and after the funeral for rugby league great Bob Fulton in Sydney’s CBD on June 4.
There was further drama on Friday afternoon as lawyers acting for Mr Langker asked for Mr Barilaro’s former chief of staff Siobhan Hamblin to be arrested.
Mr Langker’s barrister Emmanuel Kerkyasharian told the court that they had last month subpoenaed Ms Hamblin, seeking what they say is key material in their case.
While some WhatsApp messages were supplied, she failed to provide most of the material, the court was told.
Ms Hamblin’s lawyers responded that she could not meet the request to supply the material because Mr Barilaro no longer held the office of deputy premier and she therefore did not have access to the requested material.
However, Mr Kerkyasharian told the court that the subpoena had been issued four to six days before Mr Barilaro’s resignation on October 4.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Mr Kerkyasharian said.
For several hours, the court attempted to contact Ms Hamblin’s lawyers, asking them to appear in court to explain why the subpoena had not been complied with.
Ms Milledge said she didn’t want to get into the “childish jibber jabber” of the content of Mr Shanks’ and Mr Langker’s videos but said she was concerned by what she described as the lack of respect shown to the court.
“The courts used to be respected once, they’re not now,” Ms Milledge said.
Mr Langker’s lawyers and court officers sent several messages to the firm representing Ms Hamblin, asking for one of her representatives to come to court.
Solicitor Jacob Rodgers arrived at court at noon but only after proceedings were held up for several hours.
“Shame on your firm for allowing it to go this way,” Ms Milledge told Mr Rodgers when he arrived in court 4.2 of the Downing Centre.
“The discourtesy shown to this court by Ms Hamblin’s lawyers is, to me, immeasurable.”
Mr Rodgers argued that his client no longer had access to the documents and therefore Ms Hamblin had complied with the subpoena.
“You haven’t,” Ms Milledge replied.
Ms Milledge then ordered Ms Hamblin to appear in court on Wednesday when she will be cross-examined about her compliance with the subpoena, with the court to decide whether she should be arrested or found in contempt of court.
Originally published as Friendlyjordies’ big win in legal stoush with NSW Police
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