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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 April 2015
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 APRIL 2015 Minister slams Luke Lazarus supporters Privilege and entitlement should by no means stand in the way of justice Luke Andrew Lazarus, 23, was sentenced to a maximum jail term of five years for anally raping an 18-yearold girl in an alley behind his family's Kings Cross venue. District Court Judge Sarah Huggett described the assault as an action of a young man who, deluded by the sense of "power and entitlement" stemming from his family's connection to the Soho Club, went on with this "spontaneous and opportunistic" attack in the early hours of 12 May, 2013. His family, who initially sent a letter to the court requesting the case to remain unexposed in order to protect Luke Lazarus' promising future, also aimed to procure a series of character references from prominent public figures. Waverley mayor Sally Betts, Tsambico K. Athanasas, who is the honorary secretary of the Honorary Consulate-General of Greece in Brisbane, the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby league club chairman Nick Pappas, and the parish priest at the Greek Orthodox Christian Church of St George in Rose Bay, Fa- ther Gerasimos Koutsouras, vouched for Lazarus' good character and testified how shocked they were at the news of his conviction. Father Gerasimos even stated that the charges against Lazarus were "an injustice", highlighting that he has provided hundreds of character references, adding that "the possibility of imprisonment is completely undeserved for this promising young man". They have all been slammed though, by Australia's first Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, who is also Minister for Women. Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward. "Not only does this diminish their standing, it can shatter the confidence of the victim and often discourages them from seeking justice," the minister said. "The very last thing any victim needs is to feel as though they are not only fighting back against the perpetrator, but also against other respected members of the community. "Victims often withdraw charges, and glowing references about their attackers will not help justice to be done," Ms Goward added. "This terrible case should serve as a salutary reminder to all of us, but especially those with apparent standing in the community, that they should carefully consider just how willing they are to lend their support to a criminal." Mayor Sally Betts, on the other hand, who defended Lazarus as a friend of the family, asking the court not to send the man to jail, drew criticism from Waverley residents, and 20 members of her council demanded her resignation. "Writing, signing as mayor of Waverley, requesting a non-custodial sentence for a convicted rapist shows incredibly poor judgment," stressed Waverley Labor councillor Ingrid Strewe. Cr Betts, who is working with Bondi's Ways Youth Services to develop some DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Shooting the result of a lineage of crime Justice has been served to the culprits of a shooting in Meadow Heights which took place over a year ago on November 4, 2013. Twenty-five-year-old Constantine Likiardopoulos and Shannon Cooke, 22, were equally blamed for shooting Cooke's cousin in the head, as neither will disclose who supplied the gun and who pulled the trigger. The victim was said to be sitting in his car outside of his home in the early hours of the morning, with the incident following the death of Cooke's and the victim's 17-year-old cousin from a drug overdose - drugs which were said to be supplied by the victim's family. According to Judge Gaynor, the two men are lucky that the bullet did not penetrate the victim's skull, as had it hit a few centimetres away, the two would have been facing charges of manslaughter. The judge, however, gave recognition to the less than ideal upbringing of the two men, where crime was a commonality and the cause of trauma. Likiardopoulos' father and brother, who were also like family to Cooke, were both jailed on charges of murder and manslaughter. However, despite their past, Judge Gaynor said both men showed positive signs of development, having cared for their ill mothers, in addition to both being engaged and in loving long-term relationships. Both pleaded guilty to reckless conduct and endangering a person, while Likiardopoulos also confessed to the possession of amphetamines and ecstasy. Cooke has been sentenced to 422 days imprisonment and Likiardopoulos for 10 months, along with being monitored for two years of their community corrections orders. The photo posted by the management of the Soho Club. Alexandra Kamitsis facing 148 new fraud-related charges Darwin travel agent and socialite Alexandra ‘Xana’ Kamitsis is facing 148 new charges of fraud. The Darwin Magistrates Court adjourned the case of alleged rorting of a Northern Territory government travel scheme, after a stoush broke out between the defence and prosecution. Prosecuting lawyer David Morters asked for a twomonth adjournment so he Luke Lazarus outside court after his sentencing hearing for the Kings Cross sex assault. educational programs for young people, suggested Lazarus could do community service instead of going to jail "mentoring young people and preventing others from ruining their lives by doing terrible things". Ways spokesman David Faktor, though, has adamantly distanced the organisation from the mayor's comments. "I just want to make it very clear that her views and her position is not that of Ways and we just wouldn't be in a position to take a stance on what the best sentence is or isn't in relation to this particular person," Mr Faktor said. On another, yet not altogether different note, an offensive Soho Club ad that appeared after Luke Lazarus' rape sentencing has once again stirred the troubled waters of the case again. The photo, which was shared on the nightclub's Facebook page as well as on Twitter, depicted a young woman who appears to be drunk and almost passed out on the ground with her legs spread while gesturing the peace sign. It caused a severe backlash on Twitter and was taken down, as it was considered indicative of the ownership's stance regarding womens' safety. could read the extensive 11-folder brief and decide whether further investigations may be required. Defence lawyer Jon Tippett said that was "entirely unacceptable" and accused Mr Morters of "dilly-dallying" with the case, as well as "prosecutorial grandstanding". Magistrate Elizabeth Morris adjourned the case until April 28. Alexandra ‘Xana’ Kamitsis leaves court flanked by her lawyers.
18 April 2015