The ominous Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate
I still have the scary and very unsettling vision of Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate embedded deeply in my mind’s eye. As you will easily be able to glean from the story I share here, this dreadful creature (person) made a huge impact upon my delicate disposition. I was vulnerable and extremely troubled, which made me extra sensitive. My house was broken into in the middle of the night. I was protecting both myself and my toddler. The offender attacked and raped me whilst I was in mid-term pregnancy. This all adds up to huge trauma. It seems this member of the judiciary was apparently of the female gender. In fact though, I was unable to discover feminine signs during my encounter.
Other than her Hot Lips!
Shockingly bright red lips plastered a sinister slash right across the centre of this person’s face. It was downright nerve-racking for me to look upon this creature. She sat at the Bench, staring maliciously upon me. I assure you, this creature was not at all like the Hot Lips character many people may bring to mind. Namely Maj. Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ O’Houlihan from the 1970’s TV Series, M*A*S*H. The person with whom I was confronted was akin to a monster!
Clowns can create great fear in some people. Although they are supposed to be funny, this isn’t always the case. Hiding behind the happy mask of the perpetual smile creates a disguise. This allows a sinister undercurrent that cannot be seen by the onlooker. Clowns spook a lot of people. Consequently Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate conjured up this very persona. The cruel, menacing demeanour of her personality was nerve wracking and made me utterly uncomfortable.
More about this creature in a moment …..
Allow me to give you a first-hand close-up view of some of the legal processes one must go through when a Victim of Crime application is lodged. This should enable a clearer picture of what is involved.
Please note well ...the legal proceedings spanned almost eight years. It took this huge amount of time because of the disbelief targeted against me on the part of the police. Treating me as a liar was scathing, and damning! I fought through the Courts’ Appeal process to retrieve my dignity, my integrity and to prove that in fact I had been victim to an assault and rape!
At NO STAGE of the whole drawn out process was any suspect brought in for questioning. The police failed to ever search for an offender!
As a Victim of a serious crime, being treated as though I was the Criminal was shocking!!
THIS IS SO CORRUPT!
The Court System
Historically the male gender has dominated the profession of Judicial officers. As I aforementioned, Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate who was hearing my matter happened to be of the female gender. Yet she certainly didn’t act accordingly. Her manner was harsh, scathing and critical. Especially relevant to me, prior to the Tribunal Hearing I was of the opinion that a woman would be receptive to a rape case. I expected a female to have an inner understanding of what the victim had experienced. Until that day in Court, I was the subject of misogynistic men who ridiculed and shamed me. They disbelieved my every word.
As a result, much to my dismay and shock, even though I was the Victim in the matter, I was staggered to be brought to trial as the accused! This person of female gender, Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate, took on an even more scathing attitude than had the male detectives!
* Supreme Court of Victoria
* County Court of Victoria
* Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
* Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria is the lowest court in the Victorian court system. The County Court of Victoria and the Supreme Court of Victoria are respectively judicially higher. The Magistrates’ Court is a court of summary jurisdiction. This means that the court has the authority to give a judgement straight away, and without a trial. In other words, with no jury.
Crimes Compensation Tribunal, later became Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal
The Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) was established by the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996. Commenced on 1 July 1997, it followed the abolition of the Crimes Compensation Tribunal. This had operated in Victoria since 1973 under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1972 and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1983.
My matter was brought before the Courts prior to the abolition of the Crimes Comp and therefore prior to the Act of 1996. I believe that the former Crimes Compensation Tribunal, in which jurisdiction my hearing took place, was similar to current standards.
The Tribunal operates throughout Victoria. VOCAT offers recognition and assistance to victims of crimes that involve an act of violence. The intention of VOCAT is to assist the victims in their recovery from crime. It provides financial assistance to the victim for certain expenses that have resulted from the crime. Special financial assistance is available in some circumstances.
The Tribunal may provide assistance if:
• satisfied that an act of violence took place in Victoria. The act needs to be punishable upon conviction by imprisonment;
• the act of violence must be reported to the police. A physical and/or psychological injury has resulted from the act of violence; and
• the applicant made the application within two years of the act of violence taking place.
Did a Violent Crime Occur?
OK, I have just spelled out briefly what VOCAT set itself up to do. From this point onwards come the difficulties. Namely: In the eyes of the police and the law – Did a Violent Crime Occur?
The Tribunal relies primarily upon information from Victoria Police.
As a result, the Tribunal determines whether the crime has occurred.
Whether the applicant is a victim of that crime.
The Tribunal must be satisfied that on the balance of probabilities a violent crime (known as an ‘act of violence’) took place.
I won’t detail all that happened when I called the police immediately after my attacker left me. That can be gleaned from other posts I have written: rape. In conclusion, let me just say that from almost the very second that Detective Mxxxxx entered my home that dreadful night, I was battling against all odds to prove that a rape had occurred and that I was the victim.
Consequently, I was fighting a massive uphill battle against the law’s continuing reluctance to protect women. The gap between legislation and outcomes is vast! … and cruel!
Back to Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate
- Rape – 7 June 1990
- Application for Crimes Compensation filed – 12 February 1991
- Tribunal Hearing at Prahran Magistrates’ Court – 2nd September 1993
The wheels of ‘justice‘ turn very slowly indeed!
In the books I am writing I detail the occurrences that took place along this timeline, but in this piece of writing I am simply painting a picture of the face of doom that met me in my first court appearance.
Events between the Rape and the Court Hearing
More than three years transpired after the rape before the matter finally reached a hearing. During that time I was doing my utmost to live life happily and peacefully. This is a most difficult task after being attacked and raped. I was 18 weeks pregnant when the rape occurred, hence the first months afterwards were spent on my care and trauma recovery. In addition I was focusing on the arrival of my new baby. Within another six months after my daughter was born, life saw me selling my house and business to shift as far away as possible from the area of the crime. As a result, this equated to Far North Queensland.
Brand New Baby caused a Freak Response!
My solicitor finally managed to set a court hearing, around the middle of the year of 1993. I was pregnant with my third child, so I decided it would be best to return to Victoria to have my baby and hence be easily available to attend court. Good fortune was not shining very brightly on me it seemed, and my new baby decided she wanted to arrive a little earlier than her due date. At around 7:30 pm of August 25th, my daughter entered the world. My court hearing was set to take place less than fifteen hours later, at 10 am August 26th. What a major difficulty for me! There was no alternative other than telephone my solicitor at 9 am that morning to advise that I wasn’t able to attend court. Reason being – I had given birth the previous night.
The outcome –
Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate spat a hissy fit apparently, and stated to my solicitor that she didn’t believe that I had given birth! Her opinion was that I was merely lying. Furthermore, she opined that I made up the story so I didn’t need to go to court. She adjourned the matter for one week. She insisted that I attend WITH my new baby, proving to her that I was telling the truth. It seemed very apparent to me that she was definitely after my blood!! Perhaps she was a Vampire? I mean – really? What type of person who holds an important position in society, as she did, plays that sort of macabre, cruel and bitchy game?
As a result of her onslaught, on 2nd September 1993 I therefore presented at Prahran Magistrates’ Court – holding my tiny one week old baby in arms throughout the full length of the Hearing!
How that first Tribunal Hearing ended –
In a word – BADLY!!
MAGISTRATES’ COURT COMPLEX
CNR MALVERN RD & FRANCIS ST
PRAHRAN, VIC 3181
P.O. BOX 329 PRAHRAN, 3181
TOLL FREE:(OO8) 335621
FAX: 5207520 (O3)
AUSDOC DX: 21 PRAHRAN
2nd September 1993
REFUSAL TO MAKE AN AWARD
Form D Criminal Injuries Compensation Act 1983 Section 20
- made the 30th day of January 1993
- entered in the register of the Crimes Compensation Tribunal as
It is ordered that the said application be refused and no award of compensation be made.
Date of Refusal: 2nd day of September 1993
REASONS FOR DECISION
An application was filed on behalf of xxxxx (hereafter referred to as “the applicant“) on 12th February, 1991 in relation to an incident which is alleged to have occurred at 2.00am on the 7th June, 1990 at 77 Leeds Street, East Doncaster. It is alleged by the applicant that on that date she was the victim of a criminal act, namely; sexual assault, by an unknown male, and that she suffered the following injuries:
“Violation of my body, both physically and mentally. Bruised nose, bruising and grazes on left and right elbow area, right ankle cut, bruising and grazes on both knees, scratched back, bruise on shoulder. I was pregnant at the time of the assault – substantial emotional suffering.”
(Following were noted some sordid, but relatively inaccurate details of the assault. A falsely tainted picture of my character was painted, such as in the following example:
“She wore no clothes to bed.”
But, it isn’t necessary to offer here the whole transcript, so I will cut to the end statements.)
On the evidence before me, it became apparent that there were certain inconsistencies in relation to this application and I could not be satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the applicant was the victim of a criminal act pursuant to the legislation.
There were inconsistencies between the police report and the applicant’s statement.
The Counsellor from the South East Sexual Assault Centre, xxxx, who had prepared a report and also seen the police report, accepted that there were inconsistencies between the police report and the applicant’s statement. She, however, believed that it was quite possible to reconcile the inconsistencies on the basis that it is a “common response to trauma that she has denied what occurred.” I was not able to accept that this was the situation in these circumstances. The application for compensation was therefore refused.
I certify that this and the preceding pages are a true and correct copy of the decision and reasons for decision of Dame Hot Lips Tribunal Magistrate
This Court Case violated and assaulted my very soul.
Well, do you think I left it there and accepted this unjust decision?
HELL NO!! ….. MORE TO COME …..
* White-faced Clown at top of article – Art courtesy of Dave Correia – titled ‘That‘