Australian lawyer beats off contempt ruling

An Australian lawyer who called a supreme court judge a “w*nker” was not guilty of contempt of court, another senior judge has ruled.

Solicitor, Simon Harry Parsons, was charged with contempt after another solicitor reported him for accusing Justice Barry Beach of “having his hand on his dick”.

The comments were made when Parsons was served with an injunction, preventing him bulldozing on the disputed boundary of his Gippsland property.

Justice Philip Cummins, who presided in the contempt hearing said: “It may be offensive, but it is not contempt of court for a person to describe a judge as a w*nker. The words uttered by the defendant, albeit particularised, say just that.”

He added that the words, although “gratuitous and offensive” fell short of contempt and did not undermine confidence in the administration of justice.”