Drama generated by the “punch” independent candidate Vic Tagg generously gifted Ryde Mayor Bill Pickering was a complete stitch-up, worsened by sub-standard reporting, evidence presented to a Sydney court suggests.
Pickering’s dubious role as a witness in ICAC’s Ryde inquiry – while at the time still registered as a lobbyist and closely connected with former attorney general Greg Smith, at the time the minister charged with ICAC’s oversight – has never really been reported by mainstream media outlets, but he continues to use the ICAC to attack his political rivals.
It is a measure of the diminishing role of ICAC that it has been led down the garden path in this way and with the High Court’s recent judgement in the Margaret Cunneen matter, its days could be numbered.
You’ll remember the huge fuss around Ryde’s Mayor being “coward punched” by independent candidate Vic Tagg at a Ryde Council by-election. Well, Vic Tagg’s now fronted court, pleaded guilty and has been handed a good behaviour bond.
Tagg’s lawyer. Greg Walsh, presented hospital records that tell a different story to Pickering’s at the time of the incident and discredit statements that he was “king hit” or “coward punched” or was knocked unconscious.
But more importantly, the magistrate accepted he’d been provoked. By what? We don’t have to look too far – a grubby political leaflet authorised by Pickering was distributed to residents on the eve of the by-election.
Robert Ovadia from Seven News told ABC 702’s Richard Glover drive program that he was sent a picture of Pickering on a paramedic stretcher within 10 minutes of the incident.
And some thorough reporting by Kate Bastians from The Northern District Times included details of medical record evidence which suggests Pickering’s near death experience was, shall we say, a little dodgerama.
So it’s kinda looking a little like the “victim” was actually the perpetrator.
Indeed, ovadia drops a huge bomb at the end of his report, hinting that Pickering may now be sued by Tagg over his grubby leaflet.
Maybe it’s time to have a good look into what role Pickering played in the Ryde ICAC inquiry.
To read up more on the court events that unveiled the true events on Ryde by-election polling day and the super duper, knockout intergalactic “punch” that came within a whisker of taking Bill Pickering’s life, have a look at these links: