VIDEO | Senator says he was “foolish” to take key

No conviction: Barrister Peter King, left, and Senator Rod Culleton, right, leave Armidale Local Court with supporters and a solicitor on Tuesday after pleading guilty to larceny. Photo: Breanna Chillingworth
Nanjing Night Net

It was ‘foolish’Rod Culleton says the only reason he dropped the application to have the larcenycase heard by a jury was because there was a plea deal done.

Speaking outside Armidale Local Court on Tuesday, Mr Culleton said it was a “favourable outcome” after he was handed a Section 10adismissal fora larceny charge.

“It’s been at huge expense, not only to my family but to a number of parties over $7.50 of a key, a key that I put the value too,” he told media.

“I just basically can say some days dogshit does stick to your boot but I can say I want to go on from here.”

The case was set down for hearing in court on Tuesday morning but Mr Culleton reversed his not guilty plea to guilty, admitting to the theft of the tow truck key on April 11, 2014.

Senator Rod Culleton admits he was “foolish” to take tow truck key during dispute in #Guyra in 2014. He’s escaped conviction today @The_NDLpic.twitter南京夜网/ikUhd2NElY

— BreannaChillingworth (@breannachill) October 25, 2016Barrister Peter King says Senator Rod Culleton has been “exonerated” in #Armidale court after escaping conviction for larceny @The_NDLpic.twitter南京夜网/wEAgmsmW21

— BreannaChillingworth (@breannachill) October 25, 2016Barrister says Culleton ‘exonerated’Culleton’s barrister Peter King says his client’s name has been cleared.

“I’m very pleased to say that Rod Culleton has been completely exonerated in the court today and the charges against him have been dismissed,” he said outstide Armidale Local Court.

“On the basis he was to be completely exonerated and he was, and indeed the magistrate held that he was a man of very good character.”

NO CONVICTIONMagistrate Michael Holmes has found the larceny charge proven butdismissed itunder Section 10A, meaning Rod Culleton will be free to continue as a senator for Western Australia.

In sentencing, Mr Holmes said Culleton acted “foolishly” during the dispute in 2014.

In court: WA Senator Rod Culleton outside Armidale Local Court earlier this year. Photo: Matt Bedford

Mr Holmes said he took into account the extenuating delays in the case by Culleton, his good character, family ties and his work.

“The trivial nature of the offence … but I do find that you acted somewhat foolishly,” he told Culleton.

Mr Holmes ordered Culleton to pay $322.85in compensation to the tow truck driver.

GUILTY PLEARod Culleton has pleaded guilty to stealing a tow truck driver’s key after an altercation in April 2014.

Barrister Peter King said his client was acting in “self-defence” when the key was “flung” during the confrontation on April 11 in Guyra.

“[His actions] was to prevent a criminal trespass to his vehicle and the property on which he was located,” he told the court.

APPLICATION TO HAVE CASE HEARD BY A JURYWA ONE Nation senator Rod Culleton will try and have a charge he stole a towtruck driver’s key in Guyra heard before a jury.

The newly-elected senator appeared in Armidale Local Court on Tuesday morning where the case was set down for hearing before the court was told he wants the matter dealt with in the district court.

Mr Culleton’s barrister Peter King lodged an application in the court to have the matter which he says is strictly indictable heard by a jury.

In court: WA Senator Rod Culleton outside Armidale Local Court earlier this year. Photo: Matt Bedford

But Magistrate Michael Holmes is refusing to grant the application.

“This was never flagged, the matter is listed for hearing today,” he told the court.

“This was received yesterday morning at this courthouse …not very satisfactory is it.

“Iwould have expected more courtesy to the court.”

For the charge to be dealt with in the district court the larceny charge must relate to an item worth more than $5000.

Mr Holmes questioned the application and said Mr Culleton had been quoted in the mediasaying the charge related to “a $7.50 key”.

“He now puts the value at over $5000,” Mr Holmes said examining the papers.

“I think the charge sets the value of the obtaining the key the value of … just say about $300.

“That’s what the crown is relying on for the purposes of these proceedings.

“It is not a proper case for a jury.”

Mr King said there were two issues in the case and it should be heard before a jury.

Barrister Peter KingThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.