Despite facing 70 fraud and deception charges, the Liberal's former poster girl, Kathy Jackson, strutted, posed and rolled her eyes for the press on the footpath outside the Melbourne Magistrate's Court. Peter Wicks reports.
SHE WALKED INTO the courtroom, like she was walking onto a yacht …
There was media all over the place, there was a lady crying out for the bible of a deceased relative and there were three ladies who looked like they’d just stepped out of a 1970s hair salon after they’d just asked for the Charlie's Angels look.
However, unfortunately for them all, it looked like they only found the apprentice.
That’s right — it is now Kathy Jackson's turn to play the defendant. And to most observers, it would seem like she had not a care in the world.
Jackson, of course, was once an angel — well to some at least. Now however she is very much the fallen angel in the eyes of most.
Kathy Jackson, the self-proclaimed whistleblower, yesterday found herself in Melbourne Magistrates Court facing 70 “obtain financial advantage by deception” charges — a fraud related charge. These came after a joint investigation by Victoria Police and the organised and major crime division of the Federal Police, known as Taskforce Heracles.
However, there was one other friendly face — that of Katherine Wilkinson, whose signature appears on so many of Kathy’s Health Services Union (HSU) cheque requisitions. Perhaps Wilkinson was really only there to try ensure Jackson doesn’t dump on her. Good luck with that!
The Magistrates' Court mention was scheduled for Court Three, but had to be moved at the last-minute to Court One due to the number of media and spectators.
After a few other cases were heard, it was time for Kathy to face the music.
Jackson has chosen to fight the charges against her — much to the delight of the press as this means it will turn into a three-ring circus as everyone gets hauled before the court.
Kathy’s bail conditions were decided upon and they include:
- the surrender of her passport;
- she is not allowed to make contact with any of the prosecution witnesses (when she finds out who they are in a couple of days);
- she is not allowed in the departure section of an international terminal of an airport and she is not allowed to move from her current South Coast residence at Wombara.
Jackson leaving court looking rather smug
After seeking as much time as possible to go through the prosecution's 5,000 page brief, the date for the commencement of the committal hearing was scheduled for 24 January 2017.
There was some debate regarding the charge sheets and the publication of Jackson’s home address on them, with Jackson claiming that someone had previously attempted to burn her house down. This was in reference to the fire that further delayed her Federal Court appearance — a fire the fire brigade and police classed as unsuspicious.
At the end of the brief court mention, Jackson was warned of the consequences, which included being placed in custody should she breach any of her bail conditions.
On level two, whilst waiting for the official charge sheets, I briefly had Kathy behind me in the queue waiting to sign her bail forms. There was none of the bravado style commentary like there was at the Royal Commission, but there certainly didn’t seem to be a lot of stress in those eyes either. Press were sent to a counter nearby to await the charge sheets and I watched as Jackson accepted her bail conditions with a make-up brush in one hand as she prepared to walk through the press pack gathered outside.
Outside, Jackson strutted through the press and there was a small scene as a lady accidentally stood on the back of one of Kathy’s friend's shoes as they crossed the road. Kathy’s friend carried on like "Lady Muck", calling it assault and so forth. The scene was captured on video.
The lady in question was in court today with her friend, Jackie Fischer.
Jackie is the sister of Sean Fischer, the man who was found dead at Kathy Jackson and Michael Lawler's Wombara home in March.
Jackie is upset that Jackson and Lawler have refused to return any of Sean’s personal effects, including his computer, his mobile phone and, in particular, a bible that apparently holds great sentimental value.
Sean crossed paths with Jackson at the South Coast Private Psychiatric Hospital where, Jackie feels, Jackson sought to take advantage of his vulnerabilities. Despite the death of Jackie's brother, Sean, at Jackson's premises, Jackson has not offered sympathy, or even engaged with Jackie at all — let alone returned the possessions.
In a strange move, Kathy and her posse decided to have a coffee on the footpath with the media watching, rather than venture to any one of the number of nearby cafés, demonstrating that despite pretending to be dodging media, she clearly can’t get enough of it. Vanity can be a curse.
We’ll see how far into January and February it lasts.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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