O'Farrell applauds decision to revoke bail
May 9, 2012
THE decision by a Supreme Court judge to revoke the bail of a former bikie boss who allegedly torched a police vehicle will ''restore public confidence in the judicial system's ability to uphold community standards," the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, said.
But remarks from the judge who made the decision suggest Mr O'Farrell's commentary on the case may have been less than welcome among the judiciary.
The former Nomads bikie boss Scott Orrock is back behind bars today over the alleged torching of a police vehicle outside his Newtown tattoo parlour on April 21.
Back behind bars ... former bikie boss Scott Orrock has had his bail revoked in the interest of "public confidence in the judicial system's ability to uphold community standards," said Barry O'Farrell. Photo: Lee Besford
After being granted bail by a local court magistrate two weeks ago, Justice Peter Garling yesterday revoked Mr Orrock's bail on review, finding that the 47-year-old was a flight risk and was likely to reoffend.
''The protection and welfare of the community, in particular … the violent nature of the offence and the likelihood that he will commit further serious offences, require that the bail review should be upheld,'' Justice Garling said.
Having accused the judiciary of ''living in a bubble'' after the initial decision to grant Mr Orrock bail, Mr O'Farrell said yesterday's reversal would be ''greeted with relief''.
But in handing down his decision, Justice Garling appeared to deliberately distance himself from the Premier's intervention. ''A court is not a part of the executive arm of government,'' he said.
''Nor is it supporting the executive function of government. On the contrary, it is determining, as a wholly independent arbiter, how the law fixed by parliament ought to be applied in a dispute between the executive and the individual.''
Justice Garling found that the police case against Mr Orrock was a strong one, describing claims that someone else may have torched the vehicle as ''fanciful''.
Shortly before the police paddy waggon was torched, Mr Orrock allegedly confronted officers at Newtown Police Station and said ''I'll give you 10 minutes to move that car or I'll burn it to the ground''.
Justice Garling said that Mr Orrock had 24 prior convictions and 349 police intelligence reports relating to criminal activity and bikie gangs.