Domenic Perre — the man found guilty over a deadly parcel bomb attack on the National Crime Authority in Adelaide nearly three decades ago — has lost a bid to overturn a guilty verdict for spitting at a police officer in prison.
- Domenic Perre was convicted of murder and attempted murder in June
- He had also been found guilty of assaulting a police officer
- He has lost his appeal against the assault conviction
In March, a magistrate found Perre, 65, guilty of aggravated assault for spitting at Detective Brevet Sergeant Simon Cassell when he came to interview him at the Adelaide Remand Center in 2018.
Brevet Sergeant Cassell and his colleague, Detective Sergeant Andrew Bull, had gone to the remand center to investigate an alleged assault on Perre by another prisoner.
The detectives had been told Perre did not want to speak to the police, but went to his cell to ask him about the assault.
After Brevet Sergeant Cassell identified himself as a police officer, Perre turned his head and spat towards him, with the spit landing on his jacket lapel.
Perre was convicted, but received no extra jail time.
He lodged an appeal against the guilty verdict, which Chief Justice Chris Kourakis dismissed this morning.
Perre watched the hearing through a video link from custody.
After the brief hearing was adjourned his lawyer explained what happened.
“His Honor has dismissed the appeal,” the lawyer said.
“Of course, yeah,” Perre replied.
“The system’s a total a***hole,” Perre said moments before his video link was disconnected.
Perre’s lawyer argued it was an “improbability” that Perre’s spit could have traveled as far as alleged.
They argued the magistrate insufficiently explained his reasons for being satisfied beyond reasonable doubt about Perre’s guilt and took “an erroneously narrow view of the forensic disadvantage suffered by Mr Perre as a result of the investigation failures”.
“I accept that the reasons of the magistrate were inadequate, and in several respects erroneous, but on a re-hearing of the evidence, I am satisfied that the evidence proves the guilt of Mr Perre beyond reasonable doubt,” the chief justice said in his judgement.
He also dismissed argument about police officers not acting in their official capacity when going to interview Perre, knowing that he did not want to speak to them.
“The defense that the detectives were not acting in the course of their duties was plainly untenable,” he said.
“Detective Cassell was undoubtedly correct, or at the very least reasonably took the view, that he should ascertain for himself whether Mr Perre would give him a statement about the assault.”
The chief justice also dismissed any suggestion that the police officers had conspired against Perre, believing him to be responsible for the NCA bombing.
“The motives put to the detectives for choosing to speak to Mr Perre were vague and lacking in substance. They can be dismissed as remote and fanciful.”
Perre is also seeking permission to appeal against his murder and attempted murder convictions.
He was found guilty in June over the bombing that killed Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Bowen and seriously injured lawyer Peter Wallis in 1994.