Home
Professional body says barrister's conduct was not of "infamous nature"...

An Australian lawyer who struck and killed a cyclist but drove off without stopping in order to arrange legal representation in an infamous case the became the subject of public inquiry, did not act unprofessionally...

...or at least not in the view of  the South Australia Legal Practitioners Conduct Board reports the Herald Sun.

The case concerns the death of cyclist Ian Humphrey who in 2003 was riding on Kapunda Road, north of Adelaide when he was hit by Eugene McGee, an Adelaide barrister and former police prosecutor. McGee had just had lunch with his brother and mother and during the meal three bottles of wine, a glass of port and a glass of beer had been ordered.

After the collision McGee failed to stop and render assistance but simply drove on and made a number of phone calls to his lawyer and his family before being driven past the scene on the crash several hours later by his brother.

At that point, even though the police were looking for him after a witness had noted his registration and had set up a roadblock at the scene, McGee failed to identify himself. He was not interviewed by police until the following day, when officers thought they could smell alcohol but still, inexplicably, failed to breathalyse him.

At his trial McGee was found guilty of driving without due care and of failing to stop and render assistance after an accident. He was fined $3,100 and disqualified from driving for a year. He was cleared at a subsequent trial of conspiring, along with his brother, to pervert the course of justice

Mr Humphrey's widow, Di Gilcrist-Humphrey, complained to the South Australia Legal Practitioners Board about McGee’s professional conduct in April 2006 but only received a reply this week.

In the correspondence board member Tony Abbott, said McGee's conduct following the accident was not of a sufficiently "infamous nature" as to represent unprofessional conduct.

South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said he was unimpressed by the board's "weasel words."

He said: "According to the board, a lawyer can hit and kill a cyclist, leave him on the side of the road, even drive past the scene later, and not be guilty of unprofessional conduct. It is disgusting."

He added that lawyers can't be trusted to adjudicate on their fellow legal professionals.
 

8 comments

Avatar
cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Well this is how you might expect a professional lawyer concerned with incurring the lightest possible penalty for his crime to behave.

Avatar
OldRidgeback [2589 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I think the senator put the point rather well. He did miss out any reference to alcohol consumption.

To say that the sentence imposed was rather light is something of an understatement.

Avatar
handlebarcam [564 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Yet another rich and powerful person gets away with murder. It seems to be becoming ever easier for them to do so. Or maybe it is just the increasing gap between reality and my idea of what progress should have brought us in terms of equitable societies. Anyway, taking five years to tell the widow to basically get stuffed is about what you'd expect from a profession for which there is no alternative.

Quote:

McGee failed to indentify himself

...well, hopefully the Australian Society of Typesetters will censure him.

Avatar
flyin4alivin [8 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

 14 Infuriating! Regardless of what they say, this guy is and always will be a hit and run murderer. A vehicle and a drunk driver should be treated like the illegal use of any other deadly weapon. The fact that he is walking free after drinking and killing another person with his car is testament to our strange societal tolerance for criminal behavior influenced by alcohol. It is no different here in the US. We have people walking free after many repeat offenses. Sad. Sadder still is that attorneys aren't working harder to rid their ranks of this kind of vermin. Pathetic.  14

Avatar
bikecellar [268 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Anyone for a cycling holiday down under?

Avatar
whizzkid [73 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

And I thought Britain was unique in the rights it gives to cyclist murderers.

Avatar
peasantpigfarmer [46 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

Horrific! The fact that he is a lawyer is unbelievable! Drink driving and murder! Surely we can campaign via the net to do something about such injustice? There is far too much of this happening worldwide.

Avatar
TheHatter [770 posts] 5 years ago
0 likes

I generally disagree with knee jerk reaction to cases based solely on press reports but in this case...
I hope he rots in hell.