Home' InDaily : March 5th 2010 Contents The Graham F. Smith Peace Trust Inc.
Working for Peace through the Arts
Call for Submissions
Applications are invited from individuals & organisations for
an arts project that promotes peace, justice, & care for the environment.
In 2010 there will be one major grant of up to $10,000
(deadline - Monday, 24 May)
Application form and project guidelines can be downloaded
from the Trust's website www.artspeacetrust.org
Graham F. Smith Peace Trust Inc.
PO Box 693, North Adelaide, SA 5006
March 5 - 11, 2010
5The Independent Weekly
"I said: My name s Rick and I was
married to Michelle.
"The injury to his face was because
I missed. If you ve got the rolled-up
magazine and you re slapped on the
cheek you don t get a graze, but if
you miss and you get the paper cuts
from the end of the magazine it s the
"I know it s popular belief that I had
super-human strength and that I was
kicking and biting and trying to reach
for a knife and all those sort of things.
Our super-hero Barry Harrif, 74 years
old, got me in a headlock and then he
stood up afterwards and was showing
everybody all the scratches from when
he attacked me but the scratches he
had on his arm were from when Kevin
Foley got the wrong guy and attacked
"I dropped the magazine and
thought: Oh shit what have I done?
Rann s likely to have two or three
bodyguards here. I m going to get
arms, legs, god knows what else
broken if I do anything.
"Then our glorious Treasurer said:
He s trying to kill the Premier, he s
trying to kill the Premier!
"I got out and I was sitting on the
edge of the paddy wagon and Foley
came out and shouted at me again:
You tried to kill the Premier . I don t
think I said fuck him but I said
You re an idiot .
"Foley knew who I was because I d
written him a letter in August 2009
when he and Rann were having a bit of
a spat. I wrote a letter saying: Do you
want to be South Australia s very own
Peter Costello, always the bridesmaid,
never the bride? Because if you have
any ambition to be the bride, here s
some letters about the Premier. If you
want to do something about it -- here it
is. So I sent copies of the letters and
the whole thing."
It was over, at least that part of it. Mr
Phillips was taken to the watch-house
to be charged.
"They put me in a cell and I just
had a light shirt on. I laid down on
this concrete slab, which is cold, and
I don t think I had felt as much at
peace for a long, long time. I felt that
I d finally started the procedure of
closure, if you like. I almost fell asleep
in this particularly uncomfortable
"I d been trying to get Rann to be
accountable and answer my questions
for four years, so I thought now I ve
actually got all of my questions firmly
in the middle of his desk at the front of
"I was battling psychologically with
every instinct that I have and every-
thing that Michelle, my psychologist
and my friends would say ... battling
against my own instincts for four
years. I mean it s a real battle when
you just know, but everyone else says
you re crazy and loony because you re
thinking this and you re thinking that
and for the first time within that four
years I lay down and I was at peace."
Mr Phillips finally got back to his
Burnside home. It had been quite a
night, and it was going to be quite a
morning. When he woke up and looked
outside, it seemed that every television
news crew in Adelaide was encamped
in his cul de sac at 7am. Three hours
later, news reporters asked Mr Rann if
he knew the man who attacked him.
"I ve never met him before," replied
"You say you ve never met him
before. Do you know what he meant by
what he said to you?"
"No I don t, ah intend, I do not
intend discussing something that is
now with the police, thank you," he
replied, and that was the end of the
AUTUMN in Adelaide has sunny days
and cool nights. Mr Phillips woke
yesterday not knowing when next
he might be home again. Would it be
hours, days, weeks? Months? This
was the morning of his trial, and he
planned to plead guilty to the charge
of assault. He is a businessman,
well-regarded by his peers, impeccable
character references -- as tendered in
court. But about the law he admits he
knows little. Fortunately he had a good
legal team all through the case, and
yesterday David Edwardson QC was at
the bar table before Magistrate Cathy
"Mr Phillips works as a self-
employed importer and distributor
of hardware components," said his
barrister s submission.
"He married Michelle Chantelois
on 15 October 1995. They have two
boys who are 11 and a half and 18 and
a half. Marriage and children were
everything to this man."
Mr Edwardson continued, outlining
how his client had come to suspect an
affair, and how very much he wanted
to believe it was "just friendship". But
the call sheets and the conversations
with his wife made that very, very
"The defendant is a man of
rather simple and straightforward
old-fashioned values," Mr Edwardson
said. "He assumed and expected that
the other party, not just because of his
position of high office but because it
was the right thing to do, would have
the courage and integrity to face up
to him and tell him honestly that his
fears were misplaced or alternatively
that there had been an inappropri-
ate relationship. All attempts to
communicate with the other party
received no response. This only served
to exacerbate his state of anxiety and
"When his attempts to communicate
with the other party failed he
consulted with his GP and then a
psychologist in an attempt to deal
with his anxiety, frustration and
depression about the situation. All of
these pressures and emotions came to
a head on 1 October 2009 when he, by
pure chance, happened to encounter
the other party at the Adelaide Wine
"The prosecution does not
challenge that the assault was not
pre-meditated; the defendant did not
approach the victim with an intention
to assault him; the charged act was
a spontaneous and impulsive loss of
self-control following upon a history
of unsuccessful attempts by him to
speak personally to Mr Rann about his
relationship with the defendant s wife;
and the defendant did not intend to
injure or cause the victim harm."
Mr Edwardson argued against a
custodial sentence, and asked that no
conviction be recorded. The prosecu-
tion was of another mind, but Her
Honour had a mind of her own.
She said the offence was very
much at the lower end of the
scale despite the public response,
and that while the victim -- Mr
Rann -- had suffered "significant
embarrassment" she did not
consider Mr Rann s position to be
relevant in sentencing.
She imposed a $1000, two-year
good behaviour bond and ordered
Mr Phillips to pay court costs of
$60. No conviction was recorded.
It was over.
But not quite. Reporters
waited outside the Magistrates
Court doors, cameras two deep
and lenses as long. Mr Phillips
emerged. He seemed almost to be
blinking. But the Premier, who
has maintained his denials of
a sexual relationship with Ms
Chantelois, had a word or two.
Naturally he was asked for his
reaction. He said he "hoped the
matter can now be resolved",
whatever that means.
Should Mr Phillips go to jail,
Mr Rann was asked. "That s not
really for me to say," he replied,
not really saying.
There is a tide in the affairs of
men, and high tide appears for Mr
Phillips every 10 years, virtually
to the day. "Michelle was born in
1970," he says. "When I met her
I was working in an Australian
bar in Los Angeles -- just casual
work, and then I bought the bar in
1990. This weekend she s 40 on the
7th of March, and our first date
week before her birthday in 1990."
And now it s March, 2010. The
couple are no longer a couple,
although they very much share
the parenting. Later this year
Michelle intends to go to the
United States for six months. He
will look after the kids then, and
keep building his business.
"I saw her through that much
of the doorway yesterday," Rick
said, indicating with his hands. "I
mean, she s doing it tough."
The blogs will continue, of
course, the poisonous Andrew
Landeryou s among them. Poison
contaminates, adjectives like
"dangerous psychopath", and one
drop can kill a whole reputation.
Anton looks at his father. The
chicken sandwich looks good.
The greatest danger, of course,
is in the losing of hope, and
yesterday this fractured family
of four were given at least part of
From Page 4
years I ve
had to sit
Leaving court: two-year good behaviour bond.
Photo: Kate Elmes
Mike Rann earlier this year: denies a sexual
Photo: Kate Elmes
Michelle Chantelois at an art exhibition
opening in North Adelaide.
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