Com­pen­sa­tion bid over wrong­ful jail

Broome Advertiser - - News - Kate Camp­bell

A com­pen­sa­tion bid will soon be launched by lawyers for the man wrong­fully jailed over the death of Broome man Josh Warneke.

It has been three months since Gene Gib­son walked free from prison, where he had spent five years, with his lawyer, Michael Lund­berg, con­firm­ing an ex gra­tia ap­pli­ca­tion to the State Gov­ern­ment for com­pen­sa­tion is im­mi­nent.

One of Mr Gib­son’s big­gest sup­port­ers in his ex gra­tia bid is Mr Warneke’s mother, In­grid Bishop, who said fi­nan­cial help was the least the young Abo­rig­i­nal man and his fam­ily de­served af­ter a “har­row­ing” and “trau­matic” ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mr Lund­berg, who met Mr Gib­son in Alice Springs last week to dis­cuss the ex gra­tia ap­pli­ca­tion, would not be drawn on what kind of pay­out he was chas­ing.

“Our po­si­tion is that he has suf­fered im­mensely and that an ap­pli­ca­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate and we would ex­pect and hope the Gov­ern­ment would be very sym­pa­thetic to the very un­usual and sad cir­cum­stances of his po­si­tion,” he said.

In other com­pen­sa­tion pay­outs, An­drew Mal­lard re­ceived $3.25 mil­lion in 2009 for the 12 years he spent in jail for a mur­der he did not com­mit, while the Mick­el­berg broth­ers were awarded $1 mil­lion for the up to eight years they spent be­hind bars over the Perth Mint swin­dle.

“One has got to bear in mind the things he (Mr Gib­son) has missed out on are dif­fer­ent to the things a non-Abo­rig­i­nal per­son has missed out on,” Mr Lund­berg said.

“I would say a per­son in his cir­cum­stance be­ing away from his coun­try for five years, it’s a dif­fer­ent set of is­sues that might go into the equa­tion,”

Mr Gib­son was far­ing as well as could be ex­pected, his lawyer said.

Mr Gib­son, a 25-year-old il­lit­er­ate man with a limited grasp of English, had his man­slaugh­ter con­vic­tion for Mr Warneke’s 2010 death thrown out by the Court of Ap­peal in April.

Po­lice then launched a fresh probe into Mr Warneke’s mur­der, and boosted the re­ward to find the Broome man’s killer to $250,000.

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