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Criminal lawyer Doug Winning calls for respect in profession

Amy Formosa

REPRESENTING a criminal does not make you one.

But Rockhampton lawyer Doug Winning (pictured) believes this is the attitude Premier Campbell Newman's government is fostering.

His comments come after he claims he was harassed by two cameramen outside the Rockhampton court house on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Winning had just defended Michael Charles Vock, who was sentenced to nine years jail for offences of child sex abuse.

"I had the client's elderly father and sister with me, who are very decent people," he said.

"We walked past (the cameras) and put on a stoic face. Then we went around the back and these two cameramen have sort of encroached upon me.

"I told them they had their footage and one of them said 'how do you sleep at night'. They were basically calling me a surrogate pedophile."

Mr Winning said he believed Mr Newman's regulation of the justice system was making it okay for people to treat private lawyers as "second-class citizens".

He claimed the government used lawyers as targets to advance their political agendas.

"He is fostering media attacks towards lawyers when all they are doing is pursuing a profession," he said.

"It's reached a point where it could deter young people from entering the trade. I'm just sick and tired of the way private lawyers are treated in our state."

With the hunt for a new Chief Justice under way, Mr Winning said he hoped the replacement would be able to steer the legal profession in the right direction.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General said "everybody has the right to be defended under the law".

Topics:  child sex offences, doug winning




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