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Stabbed man’s family

admit assaulting accused ‘killer’

Aja Styles

March 2, 2011 – 1:38PM

Accused killer attacked outside court

Relatives of man stabbed to death in Northbridge dish out their own justice on his accused killer outside the Supreme Court.

The family of an Aboriginal man who died after being stabbed in Northbridge has pleaded guilty to bashing his accused killer outside the Supreme Court.

The dead man, who for cultural reasons is known only as Mr Stack, suffered fatal stab wounds while walking the back streets of the entertainment precinct on August 15 last year.

Christopher Lee Brenchley was accused of murdering Mr Stack but last month had his charge downgraded to manslaughter and was granted bail by the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court.

The decision prompted outrage from members of the victim’s family, with relatives yelling abuse at Mr Brenchley inside the court.

The confrontation continued outside court, near Council House on St George’s Terrace, when Mr Brenchley was set upon by Mr Stack’s sister, Desiree Melanie Stack, who hit him to the body and face, causing him to lose a tooth.

Her cousin, Clinton James Stack – who was with Mr Stack when he died – and relative Gregory John Hart also set upon Mr Brenchley, punching him to the face and body and kicking him, causing cuts and bruises that had to be treated in hospital.

Shouts of “white dog” and swear words directed at Mr Brenchley were heard during the scuffle, which was captured by news crews covering the case. A TV cameraman was also assaulted while filming the fight.

Clinton Stack’s lawyer, John Bougher, said his client was very emotional over witnessing the death of his cousin and had acted on impulse.

“He couldn’t understand how the charges were downgraded. How was this person walking the streets and his cousin was deceased?” Mr Bougher said.

“…It can be understood that emotions were running very, very high.”

He argued that Mr Stack’s apprenticeship as a fixer at Macmahon Holdings Limited would be in jeopardy because a lot of the work was on mining sites and a criminal conviction prevented him from getting the police clearances needed to go onsite.

He was due to fly to the Argyle Diamond mine in the Pilbara this week but instead had to face the Perth Magistrates Court over his assault occasioning bodily harm charge.

Despite being highly regarded in his workplace and receiving an award from the Prime Minister for his apprenticeship, Magistrate Elizabeth Woods refused to grant a spent conviction due to the seriousness of the crime.

“The decision to downgrade the charges was not Mr Brenchley’s,” she said.

“… No doubt your attendance and being present the time would have had an impact on yourself and your family and would cause stress and heartache.

“… (Mr Brenchley) is entitled to plead not guilty in court, should he choose, and for you to join in on this attack is unacceptable. The community can’t condone waiting for people to leave court, whether they are in court or coming across them fortuitously.”

He was fined $2000 and asked to pay court costs.

Ms Stack, who volunteers with the Noongar Patrol in Northbridge, had no work and had to take care of a six-year-old son as a single mother, her lawyer Seamus Rafferty argued.

She could not afford a hefty fine imposed for the charge of assault occasioning bodily harm, he said.

Although she started the fight, she was granted a 15-month community supervision order, 100 hours community work and a program for psychological counselling, and must also pay court costs of $62.50.

Mr Hart, who injured his hand during the fight which prevented him from working on bulldozers in the Bickley area, also pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm. He was fined $2000 and court costs.

Craig Leslie Cox, who assaulted the cameraman during the scuffle with Mr Brenchley, was fined $1500 and court costs.


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