[Surfside] Mooning is OK, court told (Australia)
Wed, 4 Dec 2002 00:18:13 +0000
Mooning is OK, court told
November 30 2002
By Dale Paget
The lawyer for a Brisbane man who flashed his buttocks at a police car
argued in court yesterday that "mooning" was a constitutional right and
a part of the larrikin Australian character.
James Albert Ernest Togo, 20, pleaded not guilty in the Coolangatta
Magistrates Court to indecent behaviour when he "mooned" a police car
soon after midnight on August 12 this year.
The offence, which carries a maximum fine of $100, became a sticky
constitutional issue when Aboriginal legal service lawyer Eugene
O'Sullivan argued "mooning" a police car was a legitimate and legal
means of expression. He said it was a "mild" political act and a protest
against government authority protected under the implied freedoms of the
The court was told Togo was with about 10 other youths when he pulled
his pants down as a police car drove within two metres of the group.
"I got a fairly clear view through the front window," Constable Timothy
Mr O'Sullivan said the action reflected the irreverent Australian
character which enjoyed poking fun at authority. "The larrikin moon is
of a political nature when it is directed at an authority figure," he
Magistrate Sheryl Cornack adjourned the case until December 13 to allow
time for the federal and state attorneys-general to consider a response.
Paul Makepeace ....................................... http://paulm.com/
"What is Jimi Hendrix? Can be found gently festering in a corner."