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Monday, February 13, 2006

Footy Thugs Cop Soft Sentences

In Melbourne, the County Court (AFL Division) has disappointed once again in releasing violent AFL bruisers onto our streets. Three dickheads who went on a bashing spree in Federation Square, leaving a trail of damage and hospitalising a number of people, have managed to dodge jail. Even the one with priors for violence. Hard to understand, isn't it. Oh, did I mention they were good at playing footy?

Collingwood's Dane Swan and Williamstown's Aaron Ramsay (VFL, footy's second-tier comp) both got off with "community-based orders". Kade Carey (from Essendon's VFL team), nephew of disgraced footballer Wayne Carey, also copped a CBO plus a suspended sentence. Here at the Speccy we've been following this case closely for some time - from crime to preliminary hearing to plea - and are mighty let down at the sentence.

Let's just step through it:

  1. Kade Carey "has a previous conviction for assault" (Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06). Not sure when, who or how, but this is not his first time.

  2. In December 2001, at Federation Square, Kade Carey inexplicably launched himself at a passing motorist.

  3. Lauren Marriner, the driver of the vehicle, told police that she saw three men standing on the side of Flinders Street. Then one of them ran at her car.

    "As I got closer to the males, I slowed down so I wouldn't hit them. As I was still moving slowly, the larger guy ran at my car, ran onto the bonnet and jumped on my windscreen 'body slam' style," Ms Marriner told police. (The Age, 25/1/05)
  4. Kade Carey then "initiated the fight, beating up a cleaner and three security guards with the help of his two mates." (Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06).

  5. Kade Carey led the assault that left the cleaner and one bouncer in hospital. One witness "told police that two of the men had stopped attacking the security guards but the third had continued kicking a guard until the police arrived." (The Age, 25/1/05)

  6. Dane Swan and Aaron Ramsay scarpered off down St Kilda Road. Kade stayed behind and was arrested at the scene. "The court was told Carey resisted attempts to arrest him, punching a police officer in the face before being subdued by capsicum spray." (Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06).

What absolute disgraceful conduct from these three men. Surely, this kind of public melee warrants the strongest possible condemnation from our justice system. What was the response from the County Court's Judge John Barnett?

The judge described his actions as "stupid and arrogant", but ... acknowledg[ed] that Carey was provoked.

He said Swan and Ramsay joined the fight to defend their friend. (Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06).

No comment. Readers can draw their own inferences about the implications of that. Final tally for their drunken violence spree:

  • Kade Carey. No jail time. Two months suspended sentence. Fine of $3000. 200 hours of community service.

  • Aaron Ramsay. No jail time. No suspended sentence. No fine. 120 hours of community service.

  • Dane Swan. No jail time. No suspended sentence. No fine. 100 hours of community service.

Source: The Age, 24/1/05
Dane Swan (left), Kade Carey (middle) and Aaron Ramsay (right) at last year's hearing.

Some people may scoff at the leniency of the sentences. Well, I'm sure it's got nothing to do with these boys being good at footy. No siree, no playing favourites in this town. So presumably all citizens can attack a female motorist, a cleaner, three bouncers and a policeman. You can even put a couple in hospital (by kicking, according to one witness). Hell, even if you've got prior convictions for assault - you'll still not lose your liberty! Plus, if it's one of your idiot mates doing the offending, you can step right in and help dish out some biff without even risking so much as a fine. That'll make Victorians feel safe in public places.

It's enough to make you wonder: what does it take to get put in jail? (They probably reserve jail time for the really serious stuff - like contempt of court charges arising from questioning a judge's sentences!)

One thing I'll say in defence of the judge though: he gave Kade Carey the "toughest" of the sentences; fair enough, given the massive preponderance of his guilt in all this.

I just hope that these young men use the opportunity for the three or four weeks of "unpaid work" to do something positive for the community. No doubt it will just be signing footballs at a primary school somewhere, or pouring beers at their team's social club. But they could make a positive contribution by publicly denouncing the warped values and alcohol-fuelled violence that permeates AFL culture. Sadly, I don't think this is the last we'll be seeing of these three idiots.

*** UPDATE ***

In a first for The Speccy, we've published a long interview with the ringleader of this sordid affair, Kade Carey. Kade speaks about the circumstances of the assault, the court case and the fall-out on the rest of his life.

Citations: Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06; The Age, 25/1/05; Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06; The Age, 25/1/05; Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06; Melbourne Herald-Sun, 11/2/06

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  • get a life man. they didnt get off cos they were footy players they didnt get off... they still got punished nd im sure there community service wont include signing footys u wanker.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 pm, February 18, 2006  

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  • In what sense where they punished? I'd say they got away with it more or less cleanly.

    Oh - and see that grey thing in front of you with all the squares on it? That's a full-sized keyboard. So there's no need for SMS-speak on the computer.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:15 am, February 19, 2006  

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  • They are morons and if i had ny way they would be executed !!!

    In the street what about the people they hurt?

    Dont they deservre something other than a slap on the wrist i hope the entire industry collapses and football dies along with its moron supporters!

    fuck you all

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:46 pm, February 19, 2006  

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  • While I respect your passion, I have to say them's some strong words. Execution may be a bit OTT. But, certainly, the victims of the bashings must feel let down at the leniency of the sentence and lack of substantive penalty. Particularly given the number of victims and (in Kade Carey's case) the prior assault conviction.

    As the the collapse of the footy industry, I would like to see it toned down a little. Well, a lot. They should return to an amateur competition. If footy players had to hold down real jobs I'm sure they would be a lot better off and there would be much less fallout on the rest of society.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:09 pm, February 19, 2006  

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  • Dear Greg Were present at the court hearing the evidence or were you just reading about in the media? Fair enough Kade Carey jumped on the car but did you know he was then bashed by a cleaner and a few of the security guards. The two who were with him didn't think the car was damaged turned around and saw what was happening to their mate. Many would have done the same thing to protect a mate - what about the injuries to Carey? One of them Swan had very little to do with it and the girls involved stated this in court. Maybe you should get your facts straight before you start mouthing off. They are people just like anyone else and they did get some punishment.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 pm, April 04, 2006  

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  • Hello Mr. Anonymous Coward,

    No, I was not present at the court hearings. I looked up the hearing details with the County Court but was not able to find out where it was being held in time. (They seem to use a very archaic web system.) I've been following this case closely and would love to have been present.

    Still, I was able to determine what happened from the media reports. If you are saying they are not telling the truth, then Messrs Carey, Swan et al should launch defamation proceedings. I don't recall reading Kade Carey's assailants being charged with a crime. Was this a cover-up? Or was it just that the cleaners and bouncers were acting in self-defence?

    It's not up to me to collect my own evidence and form a judgment: that's up to the magistrates and judges. I don't have the investigative resources to "get the facts straight" and nor should I; that's properly the role of the police, courts and media.

    If you're suggesting there's been corruption by the police or courts, or the media have defamed these young men, then step up and seek redress. Otherwise, you'll have to accept that these drunken, violent men damaged property, hurt people and were found guilty of serious crimes.

    (OK, that might not be reflected in the sentencing as it was very lenient IMHO given that at least one person was hospitalised. But it's hardly the first time that judge has handed out a sentence out of whack with community standards.)

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:26 pm, April 04, 2006  

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  • I got a criminal record just for urinating down an alleyway at 1am in the morning, when i see stuff like this it really pisses me off!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:07 am, May 24, 2006  

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  • I'm guessing you're not a footballer then? If you had been, your bottled urine would be on sale on eBay right now instead. Or, it would be in place of pride in some copper's living room.

    These guys get off largely scott free and you copped a criminal record for having a sly, late night, discreet piss.

    It's not like you kicked someone in the head while they were on the ground, right?

    The law truly is an ass, so it's to be expected that the law bends over backwards to help out footballers.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:27 am, May 24, 2006  

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  • you r all dickheads!! get a life!!! people have done way worse then they have though what they did was totally dumb ass stuff

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 pm, July 06, 2006  

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  • Interesting argument you're advancing here. I read it two ways:

    1) What these thugs did was bad (= "totally dumb ass"), yet is still below some sort of threshold for warranting public criticism.

    2) People are immune from public criticism for their behaviour as long as they can identify at least one person who has committed a bigger crime (= "way worse stuff").

    Is that what you're saying? Have I got it right?

    If so, I don't think you've thought through your novel theory of jurisprudence very well.

    But you're welcome to expound further on your approach.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:14 am, July 07, 2006  

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  • whoever wrote this is an absolute fuckwit.wat loser sits here and writes about footballers and pays out on them. u r jealous that u r not one u piece of shit scumbag. say it to their faces u gutless tosser

    By Blogger hormel, at 5:42 pm, August 25, 2006  

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  • Hi Hormel,

    Thanks for your contribution. But don't hold back - say what you really think!

    Seriously, perhaps this blog isn't for you. You might feel more at home reading Speccy Sux.

    BTW, I'm eagerly waiting for your own blog - modestly dubbed "Hormel Is A Star" - to appear soon. Will that be once you're through to the final round of Australian Idol, perhaps? Or when your English teacher puts a gold one on your first piece of homework with all the capitals in the right spot?

    Good luck in life, Hormel. I don't think the world is going to be kind to an angry, profane and illiterate youngster with an inflated ego.

    Unless - are you good at footy?

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:56 pm, August 25, 2006  

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  • The problem with Kade Carey is his Dad. An arrogant stuckup dickhead. And yes I know him personally.
    He has got away with so much. Take a look at his record (if you have enough paper)!!
    Kade's younger brother Ben is a rude thug aswell.

    I've played directly on Kade Carey in 3 games of football and whilst he was a hard but usually fair player on the field, he is an absolute scumbag off it.

    But if the courts don't do anything about it who will?!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:35 am, August 30, 2006  

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  • This fight should not even have been heard in a court,there a pub brawls all the time why don't hear about all of them.... The chick is a whinging mole, fuck the windscreen shame the smashed glass didnt slit her throat... Go footy boys you rock i would have been smerking in court to knowing money and good looks paid off.... :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:07 pm, September 28, 2006  

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  • In case anyone wondered why I do this blog, the above remarks gives you an inkling into the hate-filled moronic attitudes seeping throughout society. Footy culture - where tribalism meets commercialism - is the engine-room for the boganisation of Australia.

    By Blogger Greg, at 2:32 pm, September 29, 2006  

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  • Oh, and if you were looking for a deeper understanding of why Kade Carey is the way that he is, we had a very interesting comment about his home life last week.

    By Blogger Greg, at 2:37 pm, September 29, 2006  

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  • I stumble across this sight by accident and I just find it interesting that you assume because these guys play footbal that they don't work.

    You also seem to assume that they are thugs because they play football, maybe they are just thugs? Or maybe there was more to the story? Courts are often supressing evidence for the strangest reasons.

    I just find it fascinating that your common ground for argument in all your issues are because they are footballers. Did anyone ever stop to think they are just young men who more than likely could have wound up in the same situation whether they played football or not? Would you find it as outrageous or even care if they weren't footballers?

    If you are so upset by there actions and (in your eyes) lack of punishment then it is the judicial sytem you really have a problem with. Not these young men as induviduals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 am, October 11, 2006  

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  • Hello Jasmine,

    I gather you're asking whether footballers are bad because the clubs select dickheads (dickheads make good players), or whether something rotten in the footy culture turns them into dickheads. I'm guessing "a little of column A and a little of column B".

    You see, there's probably latent dickhead in all of us; for those good at football it's closer to the surface. Football culture, however, has a corrupting influence in that this inate thuggery is rewarded by the common values of the players.

    Check out the insights from research psychologists into the bizarre and ugly world of the AFL group mentality.

    While I am disappointed in what I perceive to be under-policing (check the remarks by Victoria's most senior detective on this) and a very light touch by the judiciary, that's not my main gripe.

    Mostly, it's that the respect, admiration and worship shown to these blokes by our society is completely out of kilter with their off-field behaviour. As a group, they are amongst the most obnoxious and criminal of all in the public eye. (Even soap stars and rock musicians are better behaved!) Yet, footballers are also the most-fawned after, with nearly everyone ready to offer a ready excuse for the latest rape, bashing, drink-driving, whatever scandal.

    We have a dangerous attitude that sins off the field can be absolved by performance on the field. Mick Malthouse said as much over the Johnson/Tarrant scandal. After I finished an article documenting Wayne Carey's personal shortcomings, "Bazza" wrote in his defence "I saw him kick 11 one day Greg. Tore the game to bits." See what I mean?

    That's what gets my goat. And that's what I try, in a small way, to rectify here.

    By Blogger Greg, at 11:52 am, October 11, 2006  

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  • Greg I appreciate your stance about footballers being worshipped out of proportion.

    I don't however think it is a problem for someone to worship a footballers abilty on the field even if they are useless off it. Sometimes at a game a player can do something remarkable that makes you watch in Awww, you never forget that feeling.

    As far as worshipping them off the field I do feel it should be about there persona in everyday life some footballers are remarkable people educated or not.

    At the end of the day these men are just boys who where good at football and made it to the big time. They should not be expected to be role models for life conduct because they are simply what they are footballers. i would like to think people are taught that at an early age.

    Whilst I don't condone bad behaviour there is no reason for them to behave any other way then they see fit and for society to make there own chocies about what is acceptable. Which is exactly what happened when they were punished by the courts.

    Public criticism is fine but it can also become out of proportion when the line is blurred about a situation because someone is a footballer. This seems to me to be the case for your argument and for the people calling you a tosser.

    Do you ever think you are fuelling the "mentality" as you call it by using the fact they are footballers as your stance on juding there bad behaviour and in the end punishment?

    Do you believe it is at all possible that these boys are good people that did a bad thing and they have been punished for it?

    Or that they may learn from there mistakes and become better people which generally is the ultimate goal of the judicial system?

    Or is it simply that they are footballers so they got off lightly and will continue there bad behaviour regardless?

    I really am intrigued to wonder would anyone care as much if these boys wern't footballers?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:17 pm, October 11, 2006  

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  • Jasmine,

    The very fact that you refer to these people as "boys" implies you have already demoted them to children in your expectations of their behaviour. They are not boys. They are fully-grown young men, with the full legal and ethical responsibilities that come with that.

    I will accept that they should not be role models when they stop turning up to schools and other public events, when they stop having their photos taken for lift-outs in the newspapers, when they stop appearing on radio and TV and when they stop endorsing products and services. Until that day, they cannot have their cake and eat it too. It's simply unfair, illogical and likely to lead to more strife and heartache.

    With regards to "proportion" in public criticism, please consider that this is the one blog in the world examining footballers critically. The other several thousand are devoted to hero-worship and an unquestioning fealty.

    Not sure I follow how I'm fuelling the mentality - can you please expand a little further?

    Do I believe in redemption? Well, it's possible, but I believe in statistics. Please keep in mind that Kade Carey has prior assault convictions. It is unlikely that he is a good man. Good men (by definition) do not engage in gang bashing. It is also not the (sole) goal of the judicial system to make them better. Retribution, deterence and reduction in criminal opportunities (ie exclusion) are also goals.

    I think that yes, as footballers they are looked up to by many people. The softly-softly approach here sends a signal to these men, other footballers and their admirers that certain behaviour is (largely) consequence-free. But don't just take my word for it. Here's what some random dickhead wrote on this very page:

    The chick is a whinging mole, fuck the windscreen shame the smashed glass didnt slit her throat... Go footy boys you rock i would have been smerking in court to knowing money and good looks paid off.... :)

    Now, is this person more or less likely to emulate the criminality discussed in the article, as a result of the light sentence? You tell me.

    In short, it DOES matter that these men are footballers. They are role-models to boys and exemplars to young men. How they behave - and the resulting consequences from society - influences many other people.

    By Blogger Greg, at 2:42 pm, October 11, 2006  

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  • Greg, I must say you are very passionate about this issue.

    I fully appreciate your view on footballers being role models and must say that you have swayed mine slightly in regards to visiting schools etc. that is a very valid point that I have taken on board. My only argument is that two out of three of these young men (as you prefer them to be called) are only second tier footballers so they would not be doing these things anyway to my knowledge? Correct me if I am wrong.

    As far as the random goes well clearly he or she has there own mental challenges, However I do appreciate the point though. This person though is exactly what I mean by fuelling the mentality. It just gives this freak somewhere to publish there warped views of the world in regards to footballers.
    I hope that I can have you agree that majority of respectable football loving footballer admiring people really are not of that opinion. Most of us expect justice done regardless of the persons stature. We just have to trust the courts knew what they were doing.

    Thanks for blogging though and being brave enough to have an opinion whether it is agreeable or not!....:>)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:49 pm, October 11, 2006  

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  • I'm not 100% sure, but VFL players tend to move between the AFL clubs pretty freely. They certainly socialise together and quite a few are "up-and-comers" or "has-beens" for the AFL. As such, they are held in high (though not as much) regard by the football-loving public. Hence, scrutiny of their behaviour is warranted.

    In terms of providing an outlet for nut-jobs, I assure you that far worse things are said on the various football discussion forums. Much, much worse. For example, when Daryn Cresswell's rape allegation was dropped recently, things were said on BigFooty that made my toes curl. Eg, from "Yob"

    Sounds like your every day slapper trying to get her name in the newspaper.

    How do you counter someone who thinks like this?

    But I accept that this mentality, though proportionally higher among football fans than the general public, is relatively rare overall.

    There are still a lot of decent human beings in awe of footballers who might be predisposed to overlooking their bad behaviour, but, with a bit of prodding, can have their blinkers removed. :-)

    Hopefully, that's what this blog does, just a little bit.

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:42 pm, October 11, 2006  

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  • Keep up the fine work Greg, as a League fan I'm glad to see someone taking the time to document something that seems to go largely ignored by the media.

    League boys have a bad reputation, but thanks to the vicous media attacks the clubs have developed a social conscience and awareness of the expectations placed upon them, that's not to say the players have become angels overnight. Fit young men, alcohol and women will always be a recipe for trouble, but steps have been taken and anti-social behaviour condemned. It's about time the same thing happened to AFL, short term pain - long term gain.

    Paul - couldn't be bothered registering.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 am, October 12, 2006  

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  • Thanks, Paul.

    I think the players behave as badly as their employers will let them. If the older alpha males foster a culture of misogyny and violence, then that gets carried down to the players. Once their sponsorship money, crowd attendance and TV ratings are threatened, then those grey beards will act.

    The message is: scrutiny works. Eventually.

    Oh - and are there any scrutiny websites for Rugby (League or Union)?

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:29 pm, October 12, 2006  

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  • I don't know of any sites dedicated to documenting the bad behaviour in Rugby ranks, but as you've noted in your comments about Wendell Sailor drug suspension, these matters are generally given a fair amount of press coverage and are dealt with in a comparatively open manner.

    It's a great idea though. If all goes well for me, and I have the free time I'm hoping for then I may just set one up myself - I'll be back here for some advice if I do.

    Absolutley agree that employer attitudes are a crucial ingredient in most players behaviour. Of course there are the exceptions, some players will never involve themselves in bad behaviour, others won't be able to stop regardless of any measures taken, they're only human.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 pm, October 12, 2006  

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  • Football players? What a joke they train for football while bouncers train for fighting.Ive seen many a wannabe intoxicated football player get what they asked for in my 10 yrs as a doorman..........

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 pm, June 04, 2007  

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  • Let me guess greg. You once tried out to be a footballer didn't you?
    Sorry it didn't work out.

    Hope you are still writting about
    this case? Because i'd love to go into detail with your fine upstanding citizen arse about it!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 am, January 09, 2008  

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  • Hi "Kade" (if it's really you). Yes, I'm still very interested in this case. While it's a bit old, it's still one of the best examples of how footballer-initiated drunken violence is tolerated by our community, especially our judiciary.

    If you've got any details you'd like to share or a point to make, I'd be happy to do an interview. Of course, that would be via email or chat since if you really are Kade Carey, you're a deranged psychopathic violent thug with a proven history of bashing people and, through your uncle, underworld connections to hitmen and the like.

    But still, I'm up for it if you are. My readers would be fascinated to know how your community service went, how you found the media scrutiny, the impact of the trial on your career, if you've bashed anyone interesting lately - that sort sort of thing.

    Get in touch.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:38 pm, January 09, 2008  

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  • Hi yes greg it is me.
    Very interesting reading all of this, never knew it untill just recently. What is your email address?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:27 pm, January 09, 2008  

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  • Really? This page has been in the top three on Google for "kade carey" for nearly two years and you only just found it?

    It beggars belief that Kade wouldn't type his own name into Google from time to time. I know I do.

    Anyway, do you want to get in touch to do an email interview? I'm thinking 5-10 questions relating to this incident (and AFL off-field behaviour in general). I can publish it on this blog, but I get the right to edit for spelling, grammar and legals (eg defamation or making threats to kill).

    Lastly, I'll need some way to verify that you're really the Kade Carey in question here.

    So if that sounds good, when you're ready email me at (first bit is gregory dot hill) and we'll get the ball rolling!

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:46 pm, January 09, 2008  

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  • Had no idea. You have had some pretty crude things to say about me, without knowing anything about my life or what type of person i am. Thats not very nice gregory.

    Did you get my email, or was it the wrong address?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 pm, January 09, 2008  

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  • By way of follow-up, here's the interview with Kade Carey arising from this exchange.

    By Blogger Greg, at 2:18 pm, February 15, 2008  

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  • hahahaha greg needs to get a life...
    if he actually knew these bloke personally he would realize that they are just ordinary hard working people.
    Everyone gets in a bit of trouble now and again, and although i do not agree with the damaging of property the bouncers sounded like they went looking for trouble. It was just unlucky for the bouncers and cleaner that they tried to fight a bloke who is built like a wall. Maybe next time they should call the cops instead of taking it into their own hands.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 pm, October 23, 2008  

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  • Are you for real? A "bit of trouble"? Several people were put in hospital! Windscreens cracked. People frightened. Did you even read the interview? They were very bloody lucky to dodge jail, especially given Carey's priors.

    I'm glad people with your views on what's normal are in the minority. Just because you live in a violence-soaked world of aggro and beatings doesn't mean the rest of us want to be dragged down to your Hobbesian level.

    Or should I relish the delights of getting shit-faced and smashing up cars and jaws in Fed Square? You know, to "get a life"?

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:08 pm, October 23, 2008  

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  • greg, i have never met you but from reading this you are one of the biggest idiots i have ever heard of in my life. go fuck yourself

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:45 pm, July 22, 2011  

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  • Sounds like Greg has a chip on his shoulder because he sucked at sport as a kid and got picked on by everyone else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:29 pm, July 25, 2012  

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