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Merri Rose was the Queensland Minister for Fair Trading that slandered Chris Bilborough, she was later jailed for Blackmailing Premier Peter Beattie, any wonder Chris is concerned about her ability to be the Minister for Fair Trading. Chris was cleared of her allegations by a Federal Court Judge and the full appeals court, she was sent to jail, yet Chris is still sullied by her unfounded accusations. It really is worthwhile looking at the people who defamed Chris.   

Merri Rose admitted in open court she was abusing alcohol and admits to needing psychiatric help at the time she slandered Chris. During this time she made a retrospective law that applies to only Chris after he won in the District court.


May 31st 2007 Brisbane Times

Disgraced former cabinet minister Merri Rose will decide within a week whether to appeal her three-month jail sentence for attempting to blackmail Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.

Rose, 52, pleaded guilty to one count of demanding a benefit with threats over the October 30 incident last year, in which she threatened to reveal "very damaging evidence" to the media if Premier Peter Beattie did not secure her a $150,000 role with Tourism Queensland.

She was sentenced to a total of 18 months in jail, with the remaining 15 months to be suspended after three months was served.

Rose was expressionless throughout the 90-minute proceedings in Brisbane District Court, though appeared visibly shocked as she was led from the dock into custody.

Family members also appeared surprised at the Judge's decision. Rose's mother cried when the sentence was delivered, while another supporter held his head in his hands. They offered no comment to waiting media when they left the court, but were clearly upset.

Rose's solicitor, Terry O'Gorman, said his client was "of course disappointed at this sentence".

"We have spent a long time with her in the cells discussing the issue of lodging an appeal," Mr O'Gorman said.

"There are a number of issues involved in making the decision to appeal. The decision will be made within a week."

The exact nature of Rose's "damaging evidence" - and to whom it related - was suppressed by the court.

However, in sentencing Rose today, Chief Judge Patsy Wolfe said it related "to personal aspects of someone's life, not the public aspect".

"You, as a former minister of the crown and parliamentarian, were threatening to disclose something personal to the victim so that in effect, the highest ranking public servant or even the premier would act improperly," Judge Wolfe said.

The court heard Rose, who served as Tourism, Gaming and Fair Trading Minister before losing her Gold Coast seat of Currumbin in 2004, had been working in the fishing industry but coveted a senior position with the public service when she approached the Premier for help in April last year.

But after several failed attempts by Mr Beattie's office to secure work for Rose, the mother-of-two instead arranged a meeting with another government adviser in Brisbane's Queen Street mall to make her demands.

"I want a five-year contract with annual increments," Rose told the staffer.

"They can call it the Tourism Commissioner or whatever they like.

"If he (the Premier) doesn't agree ... I will sell my story."

Rose was caught after the Premier's office dobbed her in to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

Judge Wolfe today said there was no evidence of any emotional harm being done to the victim of the blackmail threat.

"However, blackmail is a vicious crime and I do not accept that your judgement or insight was so impaired that you ... did not understand the nature of what you were doing," she said.

The Judge accepted medical evidence that Rose had been suffering from a major depressive disorder and had been abusing alcohol at the time of the offence.

However, Judge Wolfe said her crime was serious enough to warrant a jail term.

Judge Wolfe said while Rose had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, she had allowed three or four days to lapse after making the threat and did nothing to withdraw from it.

Lawyers for Rose argued their client had struggled with feelings of failure and inadequacy after losing her parliamentary seat and was suffering a major depressive illness at the time of the blackmail attempt.

"The current charge is an aberration in an otherwise unblemished life," defence barrister Michael Byrne said.

A forensic psychiatrist who assessed Rose described her as "under-cooked" to be in parliament or act as a minister.

"(She was) so young but obviously had the talent for it," the court heard.

The doctor testified that Rose should receive specialist psychiatric attention for her depression and suicidal thoughts, but the court heard she had so far refused treatment.

Rose, who lives on Moreton Island with her partner, has been stripped of her "Honourable" title following her conviction.

 Is it any wonder that Chris thinks he should be cleared of allegations from a woman who claims she required specialist psychiatric help, and had been abusing Alcohol while she was the Minister for Fair Trading? Should Chris be still suffering from accusations made by a person that was sent to jail for Blackmail? Nobody can rightfully say she should have ever been the Minister for Fair Trading.





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