Excerpts from Articles in Daily Telegraph

5 May 2007

A SENIOR Sydney defence barrister said he would "happily entrust" his own child to the care of former Crown Prosecutor Patrick Power.

The reference from defence counsel Malcolm Ramage QC was just one of numerous missives praising Power's previous contact with children.

It was a common theme throughout the 59 references written in support of Power as he awaits sentencing on possession of child pornography charges next week.

Mr Ramage referred to Power as "a barrister of the highest probity", "I have never heard him express a prurient remark, display any lascivious or indicate any improper interest in children," Mr Ramage wrote."I would happily entrust my child into his care."

Mr Ramage said he knew a couple who had given Power the honour of being godfather to their children. .

"They considered him to be both highly moral and extremely responsible," Mr Ramage said.

Fellow barrister Richard Weinstein, a friend of Power's for 25 years, echoed those remarks "In my opinion, notwithstanding the offence, Dr Power is a person of good character," he said. "1 feel comfortable that Dr Power .has always conducted himself in an appropriate manner with young persons and children."

Australia's former high commissioner to Mauritius and the Seychelles, Mary McCarter, gave a personal account of her experiences with Power and his godchildren, "I've witnessed first-hand his support and caring [for his godchildren]," Ms McCarter wrote "Many of the times that I've been with Dr Power have also been in company of children and I've always, been comfortable in these situations, as have the children."

Andrew Haesler SC said it was his opinion that Power's association with children was beyond reproach.

"He is not a man who would consciously harm others. Patrick has made a mistake. He has already paid terrible price for that error of judgment," Mr Haesler wrote.

Dozens of members of Sydney's legal fraternity expressed similar sentiments in their references for Power.

Paul Byrne SC, who has faced Power in the NSW Court of Appeal and other jurisdictions, said he was "firmly within the top rank of Crown Prosecutors" for fairness in the courtroom. . . "He is universally recognised by those who know him as a person who would not want to intentionally cause harm to anyone," Mr Byrne wrote. "1 find it difficult to think…that he would, through his conduct, even indirectly place young people at risk."

Friends, family members, legal adversaries, shocked colleagues and professional associates were among the list of 59 people who offered references before Power's sentencing next week; e.g.

BARGEN, Jenny. Conferencing Directorate
BRAITHWAITE, John. Criminologist
BYRNE, Paul. SC. Defence barrister
CALVERT, Phillip. Crown prosecutor
COWDERY, Nicholas. QC. DPP
DARLING, Stephanie. Madison magazine beauty editor
FLYNNE, Wayne. Defence barrister
FOX, Tim. Lawyer
GRANT, William. Former Depty director NSW Attorney Generals Dept
GRAY, Judy. Lawyer
GRIEVE, Hugo. Teacher
GRIEVE, May. Lawyer
GRIFFITH, Christine. Senior Crown prosecutors secretary
HAMILL, Peter. SC. Defence barrister
LEASK, Paul. Crown Prosecutor
LYCOURESIS, John. Witness in a court case
McARRIS, Ed. Former partner of NYC law firm
McCARTER, Mary. Former Aust High Comm to Mauritius
MEAGHER Roderick. Former Supreme Court justice
POWER, Julian
POWER, Sarah. US attorney
PYLE, Kevin. Director NSW Youth Justice
RAMAGE, Malcolm QC. Defence barrister
STEELE, Russ. AM. Associate Professor of Sydney University
WEINSTEIN, Richard. Barrister
WHITELAW, Robert. Former diplomat
WILLIAMS, Nanette. Crown prosecutor


Pervert Patrick Power and his mates

Former DPP prosecutor Patrick Power was warned 2 days before that his computer was to be seized. He was given 2 days to hide or destroy computer files of pornography.

A magistrate raised serious questions about shadow attorney-general Greg Smith's role in the police investigation into former prosecutor Patrick Power, who was sentenced to at least eight months jail for possessing child pornography. Chief Magistrate Grame Henson noted in sentencing Power that shadow attorney-general Greg Smith had alerted Power to the pornography charges against him before police conducted their raid two days later.

Former prosecutor to appeal porn sentence

Daily Telegraph
By Kim Arlington
May 09, 2007 12:00

TWO hours after he was sentenced to 15 months' jail for possessing hundreds of child pornography images, disgraced former New South Wales crown prosecutor Patrick Power today walked free on bail from a Sydney court.

The 54-year-old was initially taken into custody but was later released ahead of an appeal against his sentence.

Power, a Senior Counsel, was sentenced by Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson after pleading guilty to one count of possessing child pornography.

Mr Henson had sentenced him to a minimum eight months behind bars, saying few people were better placed than Power to realise the gravity of his actions.

A packed Downing Centre Local Court heard that for years while working as one of the state's top prosecutors, Power was secretly amassing pornographic pictures and videos, some involving boys under 10 years old.

His collection was exposed last July, when Power took his computer to work at the office of the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions for repairs.

Investigators uncovered almost 29,000 images on his computer hard drive.

Most featured homosexual pornography but 433 images depicted children - some aged under 10 - in sexual acts.

Technicians also found 31 videos showing adults engaged in sex acts with children in a folder entitled "Good".

Mr Henson said the images were "distressing and disheartening", while one "wicked and evil" 23-minute video - showing the infliction of pain on a child - fell into the worst category of child porn.

Power, who resigned as a deputy senior crown prosecutor in February, sat with his head bowed throughout the sentencing.

According to psychiatric evidence Power was not a paedophile, but was driven to download child porn by his internet addiction.

Power, whose practising certificate has been suspended by the NSW Bar Association, also had a long history of depression.

Mr Henson said Power "nonetheless well knew what he was doing and that it was manifestly unlawful".

He tried to disguise the child porn under names such as "Thesis backup" in order "to prevent the possibility of their being found by someone who might take issue with their nature and legality".

The court previously heard that a second hard drive - believed to contain more child porn - was missing, and that Power had two days to hide or destroy it before his Darlinghurst home was searched.

However, Mr Henson did not consider it an aggravating factor.

Following a late defence application, Mr Henson granted Power conditional bail to prepare for an appeal hearing on June 14.

Today's sentence was slammed by child protection advocate Hetty Johnston, who called for legal change.

"When is the court and the law going to take into account what is happening to the children?" the Bravehearts founder asked outside court.

"The maximum sentences for these kinds of crimes are absolutely appalling - they do not recognise the severity of it."

Meanwhile, Attorney-General John Hatzistergos has asked DPP Nicholas Cowdery QC to account for his actions, and the actions of his office, regarding the case.