Started by poiuyt, Nov 02, 2008, 08:20 AM
Lisa Carty, NSW Political EditorNovember 2, 2008'I was devastated, disempowered. I feel belittled and degraded.'GREENS MP Ian Cohen has spoken for the first time of the humiliation of being accused of domestic violence.Assault charges against the NSW upper house member were withdrawn in Byron Bay Local Court on Friday after the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to proceed.In April, Cohen was summonsed on charges of assault and assault occasioning bodily harm after his former partner, Donna Davis, alleged he attacked her on June 22, 2006. She went to police in January of this year, sparking a long investigation.Yesterday, Mr Cohen, 57, was relieved his seven-month ordeal was over, but he said the emotional scars of being shunned by some MPs and Greens, abused by strangers in the street and branded a wife-basher would take a long time to heal.First elected in 1995, the environmental activist said he had been unable to work on "important projects" because he was paralysed with fear, waiting for the next headline."It was a very low time for me because people prejudged me," he said. "It got down to a very small number of people who were a lifeline to me. I avoided functions because instead of being an asset I was a liability to other MPs, my party, and organisations."I wasn't of any use for quite a period of time. In some cases people even asked me not to attend their function because my presence would not have helped."Mr Cohen said he planned to discuss with the Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, the issue of charged people being identified by the media before conviction. It was grossly unfair that their names were sullied without even being found guilty."Trial by media - something's got to be worked out. It's not justice."I was devastated. I felt totally disempowered. I felt I couldn't say anything because the law has to take its course and I really had to wait for due process. There was a really attacking attitude by many in the media. I feel belittled and degraded."I have never been famous for something I wasn't proud of so this was a complete turnaround."He said millions had been made aware of the allegations against him and it had been "crushing". "It's a pall that sits on your shoulders. I'd certainly like to get advice from the Attorney-General's office about why people have to suffer that much when you're charged but not found guilty."
I am to the point of thinking about filing an order against numerous members of the government