Boozy session with radio star could undo lawyer
A BOOZY afternoon with radio star David "Luttsy" Lutteral and a business partner in Brisbane's party precinct could have cost criminal lawyer Adam Magill his career.
Magill yesterday pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to five counts of breaching his bail conditions.
He confessed to the offences on the morning of his trial, stopping his Nova 106.9 breakfast announcer mate from being called to give evidence.
The high-profile solicitor was fined more than $9000 and had two convictions recorded, which could lead the Queensland Law Society to cancel his practising certificate.
The 47-year-old is on bail for charges of aggravated fraud, fraudulent falsification of records and aggravated money laundering following an 18-month investigation by the State's corruption watchdog.
The Crime and Corruption Commission has alleged Magill was taking cash payments from clients without lodging them through the firm's trust accounts and in some cases, doubling up with legal aid funding.
He has denied the allegations.
The court heard the breaches of bail occurred in February, March and April this year.
Two other breaches happened in June and July, after Magill had already been ordered to pay $1200 for failing to adhere to bail conditions.
Crown prosecutor Sam Bain said Magill had on February 18, met with business partner Neil Lawler for a three-hour long lunch followed by a drinking session in Fortitude Valley.
The court heard the pair were joined by Mr Lutteral and his father John Lutteral that afternoon.
Magill was in breach of his bail because he and Mr Lawler can only have contact in circumstances that involve the "provision and administration" of their criminal law firm Lawler Magill, the court heard.
The pair went to a Lexus dealership to discuss purchasing a vehicle for the business before dining at a Japanese restaurant in the Valley, where they stayed for more than three hours and spend $172.80 on food and drinks, Mr Bain said.
The court heard the pair then attended the bar Beirne Lane and drank with the bartender, before meeting Mr Lutteral and his father, who was in the area by coincidence.
Mr Lawler left about two hours later.
David Lutteral hosts the Nova 106.9 breakfast show with Ash Bradnam, Kip Wightman and Susie O'Neill.
Magill's defence lawyer Ahmed Dib, from Sydney firm Dib and Associates, told the court David Lutteral provided a statement to police where he said Mr Lawler and Magill were discussing the purchase of the vehicle when he arrived.
Magill is banned from contacting 55 people under the terms of his bail, including some of his legal colleagues.
He also confessed to breaching his bail by attending the bar Mr Mista, where Lam Quoc Ta, who is on the no-contact list, was having a birthday party for his partner.
The court heard Magill refused to leave the Fortitude Valley venue when asked on March 29 and Ta instead left his girlfriend's birthday party to avoid having contact with Magill.
The court heard Mr Mista is part-owned by Kwan Leigh Fong, who is a Crown witness and expected to testify against Magill.
Magill is also prohibited from having contact with Mr Fong but the court heard he attended the venue several times while on bail, when the man was there.
The court heard the visits came to the attention of police after Magill's license registered on the venue's ID scanners.
Mr Bain said one occasion, which is the subject of a breach of bail charge, Magill told Mr Fong he "loved him and was proud of the way he was running the premises".
Mr Dib told the court Magill had not made any attempts to interfere with witnesses' evidence through the contact.
He said attending Mr Mista was not in itself a breach of Magill's bail conditions but Magistrate Tina Previtera said it was "asking for trouble".
Mr Dib said the fact Magill now had to wear an GPS-tracker as a condition of his bail and had spent three days behind bars had been a "wake up call".
He said his solicitor client's actions were those of a "socialite who buries his head in the sand … who is holding onto a past life …"
Ms Previtera sentenced Magill to a combined total of $9,600 in fines and for the two breaches of bail that occurred in June and July, she recorded convictions.
Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts told The Courier-Mail Magill was now obliged to inform the QLS about both the penalty and convictions.
"The executive committee of the Law Society will consider whether to call on him to show cause as to why he should not have his practising certificate suspended, cancelled or have conditions placed on it," he said.