Good to see common sense prevail in the
“Famous outback whip maker Mick Denigan has walked free from court after a jury decided he was justified in shooting a man who confronted him with an axe on his property. The 54-year-old was found not guilty by an NT Supreme Court jury of unlawfully causing serious harm by shooting Thomas McIntyre, 44, in the leg at his remote Darwin River property shortly before midnight on February 23 last year.
Mr Denigan is well-known in the Top End as a Crocodile Dundee figure through his Mick’s Whips and crocodile catching and skin company and is seen on TV and at markets teaching people to crack a whip.
That’s not an axe:
“The sisters were with a group of people drinking when insulting messages were sent from Danielle Holden’s phone to Mr Denigan – which she told the court Mr McIntyre sent – offering to perform homosexual sex acts on him.
Mr McIntyre, Ms Holden’s brother Michael Holden and driver William Allen – the only sober one – then drove in the rain to confront Mr Denigan on his property, which they said was because they were worried for Chantelle Holden’s welfare. Mr McIntyre admitted to having an axe but said that was to protect him from any dogs and he was intending to have a quiet conversation with Mr Denigan. Denigan was making whips when the car arrived and told police he feared for his life when he shot Mr McIntyre in the leg after seeing him walk-up his property unannounced with an axe and two other men.”
“A question you may or not consider significant is why would three men set off late at night to go to Denigan’s home?” Justice Anthony Graham said before sending the jury out to deliberate.
“Was it simply to have a quiet chat with him … or was it for a more sinister reason?” The prosecution was unable to convince jurors that Mr Denigan had not acted in self-defence.”
Perfect example of a law-abiding firearm owner using his legally held firearms to protect himself against a lethal force threat, and indeed, an example of the Castle Doctrine in action (even though it’s not in force in NT or Australia). Three men, one with an axe, advancing up your driveway unannounced and uninvited late at night is more than enough justification for lethal force on part of the homeowner in this context.
Sure, Denigan was charged and had to endure the financial and emotional stress of proving he wasn’t in the wrong – this is the area of the law that needs reform (along with firearm storage laws) in Australia. Although one could argue in this context, the case was more complex given the associations.
That being said, this is just another case of lawful firearm self-defence. Had Denigan not had a firearm then we may well have been having another pointless candlelit vigil for someone who could have protected himself, because the Police certainly would not have been there in time. The right to self-defence includes the right to potentially use lethal force if you are presented with a threat that requires it – that includes legally owned firearms. We also saw an example of this earlier in the week, sans firearms, during a home invasion in NSW.
Unfortunately, the LibLabGreens unholy alliance continues to stand in the way of sensible self-defence reform, as evidenced with Labor Senator Anthony Chisholm’s smearing of Senator Fraser Anning last week when he tried to introduce a motion on the Castle Doctrine:
However, Denigan’s case is a good example of how potential reform can work.
At least the Northern Territory still has some balls. Kudos Mick Denigan.