Milton Leslight of Batemans Bay can now breathe a sigh of relief after this week's court finding found him NOT GUILTY of two assault charges after a short hearing in Batemans Bay Local Court this week When the Beagle spoke to Mr Leslight we found him amused by the headline in the Bay Post that contains a scare quote of 'Not Guilty' as in ‘Not guilty’: Assault charges against former Eurobodalla councillor Milton Leslight dismissed He was pondering on their use of quotation marks (’ and ’) used as such quotation marks are widely used as a writing device to show that the word or phrase is unusual or perhaps not accurate. Mr Leslight told the Beagle "there is no doubt at all of my innocence."
In what he can only describe as a campaign against him Mr Leslight said that he has been disappointed by his treatment at the hands of local tabloid press who have made a point to highlight on their pages the 'news' surrounding claims of assault that had been laid against him. Mr Leslight appeared in court on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 due to accusations of assault from a carpark confrontation between he and an 18-year-old man in the Batemans Bay Bridge Plaza car park on July 28, 2018. Mr Leslight revealed that the six month long case had both distressed and rattled him. He had been unable to get on with plans whilst the verdict of the case hung in limbo and that the delays had cost him emotionally. The determination of not guilty brings relief to the well respected Batemans Bay business man however he said it leaves him with a disappointment of the system that had failed him and a resentment of how he has been treated by his own local tabloid press. Mr Leslight told the Beagle "This has been a horror from the start and I am still in disbelief that it had to have come so far". "It was very clear in the CCTV footage what happened yet the police continued to claim I pushed the complainant multiple times before falling to the ground" "It is was reported by the Bay Post today that the case fell apart after it was revealed police did not zoom in on the video during their investigation. Anyone watching the zoomed-in footage can see clearly what actually occurred". "Most disappointingly the entire thing could have been dealt with six months ago had the police, on the day, recorded my statement instead of just taking a formal statement from the complainant. "This whole affair might have also been easier to deal with some privacy whilst awaiting a court determination however the local press, for reasons of their own, made headlines of it such as "Former Eurobodalla councillor disputes alleged assault charge" (Bay Post October 15th 2018) and "Police seek to upgrade assault charge against former shire councillor" (Bay Post November 14th, 2018) that gutted me when I read them." "Fortunately the community, my family and friends have all been very supportive." "In my opinion it was a private, civic matter that was unfairly and unjustly commentated on". "I remain frustrated however by the lost time, the effort and the expense that has come about because of a false accusation that was poorly handled by the police".
Above: Milton Leslight of Batemans Bay relieved after a six month wait to defend false claims