September 17, 2021

Contempt Sentencing - Nightcap Nightmare Blog

On 17 September 2021, the publisher of Nightcap Nightmare Blog was sentenced in NSW Supreme Court to prison for two weeks and a fine of $20,000, suspended on condition of good behaviour for two years, with legal costs in addition. Judge Sackar said he was imposing the severe judgement as a "real deterrent" because he considers the offending information "an affront to the Court".


I’m Gillian Linda Norman, known as Gi Linda. I’m the publisher of Nightcap Nightmare Blog as representative of a group of creditors with screen-name “Free Radical,” who are documenting an ongoing quest for justice.


I have just received sentencing for contempt of court, with a tightening gag.


For the last four years, I have been on trial in NSW Supreme Court on charges of defamation and contempt of court, accused of imputing deception, fraud and bullying to the plaintiffs Adrian Brennock and Phillip Dixon, kingpins in Nightcap Village, a prospective land-share venture at Mt Burrell, NSW.


On 18 June 2021, I was found guilty of contempt by Justice Sackar for breaching injunctive orders on six of fifteen counts, (Brennock and Dixon v Norman [2021] NSWSC 716).


The claimants, represented by Rose Litigation, brought the contempt charges as a continuation of a defamation claim for $4 million that was prosecuted against me from 2017-2020 by Mark Darwin and others, after I published allegations that their land-share “investment opportunity” was a scam.


Thanks to a referral by Sackar J to the Bar Association, I was represented in the contempt hearings by barrister Kieran Smark SC, who also represented me in 2017 during the defamation hearings, when he defeated a related demand by the plaintiffs for an interlocutory injunction imposing a total blog gag. I remember that the plaintiffs did not pay costs that were awarded in my favour by Justice McCallum.


"Dancing on a Tilted Stage"


As a British journalist and documentary filmmaker, I was professionally trained to know, when reporting allegations of misconduct, that defamation, including libel and slander, must be false to incur liability for damaging a good reputation. 


But I discovered as a resident in the land of Oz, that this country wields the most draconian defamation laws in the word, where truth can be defamatory just because it causes financial loss. 


I also noticed that truth cannot easily be justified to an acceptable legal standard when confronted toe-to-toe with dishonourable claimants before a judge who may be predisposed against a crusading "serial pest" without an expensive legal team.



During a seven-day defamation hearing in 2019, I presented evidence to the Court substantiating my reports that more than twenty investors lost their funds after co-financing purchase of property for the “Bhula Bhula Village Community” in 2015, with subsequent total lack of consideration and refusal of restitution. This evidence was ignored.


After three years of litigation, numerous interlocutory hearings and an excruciating trial in Sydney's Supreme Court, the defamation claim against me was won in 2020 by the plaintiffs with a judgement that their profitable folly did not rise to the level of fraud. (Darwin v Norman [2020] NSWSC 357) 


I was ordered to pay $400,000 damages plus the plaintiffs' legal costs, which, they said, amounted to more than $1 million.


Injunctions were then summarily imposed, including prohibition on any publication that may implicate the plaintiffs in crimes involving deceptive marketing, fraud and bullying.


On the basis of these orders, Rose Litigation made a complaint causing Google Corp to remove multiple search results and several blogs that the group of creditors had published about the venture from 2016-2020.


In response, Nightcap Nightmare Blog was brought online, narrating facts in the context of the defamation judgement. Creditors also hoped the blog would help mitigate ad hominen attacks against them


Contumacious Contempt?


Publication of Nightcap Nightmare Blog triggered another complaint by Rose Litigation to Google Corp resulting in removal of ten posts, and the initiation of a contempt claim against me.

The claimants in the contempt matter objected that potential new investors in Nightcap Village were withdrawing finance when they inferred the prohibited imputations from offending posts in Nightcap Nightmare Blog, to effect that the bare facts reveal that aspiring Nightcap developers deceive and defraud then bully those who mistakenly trust them. 

As evidence of criminal contempt, the claimants highlighted before Justice Sackar certain posts that expose my distaste for lying lawyers and my distrust of Kangaroo Courts - opinions formed after four years of dancing on a titled stage, being sliced and diced by a double-edged sword of injustice that sneers at due process for the impecunious.

Brennock and Dixon, the two claimants in the contempt matter, attempting to prevent my continued publication of anything related to the land-share venture, argued that because it could be inferred from facts published in the blog that they deceive and defraud people, my offence is contumacious, carrying a severe criminally penalty of incarceration with no clemency allowed.


Precedents show that in some contempt cases, those without sufficient resources to pay a fine can remedy a civil contempt by an authentic apology, rather than suffering the punishment of imprisonment. In this matter it was noted by the Judge during the 11 August hearing, that although I had edited or removed the offending posts, I had made no apology, so severe precedent was needed to vindicate the authority of the Court.

 

Given opportunity to remedy my lack of contrition, barrister Smark made a statement on my behalf apologising to the Court and to the plaintiffs for breaking Court orders, and affirming my intention to avoid further breach, as long as the injunctions remain in place. 

However, the wording of my sorry statement was not acceptable and sentencing to determine the severity of my punishment was deferred pending a better apology. Admitting that my previous apology to the plaintiffs for unintended breaches was insincere, I  addressed a revised apology only to the Court.

The Judge also requested clarification of laws and precedents defining the scope of judicial authority on civil contempt matters with interlocking criminal jurisdiction.

Under current statue law, punishment relating to civil charges of contempt may not take into account mitigating considerations that normally apply to the punishment of crime. This impacts me as a lack of procedural fairness in a case where I believe the claimants are abusing legal process with perjured affidavits, tampered evidence and lying lawyers to further their venture under colour of law.


It concerns me that although a conviction for contumacious contempt of court is a conviction for an offence which imposes a criminal record, judgement is measured by the standard of a supposed reasonable reader, that is a legal fiction entirely divorced from the actual facts of reality.


I understand that the Court’s power to punish contempt is exercised to vindicate the integrity of its proceedings, but if judgement is divorced from truth then injustice is the inevitable outcome.

Certainly, if the courts are not being used to facilitate crime, I think justice would not be imprisoning the whistleblower.
 
Even so, as publisher of Nightcap Nightmare Blog, to avoid further unintended breach of Court Orders, I am committed to suppressing information that could impute such serious crime to the claimants.

September 16, 2021

Nightcap Nightmare Blog - Contempt of Court


Sentencing in NSW Supreme Court by Judge Sackar to decide the severity of punishment to be inflicted on Nightcap Nightmare Blog publisher, Gi Linda, for Contempt of Court, is listed for Friday, September 17, at 2pm. (Brennock v Norman [2021] NSWSC 716)

September 06, 2021

Nightcap Dreamers or Deceivers?


Nightcap Village is an idyllic dream for celebrity chef Pete Evans and other vendors of hopium who are selling residential lots in a proposed Tweed Valley land-share community... but for disenfranchised creditors left destitute by deception and betrayal, the venture is an ongoing nightmare!

Nightcap promotor Pete Evans, selling residential lots without  DA

Nightcap Development Application Refused... Again!


By 2016, more than twenty investors had provided over $2 million for purchase of property, paid to the trust account of the conveyancer, Mullumbimby lawyer Wroth Wall, without receiving the shared ownership of land and residential lots that had been promised. 

Promotors selling residential lots had silenced warnings that multiple occupancy was not a permissible use of the advertised properties, as potential investors were told that development consent already existed, was assured, or would soon be approved.

Although the land-share venture began in 2014, no concept plan was filed with Tweed Shire Council until 2019. Between 2019-2021, Nightcap's DA application was rejected three times by Tweed Shire Council and referred to the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP).

The  current DA application, (DA21/0010), is for a "Concept Staged Development Application to create 10 interconnected Rural Land Sharing Communities and associated works with 392 Residential Lots" 

The applicants / land owners involved are: Peter Van Lieshout, NCV Enterprises Pty Ltd, Dolph Cooke, Darko Kovac, Zimmer Land Pty Ltd and Kempcove Pty Ltd. 

On 18 August 2021, the DA was rejected by the Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP) due to failure of permissibility.

Nightcap proposed concept

The panel determined to refuse the development application pursuant to section 4.16 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The NRPP has published reasons for unanimously refusing the Nightcap Village development application:



Native Title 

Mingungbal squatters claim they are "true owners" of "Native Title"

The properties at 3220-3222 Kyogle Rd, Mt Burrell, that were purchased using original investors' trust funds without consideration, have been occupied since 2017 by Aboriginal rights activist Mark McMurtrie, self-identified as Gunham Badi Jakamarra.

Mark McMurtrie claims that "Native Title" to the estate has been gifted to a tribe of Mingungbal Islanders, who are now the "true owners". He falsely claims the venture was granted development consent in 2019 by NSW government as a "State Priority Project".

Litigation by angry creditors is ongoing, as residential lots and other interests in land continue to be sold without fulfilment of representations. 

Nightcap Update Newsletter 


In a Nightcap Update Newsletter on 19 August 2021, finance broker Derek Zillman said their little local shop is now selling pretty coloured things and the anonymous development team, not at all deterred by their fourth DA rejection, is ready for a fight! 

Zillman promises investors who have purchased residential lots and other interests in the property that the prospective developers intend to appeal the NRPP decision in the Land and Environment Court, in hope that this "world leading" land-share venture would not be lost. 

Derek Zillman, a major shareholder in NCV Enterprises, fails to mention that from 2016-2018, Tweed Shire Council fought the developers over their failure to respect development regulations. Council won in the Land and Environment Court, forcing investors, who had been encouraged by promotors to build unapproved residences on the property, to dismantle their dream homes.

Unauthorised dream homes removed by Court order in 2018

August 26, 2021

Nightcap Nightmare Editor’s Note

“Sorry Puppy,” commenting on an apology on 11 August to NSW Supreme Court, for posting information deemed by the Court to carry forbidden imputations in breach of protective injunctions, has been removed pending sentencing of Gi Linda, publisher by Nightcap Nightmare Blog, for contempt of Court.


Contumacious Contempt?


According to the claimants in the contempt matter, continued publication of anything related to Nightcap Village prospective land-share venture by Nightcap Nightmare Blog is in breach of injunctions, and so is criminally contumacious, carrying a severe penalty of incarceration: (Brennock v Norman [2021] NSWSC 716).


The editor, authors and publisher of this Blog  remain committed to suppressing information that could impute serious crime to the claimants.


July 15, 2021

Ray Hadley - 2 GB Nightcap warnings

‘Steer clear’: Investors warned off commune promoted by Pete Evans

Investors are being warned to steer clear of a community development promoted by celebrity Pete Evans in NSW’s Byron Hinterlands.

The development, originally called Bhula Bhula, had already wasted millions of investment money when its property developer went bankrupt two years ago. But now that same developer is back, has repackaged the land and called it “Nightcap”, and has enlisted Pete Evans to spruik the investment.

A Current Affair reporter Steve Marshall told Ray Hadley people’s lives had already been ruined by the development: 

“Imagine you put money into a company to buy shares in a plot of land in Tweed Valley... Problem is, people have paid their life savings … into a company to get a share of this beautiful land, and what do you know? The company goes belly up – the money disappears. Then, a few years later, the very same land they’ve paid for, is now up for sale again, as part of a bigger communal living arrangement being marketed by a bankrupt developer.”


A Current Affair Nightcap Expose

Pete Evans teams up with bankrupt to spruik commune-style development

https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/pete-evans-commune-spruiked-by-infamous-celebrity-chef/4ce11e57-f63c-4cff-8bcc-53c90e36ad19

July 12, 2021

Contempt Hearing Listed


A hearing to determine severity of punishment for contempt of Court regarding publications about Nightcap Village land-share venture has been listed in NSW Supreme Court for August 11. (Brennock v Norman 2017/00081825).

Following judgement in his favour, Nightcap's Adrian Brennock is requesting punishment by imprisonment for breach of injunctions prohibiting publication of facts imputing fraud and deceptive marketing to him in Nightcap Nightmare Blog.

Read more:


Supreme Court Hearing: Nightcap Nightmare



Contumacious Contempt of Court



July 01, 2021

Tweed Council Refuses Nightcap DA


Tweed Shire Council voted to reject an application by Nightcap Village Enterprises for approval to initiate the first stage of a prospective development involving multiple rural land sharing communities.

A report before Council recommended that the application be refused, because of significant adverse social and environmental impacts. 

An earlier Nightcap DA application was refused by Council on September 17, 2020, and an LEP determined that no further land sharing developments would be approved in the Tweed Valley. Even so, the developers filed a second DA application in January 2021, that, in stage 1, seeks approval for the upgrade of an existing private road with vegetation removal and construction of a site office and storage area. See Nightcap Village Concept Plan.

Councillors voted unanimously to refer the DA application to the Northern Regional Planning Panel. 

Mayor Chris Cherry said that the Nightcap concept, which proposes an intentional community with 392 owners separately responsible, is not an appropriate development for that site, and failed to meet the requirements of both Council and the NRPP

She said that if the Northern Regional Planning Panel decides the application does not fall within their jurisdiction, the application will return to Council for a decision and will be "refused on merit".
Development Application for Nightcap Village Refused




Nightcap Village Prohibited by Tweed Shire Council Standards


Daily Telegraph10 reasons why Pete Evans’ Nightcap Village is ‘prohibited'.


Promoted by celebrity chef Pete Evans, a proposed development that offers pre-DA "residential lots" in Nightcap Village, will go before Tweed Shire Council's planning panel today, July 1, seeking approval for Stage 1 road works and infrastructure. 

The recommendation comes just weeks after the project was found to be overvalued by $15 million. The application was initially costed at $37 million, but after Council removed unnecessary components the proposed capital investment was reduced to $21.9 million.

According to a report before Council, the application is prohibited by their standards and should be refused for ten reasons, including undue environmental harm and breach of maximum population density.

The Daily Telegraph reports:

"The controversial Nightcap Village is “prohibited” by Tweed Shire Council’s standards, according to a report to be tabled this week. It is expected the development application will be referred back to the Northern Regional Planning Panel for determination due its complexity, as recommended by council officers.

The application is for a Rural Land Sharing Community and associated works over 21 lots which are to be subdivided into 11 lots, on an area of 1584.34 hectares which seeks approval for 392 dwelling plots over 10 lots to create 10 interconnected Rural Land Sharing Communities on Kyogle Road, Mount Burrell.

The council staff recommendation is for the development application to be referred for determination based on this assessment report to the Northern Regional Planning Panel. If the panel decides it is not the determining authority, then the council’s general manager is delegated authority to determine the development application."

Nightcap's Pete Evans boasts 7 million followers

June 23, 2021

Nightcap Associate Eamon Lowe Admits Attempt to Pervert Justice





Real estate agent fell under spell of drug kingpin

A Gold Coast real estate agent fell under the control of a multimillion dollar drug syndicate 

The Courier Mail reports that Nightcap Village associate Eamon Lowe "pleaded guilty in Southport District Court on Tuesday to attempting to pervert the course of justice"

Judge Kefford sentenced Lowe to 18 months imprisonment with parole for presenting falsified documents to the court

In July 2020, the 45-year-old Eamon Lowe had been charged in Southport Court with money laundering as part of a criminal syndicate operating an alleged cryptocurrency scam that had duped investors of over $3 million. 

Police alleged that the criminal syndicate posed as multiple cryptocurrency sales companies which appeared to be legitimate, including Exmount Holdings Group, the Quid Pro Quo Foundation, the Atlas Group, AFG Associates Pty Ltd, Tradex123, Exmounttrading, Atlasfxgroup and Amazonaus. 

The companies offered victims a trial investment, promising generous returns if they invested more, but when investors tried to withdraw their funds, the money wasn't there. 

Police said the alleged crypto scam was just the tip of a criminal iceberg.


Eamon Lowe and Nightcap Village

Eamon Lowe has collaborated with Nightcap Development Team since 2016. He is a real estate agent and executive consultant with Christy's Prestige that, together with Ray White Real Estate, allegedly phoenixed property at 3222 Kyogle Rd as part of a proposed Nightcap Village development. 

His wife, Mikala Lynell Lowe, is director of the company Nightcap Village Holdings. She advertises prospective residential lots in Nightcap Village for sale.

Nightcap Realty has offered crypto currency sales of prospective residential lots in Nightcap Village since 2018.

June 06, 2021

Legal Disclaimer

In reading Nightcap Nightmare Blog, please be aware it is not intended to be imputed that claimants in contempt charges against the publisher are  engaged in a scam.

Nightcap Nightmare Blog is published by Free Radical, a Group of Creditors represented by Gi Linda (Gillian Norman). 

A defamation charge against Gillian Norman filed in 2017 was determined in 2020 in favour of the plaintiffs. As a result, the contested blogs and several posts in this Blog were removed by Google Corp at the behest of Nightcap lawyers.

The defamation litigation was followed in 2020 by a related contumacious contempt of Court claim against Gillian Norman by Adrian Brennock and Phillip Dixon. This is a criminal charge on trial in a civil jurisdiction with potential punishment by imprisonment, intended to prevent publication of Nightcap Nightmare Blog.

The purpose of this Blog is to provide information and opinions about developments and issues concerning a proposed land-share community located at Mt Burrell in the Northern Rivers, NSW. The venture was first called Bhula Bhula Village Community, then became Mt Warning Eco Village and is now renamed Nightcap Village, or Nightcap on Mingungbal. 

The Creditors' Group claims that during 2015-2017, investors lost over $2.5 million when marketing promises were not fulfilled. Litigation in pursuit of vindication is in process.
 

May 16, 2021

Pete Evans’ Nightcap Village Overvalued by Millions

"Pete Evans’ Nightcap Village overvalued by at least $7 million, to be determined by Council. The controversial project was found to contain a number of unnecessary components which once removed brought the cost down by at least $7 million."

Nightcap Nightmare Blog, Editor's Comment:

 

Valuation of the property advertised as "Nightcap Village" determines whether the development application is decided by the Regional Planning Panel, or whether the DA will be determined by normal procedures by Tweed Shire Council, which has previously rejected the DA application and ruled that no further DA applications may be made by Nightcap developers. The pending application was slipped in under the radar during Christmas break.

Re-assessment of the project, reducing the value by $7 million means that the DA application will be decided by Tweed Shire Council.

Community consultation was conducted by the Council for several months, finding intense local opposition to the venture. 

Comment on the Daily Telegraph news report by local resident Jenny Leunig:

"Yee haaaa! Fabulous news!!!"

"A proposed development for multiple rural land sharing communities in Mount Burrell and Kunghur area will no longer be decided by the State, after it was found to be overvalued and containing unnecessary components.

The planned development, known as Nightcap Village and spruiked by controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans, is for an “intentional community” which would cater for almost 400 dwellings.


The applicant has sought approval for $37 million worth of capital works, including an internal road network and solar panels with battery storage.

However, the cost listed by the proponent was advised to be under $30 million after unnecessary components were removed from the application, making it no longer the required value to be determined by the Northern Regional Planning Panel.

The developer is seeking approval for Stage One of the project which is an upgrade of the existing private road and associated earthworks, vegetation removal and site construction office and storage area.

Tweed Shire Council’s director of planning and regulation, Vince Connell, said both the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment were aware of the change.

A development application proposing early works, related to a planned "intentional community" in the Mount Burrell and Kunghur area, has been lodged with Tweed Shire Council. 

“Council has reassessed the capital costs submitted by the proponent of DA21/0010 and removed components that should not have been included,” Mr Connell said.

“This reassessment has brought the development’s calculated capital costs to below $30 million and Council will therefore determine the DA.

“Based on the calculated capital investment value of the proposal and following legal advice, Council considers that it is the consent of authority for DA21/0010, not the Northern Regional Planning Panel,” Mr Connell said. 

A report will be submitted to the planning committee in their July 1 meeting for the Council’s determination of the DA."

Read More:

Tweed Echo - Satire on similar Nightcap Village Plans before Tweed Council in 2009

May 15, 2021

Supreme Court Hearing: Nightcap Nightmare

Charges of Contumacious Contempt of Court by Gillian Norman, (Gi Linda) publisher of Nightcap Nightmare Blog, were heard yesterday, May 14, in NSW Supreme Court before Justice Sackar. 

Gillian Norman was charged with breaking Court Orders that prohibit republication of defamatory imputations. Represented by barrister Kieran Smark SC, thanks to a referral from Justice Sackar to NSW Bar Association, Gillian Norman does not admit any contempt.

The criminal charges were brought by Adrian Brennock and Phillip Dixon, as principals in Nightcap Village, a prospective Northern Rivers land-share venture, in relation to a 2020 defamation judgement in their favour: Darwin v Norman [2020] NSWSC 357.

Justice Sackar deferred judgement and will give his decision at a second hearing that will determine penalty, if applicable.

Read more:

April 19, 2021

Hippyland on a Commercial Scale

Environmental Defender Scott Sledge heads local opposition to Nightcap "Hippyland"
Sydney Morning Herald describes local contention over a proposed land-share venture at Mt Burrell as "Hippyland on a commercial scale: Byron battle over suburb-sized commune”.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hippyland-on-a-commercial-scale-byron-battle-over-suburb-sized-commune-20210416-p57jv0.html

In a linked 2020 article by Sydney Morning Heraldthe same venture is pinned to the town of Nimbin and disparaged as a "hippy commune" with sloppy, misleading reporting about the outcome of a defamation trial regarding Blogs published by Free Radical: Darwin v Norman.

The defamation charges were brought by Adrian Brennock (AB) and Phillip Dixon against journalist Gillian Norman (Gi Linda) representative of creditors who in 2016 published claims that Brennock's "development team" defrauded them in a land-share scam. 

Judge Fagan determined that "folly not fraud" caused the "debacle".

An entirely unrelated picture of Nimbin's Hemp Embassy is used by Sydney Morning Herald to falsely depict the supposed "Blogger" as a dreadlocked male "hippy" and the Mt Burrell land-share development as a "hippy commune".

To anyone well informed about the Bhula-Bhula-Nightcap scheme, both these Sydney Morning Herald articles are sad examples of badly researched yellow journalism, using the alluring "hippylandpejorative to distract from many significant omissions and errors of fact.

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