A man who once stood in a courtroom and prosecuted West Australia residents for crimes has now found himself under arrest. James Newton-Palmer found himself in court facing charges of assault after a warrant was issued when he failed to appear at his hearing. As recent as October, Newton-Palmer was rising up the ranks of the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions.
He even appeared in high-profile trials and had a role in jailing a man who was a part of a pedophile network which included high-profile figures such as "A Current Affair" reporter Ben McCormack. Newton-Palmer worked in the courtroom prosecuting people for corruption, drugs, dangerous driving, and numerous other crimes.
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Things were going great for the up-and-coming prosecutor until the last week of October when he was charged with assault. Newton-Palmer's arrest followed an incident where he allegedly assaulted three people after kicking in their door, according to police. He is also accused of threatening the group following the assault.
When Newton-Palmer's court date arrived, he was nowhere to be found which prompted the judge issued a warrant for his arrest. Police eventually caught up with the former prosecutor and after a 24-hour stint in jail, he appeared at Perth Magistrate’s Court. He was given an opportunity to explain his failure to attend and he told Magistrate Sandra De Maio that he was "shocked" to find he programmed the wrong date in his phone.
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Magistrate Sandra De Maio offered the former prosecutor bail if he agreed not to contact any of the victims in the case. She then allowed Newton-Palmer to consult with an attorney for legal advice and ordered him back to court in a month. The crimes Newton-Palmer is accused of are said to have taken place on October 26.
Just days after the alleged assaults, Newton-Palmer was scheduled to appear in court representing the State in a high-profile trial involving grievous bodily harm. The State was forced to quickly bring another senior lawyer up to speed so he could replace Newton-Palmer as the prosecutor.
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The only statement offered by the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions regarding Newton-Palmer's arrest was "for privacy reasons, we are only in a position to advise Mr. Newton-Palmer is no longer employed by the ODPP".
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