Ray Mickelberg is suing Bunnings over the compnay trying to get him convicted over stealing
TheWest.com.au wrote:Ray Mickelberg, one of the brothers wrongfully convicted over the infamous 1982 Perth Mint gold swindle, is suing hardware giant Bunnings for damages after a failed prosecution over the alleged theft of a ceiling fan and three pieces of sticky tape.
Mr Mickelberg has launched action in the District Court, claiming two Bunnings employees gave false statements which were used as the basis for a stealing charge that was laid by police.
A writ lodged in the court also alleges that Bunnings attempted to pervert the course of justice by denying him access to all CCTV footage which was relevant to the criminal prosecution.
Mr Mickelberg, who spent 8 ½ years in jail before his conviction over the mint swindle was quashed, was charged in early 2009 with stealing from the Bunnings store at Innaloo.
The 65-year-old, who said he was simply trying to exchange the fan for a cheaper one he had purchased previously and intended to pay the difference, was acquitted of stealing the fan after a trial in the Perth Magistrate’s Court in August 2010. But he was convicted of the “technical” offence of stealing the sticky tape which he used to seal the box holding the fan.
The conviction was quashed by Supreme Court Commissioner Kevin Sleight in March last year after Mr Mickelberg won an appeal.
In the District Court today, a lawyer for Bunnings said there would be an application to strike out Mr Mickelberg’s claim. He indicated it would be argued that the claim was frivolous and vexatious.
Outside court, Mr Mickelberg said Bunnings had been given every opportunity to stop the action and had chosen to go ahead.
“What happened to me shouldn’t happen to anyone,” Mr Mickelberg said. “It does happen to people but usually people don’t have the resources or the knowledge to take something like Bunnings on. I have and I intend to.”
A Bunnings spokeswoman said the matter related to a previous police investigation and prosecution.
“We have nothing further to add,” she said.