dr marten boots ebay Satellite boss brought out the ‘animus’ in Dr Phelps
The jury hearing the trial of former Satellite Group managing director Gregory Fisher yesterday was urged to look at documentary evidence and not rely on witnesses’ “fallible” memories in arriving at their verdict.
Fisher is on trial in the NSW District Court on six counts that he used his position as a director of Satellite to gain personal advantage.
Summing up the defence case, Fisher’s counsel, Charles Waterstreet, said “memory is a fallible instrument”, and then proceeded to attack evidence given by a number of crown witnesses, including that of former Satellite chairman Kerryn Phelps,
whose evidence, he said, “bore significant animus” to Fisher.
“Kerryn Phelps came to town with the guns loaded with ill will,” Mr Waterstreet told the court.
He was referring to Dr Phelps’s evidence of a phone conversation she said she had with Fisher in May 2000 about $220,000 paid to dress designer Alex Perry between April and June 2000 to fund his participation in a major fashion show.
Dr Phelps told the court that Fisher assured her the money provided to back Mr Perry was neither Satellite’s nor shareholders’ money.
Mr Waterstreet urged the jury to ignore her evidence as “pitiful, sad and embarrassing”. He also pointed out that Mr Perry had been commissioned earlier to make two frocks for Dr Phelps and her partner Jackie Stricker for an Archibald portrait.
Mr Waterstreet said while memory was fallible,
contemporaneous records were not changed by hindsight. Those records show that the $220,000 backing of Mr Perry’s fashion show was not a gift from Fisher as “fairy godmother”, but a loan which was to be repaid. He pointed to a National Australia Bank credit memo when Fisher asked for a $150,000 bank guarantee for Mr Perry’s loan to support the latter’s borrowing, and that Mr Perry was “currently seeking investment”.
“[Mr Fisher] never said, ‘I want the money for sponsorship so I can have my name on a photocopy’. He wanted an investment.”
To back that investment,
Mr Fisher’s company, Morjava, provided 3 million Satellite shares, about one third of his shareholding at the time. He also gave a personal guarantee.
Mr Waterstreet said Mr Perry said he didn’t believe in fairy godmothers, and wanted to put on a major exhibition to generate extra orders to produce a ready to wear range.
He said the deal was a joint venture business arrangement, and Fisher’s role,
as Satellite’s deal maker and strategist, was to find new business opportunities.