A convicted conman has been jailed for nine months after he was found in contempt of court four times as part of defamation proceedings brought by Tasmanian Government cabinet minister Michael Ferguson.
Kane Dallow, 40, was sentenced by Federal Court Justice David O'Callaghan on Monday, who described some of Dallow's evidence as "nonsense".
The videos uploaded to his Tas News 24 website and YouTube on November 29 and December 1 have now been admitted as defamatory, and Dallow must pay Mr Ferguson's court costs.
During the proceedings, Dallow was ordered to take down the two videos but then repeated the allegations in a tweet, before he published a third video on December 7 which made reference to the allegations from the first two videos.
He was ordered to remove the third video as well, but failed to do so in the court-ordered timeframe.
Dallow committed his third contempt of court offence by again publishing the allegations, and then his fourth by alleging the Federal Court was involved in a "ring of protection" of politicians.
Dallow told the court that the videos were not meant to be interpreted as an "attack" against Mr Ferguson.
In response to this argument, Justice O'Callaghan said "some of it is nonsense".
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"As to his claim that the 'case [is] still moving forward', it is not. Judgment was entered against him by default in the underlying proceeding, so the applicant's allegations that the videos are defamatory are now deemed to be admitted," he said in his judgment.
Dallow did not offer an apology to the court, but sent an email to Mr Ferguson 48 hours before the matter was listed for a hearing, in which he repeated his claim that the videos were not meant to be an attack and attempted to apologise, while also accusing Mr Ferguson of ignoring his questions.
Chris Gunson SC, acting for Mr Ferguson, described this as a "Clayton's apology".
In considering an appropriate punishment for Dallow, Justice O'Callaghan considered the seriousness of the contempt, the motive, his personal circumstances, the need for deterrent and other matters.
"Mr Dallow's conduct was carefully planned and there was 'ample opportunity for him to evaluate and to desist'," he wrote.
"For those reasons, the need to deter Mr Dallow and others of like mind from similar disobedience - that is, the need for deterrence, both specific and general - is substantial.
"In my view, the only appropriate sentence in respect of each of the four contempts is a term of immediate imprisonment."
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