Paragraph nine reads: "During a July 2003 consultation, Dr Austin said, he prescribed Mr Grill withmedication for depression, anxiety and sleeping problems."
Claustrophobic Julian Grill fears jail
Debbie Guest | January 21, 2009
Article from: The Australian
THE business partner of disgraced former West Australian premier Brian Burke feared he would suffer claustrophobia if sentenced to jail, one of Julian Grill's doctors said yesterday.
Taking the stand at Mr Grill's trial into giving false evidence to the Corruption and Crime Commission in 2006, George Crisp said that during a consultation in January last year — after charges had been laid — Mr Grill expressed his fear of prison. "He discussed claustrophobia in terms of a possible custodial sentence," Dr Crisp said.
Dr Crisp, who also treated Mr Grill in 2005, told Perth Magistrates Court he had prescribed the 68-year-old with medication to treat insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Under questioning from Mr Grill's lawyer, Tom Percy QC, Dr Crisp said depression could impair a person's cognitive function and drinking too much alcohol, something Mr Grill had admitted to, could also result in short-term memory loss.
Mr Percy has argued that in the lead-up to the 2006 CCC hearings, the lobbyist was stressed, depressed, overworked and suffering sleep disorders and these factors could have resulted in memory problems.
Also taking the stand yesterday was Kalgoorlie doctor Richard Austin, who told magistrate Michael Wheeler that Mr Grill was under particular strain at work in July 2003 because Mr Burke was on leave.
"He was very busy at the time," Dr Austin said. "He was managing the consulting business on his own; Brian Burke was away.
"He was really feeling very stressed because of his work problems, sleep problems, problems with concentration, and felt his memory was impaired."
During a July 2003 consultation, Dr Austin said, he prescribed Mr Grill with medication for depression, anxiety and sleeping problems.
But prosecutor Linda Petrusa said there was no evidence in Dr Austin's notes of the consultation that he had talked to Mr Grill about these problems. Ms Petrusa accused Dr Austin of "reconstructing" the appointment.
Dr Austin said that despite being a busy general practitioner and seeing up to 50 patients a day, he did remember discussing the problems with Mr Grill during the consultation and on social occasions.
The prosecution alleges Mr Grill knowingly gave false evidence at the CCC hearings when he denied being in communication with Mike Allen, a senior officer at the Department of Planning and Infrastructure, about the deferral of a town-planning amendment. Mr Allen was found not guilty in July last year of two charges of giving false evidence to the CCC.
The trial is due to finish today.