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7/04/2017

Peter Barry assault charges dropped

Prosecutors have dropped assault charges against Clare Valley winemaker Peter Barry.

The conclusion to the matter was reported in the Adelaide Advertiser in mid-March, but went unnoticed by Daily Wine News until contacted by an extended family member this week.

As Daily Wine News reported the start of the case in the Adelaide Magistrates Court in August 2016, it is appropriate the conclusion of the case is also covered.

According to The Advertiser:

Winemaker Peter Barry, 57, walked free from the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday after prosecutors dropped charges that he assaulted another man, John Litchfield in an incident at North Adelaide on June 30 last year.

On Friday, police prosecutor Robert Binnekamp formally tendered no evidence on one basic charge of assault causing harm.

The court did not hear any of the allegations surrounding the case, including the pair’s relationship or whether Mr Litchfield was seriously injured.

Mr Barry, flanked by his legal team and family, watched from the public gallery as his defence barrister Michael Abbott QC said his reputation had been damaged.

“In view of the negative publicity he has suffered I would like it to be noted in a public setting that his entering a plea of not guilty has now been vindicated by the withdrawal of the charge,” he said.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Dr Andrew Cannon replied: “I note the defendant always maintained his innocence. You are free to go.”

Outside court, Mr Barry said he was relieved the case had been dropped.

“Of course I would like to thank my family for their support as well as the wine community,” he said.

“I am, of course, pleased that the charge has been dropped. I have not had the opportunity to tell my story as … my reputation has been damaged.”

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WID 2016