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​Three new magistrates for NSW

Publication date: Wednesday, 17 January 2018

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Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointments of Peter Thompson, Stuart Devine and Daniel Covington as magistrates of the Local Court of NSW.

“The three new magistrates are drawn from Legal Aid NSW and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) NSW and bring a wealth of criminal law experience to the bench,” Mr Speakman said.

“These experienced practitioners are accustomed to managing substantial workloads and understand the fast-paced environment of the Local Court. Each has appeared at its bar tables thousands of times.”

Mr Thompson began his career in the NSW Police Force in 1988. He joined the DPP in 2005 and has regularly conducted District Court jury trials, primarily in Parramatta. Mr Thompson has been appearing as a Crown Prosecutor since last year.

In addition, Mr Thompson served in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader. He represented members of the Defence Force accused of criminal conduct and facing disciplinary offences between 2007 and 2016.

Mr Devine worked as a solicitor in private practice between 1995 and 2001. During this time, he represented clients before the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, the NSW Parole Board, and the Coroner’s Court.

Mr Devine has been at Legal Aid for the past 16 years, most recently serving as a solicitor advocate. In 2016, he acted in the joint murder trial of Glen McNamara and fellow former detective Roger Rogerson.

Mr Covington began his career in his home town of Wollongong where he worked as a solicitor for a private firm.

Mr Covington has been a Legal Aid solicitor in Sydney for more than a decade. He has instructed counsel in trials in the Supreme Court and appeared in sentencing hearings in the District Court. He has recently also served as Legal Aid’s Crime Legal Education Coordinator and has been part of its implementation team for early appropriate guilty plea reforms.

Mr Covington and Mr Devine will be sworn in next Monday, 22 January. Mr Thompson will take his place on the Local Court bench on Monday, 5 February.