Pisasale lawyer’s appeal points to juror

A LAWYER who was convicted of extortion alongside disgraced Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has appealed his sentence on the basis a juror did not disclose the fact they were a solicitor.

Cameron McKenzie, Yutian Li and Paul Pisasale were earlier this year convicted of extortion in Brisbane District Court.

McKenzie was sentenced to 18 months' jail, to be suspended after nine months.

He has lodged an appeal to the Queensland Court of Appeal on the basis a juror who identified themselves as a student before being selected on the jury panel was in fact a legal practitioner and would have had knowledge of the law outside of directions given by the judge.

McKenzie has argued the verdict against him was unreasonable and not supported by the evidence.

In his appeal, he also claims the judge should have upheld an argument that there was no case to answer against McKenzie.


Cameron McKenzie
Cameron McKenzie



Paul Pisasale
Paul Pisasale

McKenzie also argues the jury was wrongly directed on two points of law.

Pisasale was convicted of making demands for money from a taxi driver, Sydney man Xin Li, without a reasonable basis.

McKenzie was convicted of sending a letter of demand to the same man.

In phone calls previously played to the court, Pisasale could be heard planning to extort about $10,000 from the driver, who was Li's ex-boyfriend.

Pisasale was sentenced to two years' prison, suspended after 12 months, after being convicted of two counts of extortion.

Chinese-born escort Li who was also convicted on the same two charges and sentenced to 15 months per charge, partially suspended.

She will serve seven months in prison and is likely to be deported following that sentence.