Court denies life coach chance to clear 7 year conviction
A GOLD Coast life coach has lost his High Court application to challenge convictions for dishonestly causing investors in a tourist resort development project in northern NSW to lose $1.9 million.
Robert Norman Dale, also a motivational speaker, had argued a miscarriage of justice occurred when he was convicted and jailed for seven and a half years in late 2011.
The Court of Appeal refused his appeal last year and on Friday the High Court in Canberra refused special leave to appeal the case.
The court was not persuaded it was arguable there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Dale's barrister Peter Callaghan had argued the case was circumstantial and dishonesty could only be reached through inferences.
He said the judge's directions at trial about inferences were inadequate.
"It wasn't quite so simple as a straightforward swindle," he said.
Dale had tried to buy 81ha of coastal land at Wooyung in 2004.
He planned to develop the land as a tourist resort or secure a development approval for the same and on-sell the land to a developer at a profit.
As well as a series of contract and deposit issues in the lead-up to the purchase, Dale's company Water at Wooyung also failed to make required payments upon settlement.
The vendor-mortgagees obtained a judgment for possession and re-sold the land at auction in 2005.
Dale met his four victims through his life coaching service.
The Crown case was that Dale misled them through false assertions, dishonestly persuading them to invest with him.
Dale will be eligible for parole in January, 2015.
He is automatically disqualified from managing a corporation under the Corporations Act for five years after his release.