Developers who knocked down Corkman pub get jail for contempt of court

Developers who knocked down Corkman pub get jail for contempt of court

The developers who illegally knocked down the Corkman pub in Carlton have been sentenced to 30 days in jail for contempt of court.

Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri had promised to build a temporary park on the site in Carlton, where they knocked down the 158-year-old pub in 2016 without a building or planning permit.

The rubble of the Corkman Irish Pub the day after it was illegally demolished in 2016.Credit:Eddie Jim

On Wednesday, Supreme Court judge and president of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Michelle Quigley, gave the pair the harshest possible sentence.

Justice Quigley ruled the pair had thumbed their noses at an order that they act quickly to properly clean up the site and build a temporary park on it, which they had previously agreed to do.

Mr Kutlesovski told The Age that he and Mr Shaqiri, whose demolition company knocked down the historic pub, were being persecuted so that politicians could say they were taking decisive action against them for demolishing the pub.

"Not even the people prosecuting us were expecting this," he said.

Mr Kutlesovski has acknowledged the demolition was wrong, but said sorting out the temporary park on the site had proven more complicated than had at first been envisaged.

He said they would appeal against the 30-day jail term.

It is highly unusual for a planning matter to lead to jail time.

The pair have 30 days to challenge the sentence before going to prison, and Mr Kutlesovski said the pair had already begun their appeal against its severity.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne, however, said the pair had received an appropriate sentence.

“These developers deserve this outcome,” Mr Wynne said. “They have trashed Victoria’s heritage, refused to build a park and shirked their legal obligations at every step.”

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