Peter Hollis, a Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member for 61 years, pleaded guilty last year to assault causing bodily harm to Lou Lander, then 55, while armed.
Peter Hollis, a Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member for 61 years, pleaded guilty last year to assault causing bodily harm to Lou Lander, then 55, while armed.

Yacht squadron considers member’s conduct after violence

A YACHT squadron is considering whether an assault on a woman by a long-term member was "conduct becoming of a member'' of its organisation.

Peter Hollis, a Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron member for 61 years, pleaded guilty last year to assault causing bodily harm to Lou Lander, then 55, while armed.

Hollis, 74, who was fined $5000, has now had the recording of the conviction set aside by Queensland's Court of Appeal, partly because of his squadron and "yacht club'' membership.

Peter Hollis with Lou Lander in happier times
Peter Hollis with Lou Lander in happier times

A Court of Appeal judge said because of the organisations' importance to Hollis "in his social sphere'', it was likely a recorded conviction would "materially adversely impact'' his social and economic wellbeing.

According to the appeal court judgment, Hollis claimed a judge erred in finding the recording of a conviction would not affect his Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and "Maroochydore Yacht Club'' memberships.

There is no Maroochydore Yacht Club.

Mooloolaba Yacht Club and Sunshine Coast Yacht Club, where Ms Lander is a member, have confirmed Hollis was not a member of their clubs when sentenced.

RQYS Commodore Barry Cuneo this week released a statement referring to Hollis's fine for the assault and appeal court decision that no conviction be recorded.

"The general committee of the RQYS is giving consideration to whether such conduct is becoming of a member of RQYS,'' Mr Cuneo said.

Mr Cuneo said Hollis had absented himself from RQYS since May 7 last year, and would remain away until the general committee concluded its consideration.

Peter Hollis has successfully appealed the record of his conviction over the assault of Lou Lander
Peter Hollis has successfully appealed the record of his conviction over the assault of Lou Lander

RQYS's code of conduct says members shall "behave in a manner that ensures the reputation and standing of RQYS''.

"Any member bringing the club into disrepute may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the RQYS Constitution,'' it says

Maroochy Sailing Club Commodore Craig Stanger also issued a statement saying Hollis was not a current member of its club.

"It is our understanding that he was once a junior member for a brief time in the 1960s,'' Mr Stanger said.

"He has not applied for readmission as a member and the club has had no contact with him for many years.''

It also was claimed at Hollis's sentence that in the mid-80s he took up an opportunity to be "part of the crew that won the America's Cup'' and he trained for the event for some time.

The court heard that Hollis, a former solicitor and ex-real estate licensee, threw five chairs at Lou Lander, then 55, with two chairs hitting her head and arm, drawing blood, in 2016.

Still bleeding from the assault by a drunken Hollis, Ms Lander hid in a room and called police, the court heard.

Brisbane District Court Judge Vicki Loury said the assault was in the context of "some sort of relationship, after a family gathering''.

Sentencing Hollis, Judge Loury spoke of the "insidious nature of domestic violence and the prevalence of it in our community''.

She decided to record a conviction "to reflect the serious nature of the offence committed, as it was, against a woman with whom you had some sort of relationship''.

Court of Appeal president Justice Walter Sofronoff, Justice Hugh Fraser and Justice David Boddice unanimously ordered the recording of a conviction be set aside on February 4.

Justice Boddice said Hollis was a first-time offender who would be materially adversely affected by the conviction being recorded, because of his age and social life revolving around the yachting organisations.

Sunshine Coast woman Lou Lander was assaulted by Peter Hollis. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP
Sunshine Coast woman Lou Lander was assaulted by Peter Hollis. Picture: Richard Waugh/AAP

Women's Legal Service chief executive officer Angela Lynch said the court and legal system were key stakeholders in the community's response to domestic violence.

Ms Lynch said Queensland's community clubs sector viewed the issue of domestic violence as one of significance in the community.

"The fact that a conviction may preclude someone from membership of an organisation, professional body or club should not of itself be a sufficient reason to not record a conviction,'' Ms Lynch said, in a general comment.

"The recording of a conviction is one of the most significant deterrents a court has.

"It has a responsibility to exercise this discretion in the interests of justice for all concerned, being the community at large, the defendant and also the victim.''

Ms Lander said there had been an overwhelming response to the appeal court decision, to her personally and on social media.

She worked for the ABC in Sydney for 14 years, as an executive manager, chief-of-staff to former managing director Mark Scott and as secretariat for the ABC Board.

She told The Courier-Mail she met Hollis in Brisbane and after taking a redundancy from the ABC she moved to Brisbane to lived with him in his Ascot home.

Ms Lander said they were together for three years



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