Culleton lashes out at Federal Court judge
SENATOR Rod Culleton has lashed out at a Federal Court judge who declared him bankrupt today in dramatic scenes.
In dramatic scenes in a West Australian courtroom, the embattled Independent West Australian Senator learned of his fate when Justice Michael Barker handed down his judgment over a broken land deal debt involving former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester.
The WA District Court had ordered Senator Culleton to pay former Wesfarmers director Dick Lester $205,536 in 2013 - which has since increased to $280,000 - over unpaid rent relating to a $13.2 million 2009 property acquisition deal that soured.
Culleton was seen yelling at the judge by onlookers, telling him: "You've just executed me and I before I bleed to death."
Culleton also told the judge: ""You have just given my estate away!"
Justice Barker told him to sit down.
"I am satisfied that the respondent debtor committed the act of bankruptcy alleged in the creditor's petition," Justice Barker said.
"None of the various grounds of objection of the respondent debtor are made out."
A senator cannot be bankrupt, and he will lose his spot in the Senate if the judge's ruling stands.
He has been given 21 days to appeal the judge's decision after being granted a 21-day stay on the bankruptcy order made.
Senator Culleton was visibly frustrated by the decision and told reporters outside court that he would consider his position.
"We've still got legal avenues so we can appeal," he said.
"I can still stand as a senator and I'll fight it to the end. This is my livelihood, not only for me, but for my children." Senator Culleton also took a swipe at Justice Barker, saying the experienced judge had sharpened his knives after previously reserving his decision. "He was pretty quick to use them, he was quicker than my local butcher," he said.
Senator Culleton was elected in the July federal election as a representative of Pauline Hanson's One Nation but recently resigned from the party.
Pauline Hanson has urged the former One Nation senator to act honourably and give up his Senate seat.
Senator Culleton was declared bankrupt after a Federal Court hearing in Perth on Friday.
"I feel sorry for Rod Culleton and his family but this was the right ruling. I hope he now acts honourably and steps down with dignity," the One Nation leader tweeted.