Camberwell man Colin Hancock was yesterday convicted on three accounts of willful pretentiousness, having been found guilty of reading James Joyce's Ulysses to his two year-old son late last year.
Handing down his verdict, Justice Michael Wedge said that Hancock had shown "appalling pretentiousness" and "a complete and utter lack of concern for his childs present and future humility" when he exposed the boy to Joyce's modernist masterpiece.
"I bet you played Schoenberg to the little tacker while he was in utero, too," Justice Wedge said, addressing an obviously shaken Hancock.
Outside the court, Hancock's lawyer made the following statement:
"My client is obviously upset at the verdict but will abide peacefully by the courts decision. He deeply regrets having read young Bertrand the book in question."
In his original police statement Hancock claimed that he had begun reading Ulysses aloud as a means of calming the child. Under cross-examination, however, he admitted that he had selected Ulysses for its "pose-value", an admission backed up by Hancocks wife, who confessed to having photographed her husband reading to Bertrand with a view to showing the pictures "to friends at next weeks gallery opening".
Hancock will face a firing squad next Thursday. Check local guides for broadcast times.