The Judicial Sanctioning Of Obscenity
'Magistrate Rules On Swear Word' The Courier-Mail 1/9/1999

Movie stars, rap singers and television hosts say it. And you don't have to be an expert lip-reader to know footballers say it all the time.

But now using the "f-word" in public has been legally sanctioned.

A country magistrate has declared

"the word f... is extremely commonplace now and has lost most of its punch".

But Dubbo magistrate David Heilpern's comments have provoked anger from teachers afraid he is sending the wrong message to children.

Mr. Heilpern made his controversial comments after dismissing offensive language charges against a young man in the central New South Wales town who told police to "f.. off".

"One cannot walk down the streets of any town in which I sit, day or night, without hearing the word or its derivatives used as a noun, verb adjective and indeed a term of affection." Mr Heilpern said in his judgement. "In court I am regularly confronted by witnesses who seem physically unable to speak without using the word in every sentence."

This comes after The Panel's (a television show) Rob Stitch let fly with the f-word on air and channel Ten received only two complaints.