Pisasale extortion appeal bid dismissed


DISGRACED former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has been dealt another blow after he lost an appeal against the extortion conviction that landed him behind bars.

In July last year, Pisasale, his lawyer Cameron James McKenzie and Chinese escort Yutian Li were each found guilty of an extortion plot again Li's former boyfriend.

The three were jailed after the then-mayor posed as a private investigator to demand money from the ex-boyfriend of Li.

Li was at the time a Chinese escort Pisasale had met that same month when a massage was arranged for him, which included sexual services.

She told Pisasale she had been dumped by her ex-boyfriend after he had promised to marry her.

They plotted to "punish" the man, leading to Pisasale calling him up as a private investigator demanding up to $10,000 for Li.

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale was jailed for two years in 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale was jailed for two years in 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England)

He told the man that Li had incurred expenses to "find out the truth" about him, after it was discovered the man was already married.

Pisasale then arranged for McKenzie to send the man a letter of demand for $8400, which included $6100 in private investigation costs.

They were all found guilty after a trial in the Brisbane District Court.

The trio lodged appeals against their convictions but their cases were dismissed by the Court of Appeal this morning.

Pisasale was sentenced to a two years imprisonment, suspended after 12 months, Li was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment suspended after serving seven months and McKenzie was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, suspended after he served nine months behind bars.

Lawyers for the trio argued the appeal should be granted on several conditions, including claims that the trial judge erred in his directions to the jury.

Li's legal representatives also argued the verdicts were "unreasonable and not supported by the evidence".

The trio did not appear in court this morning for the decision.