Berrimah jail’s most famous residents and criminals

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Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALO

Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALONE

BERRIMAH prison, described in 2011 as “only fit for a bulldozer”, is finally closing, with the last prisoners transferred on Friday.

Since it was built in 1979, the prison has been home to some of the Territory’s most notorious criminals.

Originally built for about 100 prisoners, the jail’s population swelled to nearly 800 as successive governments took hard-line approaches to crime and sentencing.

In its 35 years, the prison became increasingly dilapidated and overcrowded. Prisoners complained of rotten food and hot, overcrowded, rat-infested cells.

By the time the former Labor government announced the $500 million prison in Holtze, the legal community, human rights advocates and prisoners were heaping criticism on the jail.

In its final years, it saw repeated breakouts, riots and deaths.

NT Ombudsman Carolyn Richards, noted in 2011 that the rat problem was so bad that one inmate was bitten on the scrotum in his sleep.

Former NT Supreme Court Chief Justice Dean Mildren said in 2011 that the prison failed to meet international standards, with Correctional Services Commissioner Ken Middlebrook saying it should be bulldozed.

Instead, the prison will be refitted at a cost of $800,000 and transformed into a detention centre for the NT’s juvenile offenders.

1. Bradley Murdoch

CONVICTED in 2005 of the 2001 execution-style murder of British traveller Peter Falconio, Bradley Murdoch is serving a life sentence with a 28-year non-parole period.

Previously convicted in WA for firing a rifle at a group of Aborigines in Fitzroy Crossing, and with racist insignia tattooed on his arms, Murdoch will be at least 74 when he is released, and has been moved back and forth between Berrimah and Alice Springs prisons.

2. Lindy Chamberlain

THE Chamberlain trial was the most publicised in Australian history.

When Lindy and Michael Chamberlain’s two-month-old daughter Azaria was taken by a dingo at Uluru in 1980, police launched a murder investigation, claiming that Lindy slit her daughter’s throat and left the body in nearby scrub.

The jury found her guilty and sentenced her to life, with appeals going all the way to the High Court. The chance discovery of further evidence near Uluru led to her release in 1986.

3. Douglas Scott

DOUGLAS Scott was 26 when he was found hanged in his cell on July 5, 1985.

His widow, Letty, spent decades pushing for a proper investigation into his death, which sparked the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

A coronial inquiry and the Royal Commission both found that Scott had committed suicide, a claim Letty rejected until her death in 2009.

4. Douglas Crabbe

IN AUGUST 1983, Douglas Crabbe, then 36, drove his 25-tonne truck into a crowded bar near Uluru, killing five.

After two trials in Darwin, Crabbe was sentenced to mandatory life in prison, and married his wife, Mary, in a secret wedding ceremony inside Berrimah in 1988.

5. The Pine Gap 4

THE group of four Christian pacifists staged an illegal “citizen’s inspection” of the US/Australia spy facility at Pine Gap, in 2005, and were charged under obscure national security legislation dating back to the 1950s.

Bryan Law, Donna Mulhearn, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie trekked for seven hours to reach Pine Gap, sneaked in and took photos of themselves on the roof. They were issued fines and spent a week in Berrimah after refusing to pay.

6. Andy Albury

ALBURY, the closest thing Australia has to Hannibal Lecter, was convicted of the gruesome murder of Gloria Pindan on Mitchell St in November 1983. One of only two men in the NT who will never be released from prison, the former abattoir worker is the prime suspect in 14 unsolved murders in Queensland.

7. Martin Leach

IN JUNE 1983, Leach stabbed and raped Charmaine Ariet and killed her cousin Janice Carnegie near Berry Springs. Along with Andy Albury, Leach will never be released.

In Berrimah prison in 1988, he tried to kill pedophile John Michael Knox with a garden hoe. He was found not guilty on grounds of insanity.

8. Daniel Heiss

HEISS served 23 years in jail, mostly in Berrimah, for shooting dead Peter Robinson in 1990, after Robinson first fired at Heiss. He was known for two audacious escapes.

9. Shonky

NICHOLAS “Shonky” Cassidy, a former Hells Angel, hit Andy Griffiths with his ute, before dumping the body in June 2011. He was sentenced to two years with a 14-month non-parole period, and will have to serve an additional 15 months because the crime was committed while on parole.

10. Ben McLean and Phu Ngoc Trinh

The childhood friends were found guilty of murder after throwing two sex workers off the Adelaide River bridge, into croc-infested waters in 2004. They were sentenced to life, with non-parole periods of 25 years.

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Northern Territory to launch online public sex offender register-Please follow suit


Bruce and Denise Morcombe

Photo: Bruce and Denise Morcombe attended the announcement of the NT’s public sex offender register. (ABC News: Ruby Jones)

Convicted sex offenders in the Northern Territory will soon have their name, image, physical description and whereabouts posted on a government website.

Legislation announced today has been named Daniel’s Law after Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe, who was murdered in 2003 by a convicted sex offender on parole.

Although details have not been finalised, it was believed all of the information published about a sex offender would be publicly accessible.

The NT Criminal Lawyers Association slammed the idea, saying naming and shaming made it harder for offenders to rehabilitate without making anyone safer.

NT Attorney-General John Elferink said it would be the first website of its kind in Australia and it was expected to be launched next year.

Western Australia has an online sex register but access has several tiers of restrictions.

It is not yet clear how approximate the location information for the NT register will be. Mr Elferink said the website would include the “regional whereabouts”.

We truly hope that the introduction of Daniel’s Law will prevent another family going through the pain and grief we experienced following Daniel’s death.

Bruce and Denise Morcombe

“We’ll list them by geographical region reasonably close to where [people] live. It is not a system of exact addresses,” he said.

“They will be able to see who the sexual predators are in the community. They’ll be able to recognise the sexual predators and protect their children.

“We believe that the public’s right to know takes precedence over the privacy concerns for serious sex offenders.

“The initiative will allow individuals and families to familiarise themselves with important details and be more vigilant about named serious sex offenders living in and around the area.”

Daniel’s Law modelled on Megan’s Law in US

The NT chose to pursue its own legislation after a proposed national sex offenders register was knocked back at the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, according to Mr Elferink.

“From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so,” he said.

“Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.

“There is no guarantee a website would have protected Daniel. We know we should pull out all stops as a society and as a community to create for parents an environment to protect their children.”

He said the NT system would be modelled on Megan’s Law in the United States – the informal name for sex offender registration and community notification laws, which have been passed at US federal and state levels.

However, unlike Megan’s Law, Daniel’s Law will not list offenders’ exact address.

The Attorney-General said the Government had not yet decided on the definition of “serious sex offender”.

“We’ll create a definition which is appropriate and then have further flexible arrangements to make sure the right people are placed on our serious sex offenders website.”

He said parents were in a better position to protect their child when they were armed with detailed information.

“While the Northern Territory Police will continue to track and monitor around 200 sex offenders in the community, this tool is designed to deliver information to the community about the most serious offenders in an easy, user-friendly way,” he said.

‘You’d hate to be the last state to have a register’

Daniel’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe, who have been calling for the introduction of a national child sex offender register, said they hoped the NT register would spread across the country.

“Of course sometimes one can imagine the paedophiles and the predators on the NT sex offenders register may well not want to be in the NT any longer,” Mr Morcombe said.

“They may migrate to other states and territories.

“You’d hate to be the last state to have a sex offenders register up and running. You’re going to get truckloads of people you don’t want in your state.”

The couple, who were in Darwin for the announcement, said they commended the NT’s decision.

“The NT has taken a leadership step,” Mr Morcombe said. “They were the first to do so.

“This is for ordinary Australians. It is to get the good people at arms length from the predators.

“We want protection for our kids.

“Daniel’s Law we are confident will assist in the mission to make sure kids of Australia are safe.

“We think it is breathtakingly simple but at the end of the day will make a massive difference for children right around the country.

“I am sure the feedback from that will migrate to other states and they’ll say, ‘Why not us?'”

Daniel disappeared when he was 13 while waiting for a bus at Woombye on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003.

His remains were found in bushland eight years later.

His convicted killer, Brett Peter Cowan, had a long history of sexually abusing children.

He had been arrested and sentenced in 1989 for two years in jail after molesting a boy in a public toilets.

Four years later, while living in a caravan park in Darwin, Cowan attacked a six-year-old boy. He later pleaded guilty to gross indecency, grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty.

He was sentenced to seven years’ jail and released on parole four years later.

‘Terrible idea will turn people into vigilantes’

Public online sex registers make it harder for offenders to rehabilitate, increase the chance they will re-offend, and do not make anyone safer, according to NT Criminal Lawyers Association president Russell Goldflam.

He said the NT Government’s proposal was “terrible”.

From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so. Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.

John Elferink, NT Attorney-General

“Laws like this have been tried in the US, mainly over the last couple of decades,” he said. “They don’t result in anyone being safer or the level of recidivism being decreased.

“There are some real costs. They are expensive to run but more importantly is they can get in the way of people being rehabilitated.

“This can result in people going underground instead of engaging with those who can assist them to stop reoffending

“In a place like the the NT we expect anyone who is going to be put on the register will leave the NT and go somewhere else. That doesn’t help anybody. It just makes it harder to keep track of them.”

He said the system would further stigmatise, prejudice and stereotype convicted sex offenders.

“A very significant range of laws operate to protect the community from people who may be at risk of reoffending,” he said. “There is already a register, already a provision for for identifying offenders, already laws to detain serious repeat sex offenders.

“Where these laws have been passed in the US – and they have in some places included exact places where people live – vigilantes have murdered people on the list or people they believe are on the list, even if they weren’t child sex offenders.

“The Attorney-General says this will make people be more vigilant.

“Our concern is this will make more people into vigilantes.”

Teacher Diane Brimble, a disgusting sexual deviant pursued 10 yr old


Watch out for this person when she gets out from her pathetic sentence which is due to be handed down in 2 days ( 9th October). A teacher, Brimble had a 10 year old boys name, whom she pursued for sex, tattooed on her breasts as some sort of sick show of love WTF? 

Reading this will have you just shaking your head in disbelief.

What did I pre warn you about? What the hell is going on in the courts, surely a teacher is just below a doctor in the trust stakes as far as a family and their children are concerned???

How proud this sicko must of once felt. Too obvious to fiddle her own, Becoming a teacher opened up a whole new world.

In a class of her own

Raising eight children on her own and dealing with a two-hour return commute was never going to stop Diane Brimble from achieving her goal of becoming a teacher.

The youngest of her eight kids was just a toddler when the Hamilton woman began her four-year Bachelor of Education (primary) degree in Warrnambool.

If there weren’t enough barriers to gaining a tertiary education in the country, add the extra parental responsibility of being a foster carer.

“I help out with foster kids when I’m needed,” she told The Standard.

“I’ve had children for a few nights and up to nine months.”

Ms Brimble yesterday officially marked her graduation from Deakin University when the campus held three ceremonies honouring nearly 200 students.

It was the culmination of a long journey to realise her dream, which had begun much earlier when she completed her VCE over two years via correspondence.

“I actually sat exams in Hamilton at the same time as my two eldest children, which was interesting. We tried not to compete,” she laughed.

Even a supermum needs her unsung heroes to be able to tackle such a workload.

Ms Brimble said she had a lot of support from friends and her university lecturers to help her complete her studies.

“I travelled from Hamilton to Warrnambool up to four times a week depending on my schedule.

‘‘It was a bit tiring but it was all worth it.

“I was fortunate to have a travel buddy in Trish Cordner, who also graduates today,” she said yesterday.

“I guess I always wanted to be a teacher and finally set out to achieve that.”

Not content with taking her foot off the pedal and celebrating her success, Ms Brimble is working part-time as a teacher-librarian at The Hamilton and Alexandra College and is studying for her Masters in Education.

“Doing this gave me the confidence that I can achieve what I set out to achieve, so I haven’t stopped studying.”

Ms Brimble said her children, aged six to 24, were proud of her efforts.

“They have been very supportive and so have my friends.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without their help.”

sfowles@standard.fairfax.com.au

Primary school teacher Diane Brimble avoids jail over sex request to 10-year-old boy

A female primary school teacher who propositioned a 10-year-old boy for sex and had his name tattooed on her chest has avoided jail.

Mother of eight Diane Brimble from Hamilton in Victoria’s west, pleaded guilty to one charge of engaging in an indecent act with a child.

The court heard the 47-year-old propositioned the boy for sex when he was at her home to play with her children.

The boy, who suffered Asperger syndrome, rejected her advances saying he was not old enough.

The court heard Brimble told the boy: “You are when you’re at my house.”

Brimble had his name with an infinity symbol tattooed on her chest, and wrote letters to him declaring her undying love.

The judge read part of one of the letters in court.

I am at a complete loss to understand why you engaged in such utterly inappropriate conduct which must dismay every parent.

Judge Mark Taft

“I miss you more than words can say. I can’t write how much I miss you because there just aren’t enough words,” Brimble’s letter to the boy said.

“I love you more than you will ever know. There will never be anyone else in my heart.”

In sentencing, Judge Mark Taft said it beggared belief that a mature-aged woman would write such a letter to her student.

“I am at a complete loss to understand why you engaged in such utterly inappropriate conduct which must dismay every parent,” he said.

“While this is not a case of sexual penetration or of fondling the genitals of a child, your propositioning of a 10-year-old child demands significantly greater punishment and denunciation than the nominal punishment advocated by your counsel.”

He sentenced Brimble to a two-year community corrections order.

She will be a registered sex offender for eight years.

Boy believed Brimble had cast a spell on him

The court had previously heard from the boy’s mother who told the court Brimble turned her son into a “sexual commodity”.

She said they had to move from their community and the boy was placed on antipsychotic medication.

She said it also impacted on his siblings.

“They drew pictures of rainbows and unicorns. He drew black pictures of knives and death,” she said, reading her victim impact statement to the court.

The boy’s father said his son would not look at his parents as he believed Brimble had cast a spell on him which allowed her to see and hear everything he did.

Diane Brimble leaves the Melbourne County Court

Diane Brimble leaves the Melbourne County Court

Teacher Diane Brimble branded ‘evil’ for asking 10-year-old boy for sex

Angus Thompson
Herald Sun
October 06, 2014 2:13PM

A PRIMARY school teacher who asked a 10-year-old boy to have sex with her has been described by the victim’s parents as an “evil” woman who destroyed their son’s innocence.
Hamilton teacher Diane Brimble, 47, was found guilty of committing an indecent act with a child under 16 in Warrnambool County Court in August this year.
A jury dismissed four of the five charges against her, including grooming the boy.
But the child’s mother said Brimble – a teacher at the boy’s school – violated her position of care and responsibility over him.

“He trusted her and she betrayed the trust everyone placed in her and a teacher and a mother and a woman,” the boy’s mother said in a statement she read out in the Melbourne County Court.

Brimble had pleaded not guilty to the allegations, including that she showed him a suitcase containing sex toys and exposed her breasts to him.
The mother of eight, who had struck up a relationship with him and had his name tattooed to her chest was found guilty of asking him for sex after driving him to her house.
Judge Mark Taft said the boy rejected her advances.
“He said he wasn’t old enough to have sex and she said ‘you are when you’re at my house’,” Mr Taft said.
The boy’s mother, who cannot be named because it would identify the boy, said her son had been driven to self-harm by Brimble’s actions: “a hell Brimble’s predatory actions thrust upon him.”
“I feel sickened…as a mother…that she did this under the guise of motherly love,” she said.
The boy’s dad described himself as “the father of a child who was the victim of sexual assault.”
He said his son believed Brimble, who had also sent inappropriate texts and Facebook messages to the boy, was a “horrible woman who cast a spell on him.”
“She tried to manipulate (boy’s name) to make him think she loved him and his parents did not.
“She has shattered our family,” the father said through a statement read out by Crown Prosecutor Patrick Bourke.
He said Brimble was an “evil woman” who forced the family to move and for his son to change school and repeat his education.
“I feel sick every time I think of my son’s name tattooed onto her body,” he said.
Mr Bourke argued Brimble should be convicted, undergo treatment under a community corrections order and be placed on the sex offenders register.
She will be stripped of her teacher’s registration.
Jennifer Clark, acting for Brimble, said her client had endured a difficult upbringing, been the subject of an abusive marriage, and fought hard to become a teacher.
Mr Taft said he remained baffled by Brimble’s behaviour following a psychological assessment he described as a “barracker’s report”.

“I had hoped some report would provide some understanding and insight…I have none,” he said.

Brimble will be sentenced in the County Court at 10am on Thursday.


 

Teacher who tried to have sex with 10-year-old got child’s name tattooed on her chest, court hears

6 Oct 2014, 3:59pm
A primary school teacher who tried to have sex with one of her students got the boy’s name tattooed onto her chest, a court has been told.
Diane Brimble, 47, of Hamilton in Victoria’s south-west, tried to have sex with the 10-year-old boy but he rejected her advances, the Victorian County Court heard.
The boy’s mother told the court Brimble, a mother of eight, turned her son into a “sexual commodity”.
She said they had to move from their community and the boy was placed on antipsychotic medication.
She said it also impacted on his siblings.
“They drew pictures of rainbows and unicorns. He drew black pictures of knives and death,” she said, reading her victim impact statement to the court.
The boy’s father said his son would not look at his parents as he believed Brimble had cast a spell on him which allowed her to see and hear everything he did.
The father’s victim impact statement was read to the court by prosecutor Patrick Bourke, who said Brimble tried to tour the boy’s new school and enrol her children there.
Judge Mark Taft said a psychological report tendered by Brimble’s lawyer Jennifer Clark did not help and was essentially barracking for her.
“I remain entirely bewildered by Ms Brimble’s psycho-sexual profile and her motive,” Judge Taft said.
“It’s an unusual case and I find Ms Brimble’s conduct as bizarre as I have ever seen in a courtroom.

“We have a 45-year-old school teacher who, amongst other things, has written extraordinary material about a 10-year-old child who wasn’t her own, has tattooed his name on her chest in an infinity symbol, and has engaged in a series of statements of continuing love and affection.”

Judge Taft said it was not a case of misplaced maternal sentiment.
This is a criminal offence, not an excess of maternal sentiment.

Judge Mark Taft
“You don’t seek to have sex with your children,” he said.
“This is a criminal offence, not an excess of maternal sentiment.”

A jury convicted Brimble of one count of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.
She was acquitted of five other charges.


Female teacher ‘groomed’ student, 10

October 6, 2014 – 1:47PM
Mark Russell
Court Reporter for The Age

Diane Brimble leaves Warrnambool Law Courts. Photo-Rob Gunstone

Diane Brimble leaves Warrnambool Law Courts. Photo-Rob Gunstone

Convinced she was in love with her 10-year-old student, primary school teacher and mother of eight Diane Brimble had his name and the infinity symbol tattooed on her chest, a court has heard.
The boy’s mother told the County Court on Monday that she used to call her son, ‘Smiles’, but Brimble had “hurt him in his heart” after Brimble had groomed him.
The mother said while her daughters would draw rainbows and unicorns, he drew black pictures of knives and death. She felt sickened as a mother that Brimble’s offending was “under the guise of motherly love”.
“The commemorative tattoo etched into her body of my child’s name in the symbol of infinity coupled with her belief in spells and spirits makes me convinced that she truly believes she is meant to be united in dreams for eternity,” the boy’s mother said in a victim impact statement read to the court.
The boy’s father said his son believed “this horrible woman” had cast a spell on him which meant anything he heard or saw she could hear and see too, which was why he refused to look at his parents or talk about what Brimble had done.
Brimble, 47, of Hamilton, appeared in the County Court on Monday for a pre-sentence hearing after a jury sitting in Warrnambool found her guilty of one count of committing an indecent act with a child under 16 between January 1 and April 19, 2013.
Judge Mark Taft said Brimble had hugged the boy at her house and asked him if he wanted to sleep with her. The boy asked her what she meant and she said, “sex.” The boy pushed Brimble’s hands away as she kissed him on the cheek and told him she loved him.
He told his teacher he was not old enough to have sex but Brimble told him, “You are when you are at my house.”
“It is an unusual case. I find Ms Brimble’s conduct as bizarre as any I have ever seen in a courtroom,” Judge Taft said.
The boy’s mother said she was proud of her son for rejecting Brimble’s sexual advances.
“He knew right from wrong,” she said before warning other parents not to be naive and trust anyone “with your beautiful children”.
Brimble’s predatory actions when trying to turn her little boy into a sexual commodity had had a profound effect on him and his family, the mother said.
She was now worried the boy, who has had to repeat a year at school, might blame her for not protecting him from Brimble.
“I have failed as a mother because I did not keep him safe,” she said.
The mother said the family had moved out of the community but still did a double-take if they saw anyone with bleached blonde hair similar to Brimble’s.
She was repulsed at how Brimble had used “guile and artifice” to make her son doubt that his parents loved him so she could offer him solace and fun.
Brimble had set out to exploit her little boy and stole part of his innocence.
The boy’s father said he lived day by day trying to protect him now. “I feel sick every time I think of my son’s name tattooed on her body,” he said in his victim impact statement read to the court.
“Who knows what scars he will carry with him forever.”

Judge Taft was critical of a psychological report tendered by Brimble’s defence barrister which claimed Brimble had only been trying to support the boy through difficult and challenging times and had been naive not to realise the child could have misinterpreted her kindness.
The judge said the psychological report failed to explain Brimble’s reasons for her offending.

“I remain entirely baffled by Ms Brimble’s psycho-sexual profile and her motivation,” he said. Judge Taft said Brimble’s conduct was bizarre and he agreed with the boy’s description that his teacher had been acting “weird”.

Brimble will be sentenced on Thursday.

Who wants to be a unpaid crime blog reporter/contributer?


Not real journo’s who still have a job, maybe cadets (but not good for resume…mmm)

Maybe old school scribes who wish they could stay in the game!

How about folks like me with no relevant qualifications but gives a toss about the crimes in their communities?

The pay-off is a verdict like today GBC cowardly wife killer.

People like me? You relate to how I write?

Hey cant spell well, 2 finger typer…So am I YES…Our stuff gets checked before we post.

Sounds like you?

GOOD keep reading

This site has had massive coverage lately (I cover non famous crimes too)

I’m thinking along the lines of a Co-ordinator in each state

That co-ordinator runs that states crimes and has authors who get the stories up.

What do you think?

Sound good, bad, troublesome, confusing?

All I want is to give the best coverage of what is going on in our communities.

The community expectations has/have?  outgrown my skills honestly…

Each state, minimum deserves better coverage. The good people email me why haven’t you covered this rape, or that kidnapping, or the death of a cousin in my indigenous community.

You could help us!

GBC Trial Day 19.5 (the weekend)


Something to get the chat going for the weekend

 

Baden-Clay murder trial: Large crowds in court evidence of a healthy legal system, top barrister says

11/07/14

Gerard Baden-Clay

The murder trial of Gerard Baden-Clay has seen a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding

The high level of public interest in the Gerard Baden-Clay trial is nothing out of the ordinary, and in fact makes for a healthy legal system, a top barrister says.

The former real estate agent’s murder trial attracted crowds to the Brisbane Supreme Court, with extra courtrooms opened for people who queued day after day to gain entry, and a ticketing system introduced to prevent overcrowding.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General says these special arrangements for large-scale trials are made to ensure openness and transparency in the justice system.

This transparency is key to keeping Australia’s legal apparatus – everyone from police to barristers and judges – held to account, says Ken Fleming, QC.

Mr Fleming was the defence barrister for former Bundaberg surgeon Jayant Patel and has worked as a United Nations prosecutor on international war crimes trials.

“Everyone should be held accountable for what they’re doing, and the open scrutiny of it is a very important thing,” he said.

“You just can’t have things going on behind closed doors, because that engenders fear of the unknown.”

Mr Fleming says the “whole delivery of justice” depends on high levels of public interest, because people can see and understand the process.

Seeing mystery unravel part of appeal, barrister says

The courts are not, however, in danger of turning into another form of entertainment – rather, they always have been.

“You only have to think about the French Revolution and the guillotining in the forecourt of the Notre Dame,” Mr Fleming said.

Although some people may attend just to see a mystery unravel, he believes many also have a genuine interest in watching the ins and outs of the legal process.

There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

Ken Fleming, QC

“You only have to look at some of the British television programs to see how we love a good murder mystery,” he said.

“There might be some prurient interest as well, but I think that’s not the major reason people are there.

“They just have a genuine interest in what’s going on.”

Glen Cranny, a defence lawyer and partner at Gilshenan and Luton Lawyers, also believes a high level of public interest is healthy for the criminal justice system generally.

“People might come for any number of reasons, and some might come for mawkish reasons,” he said.

“Nevertheless, I think the benefits of having an open and transparent system … far outweigh any perverse interest some people may get out of such proceedings.”

Public pressure witnesses face may discourage some: lawyer

Publicity and public interest in a case can also encourage other complainants or witnesses to come forward and give evidence, where they may have otherwise been unaware or not confident enough.

Rolf Harris‘s case in England, for example, involved people who were coming forward as complainants once they, I think, had the courage that there were protections and systems in place for their story to be told,” Mr Cranny said.

But this benefit has a flip-side: that very publicity could make people apprehensive about revealing their story.

“I think there is a tipping point where some people might think they could do without their face or name being splashed on TV as a witness, or as a complainant,” Mr Cranny said.

“They would be happy to be involved in the process in a low-key way, but don’t want to be engaged … in anything that might in some way feel like a circus to them.”

Reputational issues should also be factored in, especially when a person’s conduct, while lawful, may not hold them in a good light.

“We’ve seen in a recent high-profile case … a lot of focus on extra-marital affairs and so on,” Mr Cranny said.

“There are people who are involved in those relationships, who haven’t broken the law, but have become very prominent just through their personal lives.”

Mr Fleming says that while public interest could make some people “a bit reluctant”, he had not seen any evidence of public attendance impacting on witnesses.

“It is on display and in a sense it’s theatre,” he said.

“But once people are resigned to the fact that they will be giving evidence, I don’t think too much stands in their way.”

Opening additional courtrooms and keeping the public away from “where the action is happening” also means witnesses are only faced with a very small and confined audience in the main court, Mr Fleming said.

All previous threads and history including trial can be found clicking on link below http://aussiecriminals.com.au/category/gerard-baden-clay/

List of Trial Witnesses as they appear here

ANY EVIDENCE LIKE PHOTOS, VIDEO OR DOCUMENTS THE COURT RELEASES TO THE PUBLIC WILL BE PUBLISHED in the GBC Documents Page

Brisbane Supreme Court Justice John Byrne has asked a jury to retire to consider a verdict in the trial of Gerard Baden-Clay.