TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO
press read more to read transcript
TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO
press read more to read transcript
The previous post can be found here
Gets 26 years, min of 18 years before parole. Inadequate in my view. new girlfriend Rachelle Louise was not in court, ching ching,
If you have a spare 30 minutes watch the first part of the $150,000 interview and story right here folks, a real eye opener
17/02/14 update new interview with the 2 detectives who saw his violent side nearly 20 years ago, when Gittany bit part of one detectives ear OFF while being arrested…yeah the guy Rachelle said would make a fantastic dad.Until the little kid piddled his pants or something….
16/02/14 UPDATED WITH 2ND PART AFTER THE FIRST BELOW
Hopefully she will collect a big fat cheque today from TV today, pocket it, and never utter his name again, gotcha Gittany
Official Sentence summary from today can be found below, full transcript to follow once released folks. (click for bigger view)
Simon Gittany has been sentenced to 26 years’ jail, with a non-parole period of 18 years, for the murder of his fiancée Lisa Harnum.
Gittany threw Ms Harnum to her death from the balcony of their 15th floor apartment in inner Sydney on a Saturday morning in July 2011.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum, who presided over Gittany’s judge-only trial last year, today also handed down his punishment.
Justice McCallum said that jailing Gittany for life would be excessive, but his family in the court’s public gallery still erupted when she delivered the sentence.
“In the name of Jesus, that will never happen,” one family member yelled.
The judge ordered the family members to be removed from the court.
Earlier Justice McCallum had described the cruelty of the crime.
“Ms Harnum must have been in a state of complete terror in the moments before her death,” she said.
Justice McCallum described Gittany as “arrogant” and said he had punished Ms Harnum during their relationship for “small acts of defiance” such as wearing her hair down.
The court heard about Gittany’s previous potential for violence, including an incident in which he bit off part of a policeman’s ear in 1994.
“It has a troubling resonance with the present offence,” Justice McCallum said.
The judge told the court that she had excluded evidence from a surprise prosecution witness last week – a former colleague of Ms Harnum who said Gittany had previously threatened to kill Ms Harnum and make it look like suicide.
The businessman’s current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, who has fiercely defended Gittany and has been by his side for much of his trial, was not in court for the sentencing.
Gittany himself was led up from the cells beneath the courtroom, but showed no emotion as he listened to the judge’s comments.
The Daily Telegraph
February 07, 2014
BALCONY killer Simon Gittany could spend 20 years in jail for the “cold and calculating” murder of his fiancee – a killing he almost successfully portrayed as suicide, his sentencing was told yesterday.
Justice Lucy McCallum also indicated the decision of Gittany’s family to “embark on a campaign” that doggedly protests his innocence over the killing of Lisa Harnum could be viewed as “an impediment to rehabilitation”.
In his closing sentencing submissions, Mr Tedeschi said Gittany had used “the height and gravity” of the 15th storey balcony as a weapon in throwing Ms Harnum to her death seconds after she had been “screaming for her life”.
Rachelle Louise arrives for the second day of sentencing submissions in boyfriend Simon Gittany’s case.
Rachelle Louise has been a very vocal supporter of Simon Gittany.
Rachelle Louise seemed to be in a good mood when she arrived at court today.
“Were it not for the observations of (witness) Joshua Rathmell and were it not for the pinhole camera which captured the offender dragging the deceased back inside … it was a cold and calculating way of killing her in a manner which would have enabled him to pass it off as suicide,” Mr Tedeschi said.
Justice McCallum said Gittany had “a defiant denial of guilt” and, along with his family and girlfriend Rachelle Louise, appeared determined to “maintain the rage until (in his mind) justice is done”.
Prosecutors say Gittany has shown no contrition or remorse, which makes it hard to assess his rehabilitation prospects, but his barrister has asked the court to hand down a sentence “significantly lower” than the 20-year minimum.
Barrister Philip Strickland SC said Gittany’s criminal record, which includes a conviction for biting part of a policeman’s ear off in 1994, shouldn’t be given much weight upon sentence.
The court heard the relationship he has with Ms Louise has “no features at all of an abusive relationship”.
More than 40 character references were tendered to the court on Gittany’s behalf, with Justice McCallum saying some appear “to be asking for mercy on the basis I might be wrong (in the guilty verdict).”
Mr Strickland said references spoke of a gentle Gittany with dreams of being a priest.
Mr Tedeschi said the references suggest “the offender is two completely different people. One person to his family and a completely different person presenting in the relationship (with Lisa Harnum).
9 years and she is out 11am 10/02/14
1.29pm: THE RACE FOR THE CORBY EXCLUSIVE
CHANNEL Seven is believed to have won the race to snare the first interview with Schapelle Corby, with veteran Mike Willessee in Bali to celebrate the former jailbird’s flight to freedom.
The convicted drug smuggler’s mother Rosleigh allowed Seven cameras exclusive access to film her reaction as she watched from Brisbane.
The vision is thought to be a part of a multi-faceted media deal worth in excess of $3 million, including the first interview to air on Seven’s Sunday Night program, with other stories to roll out across the Seven Media Group’s publishing assets including New Idea magazine.
The illustration below show the time Corby spent in jail. When the details of her massive media deal is exposed I will show how crime does pay per year, month etc.
ok an update on the deal of 3 million, to put it into perspective
If the 3 million dollars bandied around for the exclusive Channel 7 deal is about right, my maths say she got 750 dollars for every gram of weed x 4000 grams (caught with 4KG odd?!) she trafficked. I would not know what weed sells for these days, but she has made huge profit even if it took 9 years.
Or $355,000 for each year in jail. That is for a convicted criminal, not compo for wrongful arrest or jail…staggering isn’t it
Let me know of my sums are wrong or what weed sells for on the street in grams or whatever. When I was young it was a foil or bag, not so much the weight.
Amir Syamsuddin held a press conference in Jakarta where he spoke about the prisoner applications he has been reviewing, including Corby’s.
The former Gold Coast beauty student was jailed in Bali in 2005 after authorities found 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag at Denpasar airport the year before.
Update 9pm 07/02/14
Key points from today
Details of Corby’s parole conditions have also been released.
During her parole time, she will have to report to her parole officer regularly. Parole will be revoked if:
1. She commits a crime
2. She is accused of committing a crime
3. Causes discomfort to society
4. Fails to report to her parole officer three times in a row
5. Fails to report a change of address
6. Fails to follow or obey programs organised by her parole officer
The statement goes on to say that Corby is not the only foreign prisoner who was granted parole by the justice ministry.
Our Schapelle: a smuggler for all seasons
Posted Thu 6 Feb 2014
The Schapelle Corby story resonates not just because she’s white with big and bewildered blue eyes, but because she represents an Australian caricature that’s loved and loathed in equal measure, writes Lauren Rosewarne.
In marketing it’s referred to as “cut through”: collating just the right elements to set your advertisement apart from the throng. A commercial that gets noticed, spoken about, remembered even in the most saturated of marketplaces.
In news media, few people would be as crude as to use a term like cut through. The very same thing, of course, transpires. In a sea of worthy, of interesting, of important current affairs items, some manage to strike resonance with the masses and others fall to the wayside.
The Schapelle Corby tale is one such example.
Long before Channel Nine got their mitts on it, the story had all the makings of a telemovie. A fresh-faced, doe-eyed beauty student protagonist with a first name that would long hold its own. There was Mercedes – the sister, the shrieker – taking that well-worn route of consciousness-raising by posing for Ralph. There were the drug allegations against her dad, the potentially shonky baggage handler. For those with a penchant for props, there was the infamous boogie board bag.
The Schapelle story was built for the small screen.
And the small screen – and, in fact, the news media more broadly – latched onto it. And held on. Tightly. For nearly 10 very long years.
On one hand I’m not sure that the extensive media coverage of a story like this or, in fact like Lindy Chamberlain or Madeleine McCann, serve as the best indicator of how much the public care. In many cases, we simply consume the media we are given. We know about Kerobokan, for example, about Azaria’s matinee jacket and enough about Praia da Luz to fill a guidebook simply because we’re educated, because we’re paying attention to the news and because the crime beat always gets disproportionate coverage.
That said, audiences aren’t passive dupes. We don’t merely swallow every tale offered up, and we couldn’t possibly know as many lurid details as most of us do without us paying attention. We’ve been partaking of this soap opera because it, apparently, strikes a chord.
So why? Why, when so little sympathy is conjured for the other Australian drug smugglers populating Indonesia jail cells, have we maintained such an interest in Schapelle? Why Schapelle and not Renae Lawrence? Why Schapelle and not Scott Rush?
She’s white, she’s pretty-ish, she’s female. All vital for the visual medium of TV. Equally, I daresay Bangkok Hilton still holds a place in the Australian imaginary. (Thailand, Indonesia, same thing, same thing).
My suspicion, however, is that it’s really all about Schapelle. That it’s Schapelle not just because she’s white, not just because she’s got those big and bewildered blue eyes, but because she’s an Australian caricature. A caricature that’s loved and loathed in equal measure.
Lots of Australia go to Bali for holidays, for hair braiding, for cheap Singha. These are the folks whose voices slice through Ngurah Rai like the proverbial hot knife through butter. These are the Australians who, apparently, are widely loathed abroad for sounding just like Steve Irwin, for donning vast quantities of Southern Cross apparel, for their tendency to Oi-Oi-Oi in packs.
We know this image. And for some, rather than it being a source of cringing or embarrassment, it’s simply one of familiarity; I had a boogie board bag the last time I went to Kuta, it could have been me! For many, Schapelle is recognised simply, and sadly, as just a tragically unlucky white girl, treated harshly by those Muslims with their incomprehensible legal system and the sketchy lawmakers.
Schapelle, however, caters to a whole other market too. Let us not forget that that Garuda flight full of Aussies are enduringly the butt of jokes and vitriol. Here’s Schapelle with her Bold and the Beautiful name and her bogan fish-and-chip shop family. Perhaps calling it schadenfreude is a step too far, but her consideration as a sympathetic figure is far from universal. To many, in fact, Schapelle’s just the ocker, the Aussie chav. She’s the fool – perhaps a sweetly naïve one – who got caught doing a really stupid thing in a country renowned for a zero tolerance drug police. She’s the idiot who let her less-than-savvy family make the whole thing worse by letting them front the press.
Schapelle’s release is imminent. The telemovie airs next week. There’s a couple more years before she’s allowed back on our shores, and thus inevitably many news bulletins to come documenting her parole under Mercedes’ wing. Probably not as gruelling as being locked up in Kerobokan, but let’s not pretend this hasn’t been a long road for us too.
Dr Lauren Rosewarne is a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. View her full profile here.
Schapelle Corby should be sent home to Australia as soon as possible, says Bill Shorten
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Schapelle Corby should be sent home to Australia “as soon as possible”.
The former Gold Coast beauty student was jailed in Bali in 2005 after authorities found 4.1 kilograms of marijuana in her boogie board bag at Denpasar airport the year before.
Corby will know tomorrow if she will be released from the Indonesian jail where she has spent the last nine years.
Asked whether Corby should be allowed to profit from her story if she is granted parole, as is being speculated, Mr Shorten defended the Australian.
“I think that Schapelle Corby – I would like to see her come back to Australia,” he said.
However, he says he is not fully across the details of her case.
“I don’t know all the ins and outs of what she has done and hasn’t done, but what I do know is that she has spent a long time in an Indonesian jail,” he said.
“Again, without taking sides about the merits of her case, I would like to see that woman back in Australia as soon as possible and that’s what matters to me.”
When pressed again about whether or not Corby should make money from her story, Mr Shorten defended her against the speculation.
“Before we start getting into a debate about whether or not she should profit about her story, she’s been locked up in an Indonesian jail for a very long time,” he said.
“If people think that’s somehow some clever strategy for her to get a windfall gain now, I don’t think anyone else would be about repeating that.
“So I’m not about to start kicking her, I think the issue is, whatever has happened in the merits of her case, I’d like to see her come home.”
Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday responded to reports of Corby’s parole decision, saying it was “ultimately a matter for the Indonesian justice system”.
“Generally speaking, the less said about consular cases the better, so let’s see what the system produces,” he said.
Schapelle Corby: Drug claims, media circus and the family saga that gripped a nation
Updated 19 minutes ago
In October 2004, aspiring Gold Coast beautician Schapelle Corby was arrested in Bali after the discovery of marijuana in her bodyboard bag.
She proclaimed her innocence, saying the drugs weren’t hers.
Seven months later, in May 2005, the 27-year-old was convicted of trying to smuggle marijuana into Indonesia. She was jailed for 20 years.
Perhaps not since Lindy Chamberlain has a legal saga gripped Australia like Schapelle Corby’s arrest and conviction.
It began on October 8 2004, when an overseas holiday adventure turned disastrously bad.
Schapelle Corby flew into Bali with friends and family.
But Bali Customs officials found more than four kilograms of marijuana in her bodyboard bag.
Corby claimed to be innocent, saying the drugs were planted.
“I didn’t put it there. I didn’t know what it contained,” she later testified in court.
Emotive trial became a media circus as family stole the show
In Indonesia it was just another drugs case, but a young Queenslander in desperate need in a foreign land captivated Australia’s media and public.
At one stage as she was led into court surrounded by police and media she pleaded: “Help me! Help me Australia!”.
Was she the unwitting victim of a drug-trafficking ring, perhaps involving crooked Australian Customs officers?
Corby told the media: “I shouldn’t be here. So I’m just trying to be strong and I’m just lucky that I’ve got really good family and friends to help me get through.”
Australian talkback radio went into meltdown.
Then-prime minister John Howard said: “We will do everything that we are properly and reasonably asked to do to see that any relevant evidence is presented.”
But seven months after the drugs were discovered, and after a highly charged defence, a court found her guilty.
Her mother Rosleigh Rose screamed in court: “Schapelle you will come home! Our government will bring you home!”
Outside, her sister Mercedes Corby could barely restrain herself, screaming: “I don’t even know why we had a bloody trial! They didn’t take any of our witnesses into account!”.
In the years since then, appeals and legal manoeuvring failed to free Corby, but her sentence has been progressively reduced, partly because of her increasingly erratic behaviour, self-confessed depression, and a stint in hospital.
Her father Michael Corby senior died of cancer, but allegations have emerged that he had been involved in trading marijuana for decades.
In 2008 Andrew Trembath, one of Michael Corby’s cousins, spoke to Lateline.
“Honestly, I don’t think Schapelle would have known any different, you know, because she would have been around drugs all her life, ” Mr Trembath said.
“Michael used to be in and out of trouble with dope and, you know, over the years I can remember some hell of a big blues with his parents.”
Mr Trembath said Corby senior was not just a small-time dealer, but was involved in moving large amounts of marijuana throughout northern Queensland.
“I was in the Kooyong Hotel [in Mackay] having a few beers and Michael walked in,” he said.
“He approached me and we went and sat down and he said to me basically straight out, he said, ‘Do you want to earn 80 grand?’.
“I said, ’80 grand? What have I got to do, go and kill somebody for it?’. And he said, ‘No, no.’ He said, ‘Get you to take a boat up to see the bay and pick up a lot of marijuana and bring it back down to Mackay – and you’ll get 80 grand for it.’.
“Well at the time I thought, well, 80 grand, I could do with it, but if I got caught, 10 years in jail at eight grand a year when you got three little kids just didn’t sum up. So I refused.”
Nearly nine years have passed since Schapelle Corby was convicted. A successful defamation action, a book, and media deals have possibly made her family hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.
But the woman at the centre of the legal and media maelstrom, has remained in a Balinese prison – until now.
04/02/14 UPDATE FOR DAY 2
ALLISON Baden-Clay went to see a family counsellor about her husband’s three-year affair with a staff member, a court has been told today.
The Brookfield mum also detailed her history of depression to the counsellor, the court was told at a pre-trial hearing.
The routine hearing is to resolve legal issues ahead of the Gerard Baden-Clay’s upcoming murder trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Allison told the counsellor her husband Gerard’s attitude to the depression was that he was “over it” and that it had contributed to the affair, the court was told.
The court heard the counsellor later had a separate session with Gerard where he said he wanted to leave the affair in the past but reluctantly agreed to 15-minute discussions with his wife every second night.
Baden-Clay reported his wife missing on April 20, 2012. He has been charged with her murder and is due to face trial in June.
Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie told the court the first session with Allison was at Spring Hill on March 27, 2012, and lasted about an hour.
Allison described herself as a mother of three who worked with her husband’s real estate agency four days a week, Ms Ritchie told the court.
She told the counsellor that after taking malaria medication on her honeymoon she had a “very severe reaction” and suffered chronic depression and “psychotic episodes”.
She had seen a psychologist during her second pregnancy and had been on and off medication ever since.
Allison said her husband had an affair for three years and at least partly blamed her depression, Ms Richie said.
Asked to describe her problems in a few words she told the counsellor: “Inadequate. Not good enough. Believe I let it happen. Gerard’s way is the right way. Gerard had an affair for the last three years. Parenting, Gerard criticises me. Fear that one day he will leave me”.
Allison told the counsellor she wanted to “work on me” and sort out issues with parenting, the court was told.
Allison found out about Gerard’s affair on September 14, 2011, Ms Ritchie said.
The affair started on August 27, 2008, four days after Gerard and Allison’s own anniversary, the counsellor said.
Ms Ritchie said Allison told her: “I confronted him. He is now honest and takes responsibility. He blames me for some of it, the depression.”
Allison said that two years ago on their anniversary she surprised Gerard by asking: “What’s wrong with us?”
She told the counsellor Gerard replied: “I’ve had enough. I want to leave.”
Allison said she put it down to a midlife crisis.
Allison said Gerard’s personality was “ambitious and leader like” and he had high expectations of her and the children, Ms Richie told the court.
She told the counsellor her father felt as though “he was controlling her”, the court was told.
In her case notes, the counsellor wrote her opinion that Allison was a “conflict avoider who has said yes too many times in the relationship”.
To Gerard, Allison was not the girl he married, while Gerard had changed to a “look after myself” attitude, the court was told.
Ms Ritchie said she told Allison at the end of the session she could bring Gerard to the next session if she wanted.
Allison said she did not believe Gerard would want to come.
However at the next appointment on April 16, 2012, both Allison and Gerard were in the waiting room.
Ms Ritchie told the court she took Gerard into her room on his own at first. She said she had planned to spend half the hour-long session with him and then see them both together, but the session with Gerard went for most of the hour.
“I was surprised to see Gerard there as well. That was because Allison thought he would not come,” Ms Ritchie told the court.
The session, at Kenmore, was four days before Baden-Clay reported his wife missing.
Ms Ritchie said she took a standard 60-second snapshot with Gerard, but he didn’t say much about himself personally, talking instead about his work and achievements.
The court heard that after further questions Gerard told the counsellor: “Allison does not trust me. She questions me. She says yes when she means no.”
He told the counsellor of Allison’s disappointment with her life and that he used to blame his wife for disappointments in his own life, the court was told.
He said he attended the session because Allison wanted him to.
He wanted to “build a future” with his wife and to leave the affair behind him and thought discussing the affair with Allison was a regression, Ms Ritchie told the court.
“He wants to get on with life. Wipe it clean,” the counsellor said she wrote in her notes from the session.
“He needs to accept seven or eight months is very early days yet and to ‘steel’ himself for the long haul.”
Ms Ritchie told the court she advised Baden-Clay he could not ignore his wife’s feelings about the affair.
“I spoke about the fact he did have to sit and listen to Allison’s feelings about the affair.
“I told him that he can’t put this in the past because for Allison that past is very much in the present.”
Gerard did not want to take the advice.
“Isn’t that regression? Isn’t that living in the past?” he asked.
They went back and forth until “eventually he agreed”.
Ms Ritchie said she told Gerard to listen to Allison for 10 to 15 minutes every second night. She said she “always” limited such talks because they were “highly emotional”.
Gerard’s role was to “simply listen … absolutely not be defensive” and at the end to express remorse if that was how he felt.
Ms Ritchie told the court she went outside to get Allison from the waiting room and apologised for taking so long with her husband.
“Her face broke into a smile and she said ‘I’m over the moon you have spent this time with him’.”
Ms Ritchie said when she was back in the room with both Baden-Clay and his wife she went over the plan for the 10 to 15-minute talks, which were to continue until the next session in a week or two.
“I saw her say to Gerard ‘I am over the moon that you have spent this time’. But it was a defensive, hurt way that she was saying it.”
Asked in court about Allison’s mood, she said: “I think she was very pleased to introduce me to Gerard. She was smiling.”
Ms Ritchie added that Gerard discussed his roles in the school P&C and the local chamber of commerce.
“For Gerard, his image in the community is very important…He believes he is a valuable member of society,” the counsellor said she wrote in her notes.
The next session was never booked, with Baden-Clay reporting his wife missing on the Friday of that week.
Barrister Michael Byrne QC, for Baden-Clay, put to the witness that Allison’s depression and early panic attacks went back to taking the malaria medication during her honeymoon and to her pregnancy with the couple’s first child, who was born in 2001.
Mr Byrne said between Allison’s discovery of the affair and the first session with the counsellor Baden-Clay had “reached the point where he was honest and was taking responsibility”.
“His attitude to the affair is to wipe it clean and get on with life. What she’s saying to you there was put the past behind them put the affair out of life and move on as a couple,” Mr Byrne said.
Ms Ritchie agreed Allison wanted to move on as a couple.
03/02/14 Not much to report from today’s hearing, day 1 of 2
ACCUSED wife murderer Gerard Baden-Clay returned to court in Brisbane on Monday for legal argument ahead of his upcoming trial.
The routine hearing to determine which evidence can be put before a jury is scheduled to run for two days in the Brisbane Supreme Court.
Dressed in a dark suit and wearing a tie, the 43-year-old former real estate agent watched proceedings from the dock.
The court heard from the pathologist who carried out Allison Baden-Clay’s post-mortem examination.
Legal argument centred on the admissibility of parts of his evidence, and that of medical experts who assessed scratches and other marks found on Baden-Clay following his wife’s disappearance.
The couple’s former family counsellor is expected to give evidence in court for the first time when the hearing resumes on Tuesday.
Mrs Baden-Clay, 43, was reported missing by her husband on April 20, 2012.
Her body was found 10 days later on the banks of a creek in Brisbane’s west.
The last court related update is as follows from back in December 2013.
The many GBC posts can be found here or here http://aussiecriminals.com.au/tag/gerard-baden-clay/
A family counsellor can be called to give evidence at the murder trial of Brisbane man Gerard Baden-Clay, a judge has ruled.
The Relationships Australia counsellor had argued her conversations with Baden-Clay, 43, and his slain wife Allison, were confidential.
However, Supreme Court judge James Douglas on Thursday ruled counsellor Carmel Ritchie will be required to give evidence at a pre-trial hearing next year.
The ruling means the crown can call Ms Ritchie as a witness during the trial, which has been set down for June next year.
The counsellor spoke with Mrs Baden-Clay on March 27, 2012, and with Baden-Clay and his wife separately on April 16, 2012.
Baden-Clay sat in the dock during Thursday’s brief hearing.
Mrs Baden-Clay was reported missing on April 20 last year, and her body was found on the banks of a creek in Brisbane’s west 10 days later.
Baden-Clay was arrested in June 2012 and charged with murder.
He maintains he is innocent.
In an earlier court hearing, Relationships Australia’s barrister George Kalimnios had argued the Family Law Act prohibited Ms Ritchie giving evidence, and could claim privilege on the grounds of public interest.
But in his written judgement on Thursday, Justice Douglas said both arguments were misconceived, and there were no grounds to claim privilege.
“Even if such a privilege existed separate from the Act, the balance is decisively in favour of permitting access to the evidence for the purposes of Mr Baden-Clay’s trial on the charge of murder.”
The Milperra Massacre between the Bandidos and Comacheros took place back in 1984. The Comanchero founder JOCK ROSS AND HIS wife VANESSA “NESS” ROSS visited the COMANCHERO MEMORIAL UP THE COAST AT Palmdale Memorial Park and Crematorium in 2012.
In fact this fathers day will mark 30 years to the day that 6 BIKIE CLUB MEMBERS WERE KILLED, 4 FROM THE COMANCHEROS, 2 FROM THE BANDIDOS AS WELL AS ONE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, TEENAGER LEANNE WALTERS, another 26 wounded (click here for my original comprehensive post)
This pic recently fell into my hands and as I get so many requests about any recent images of Jock this is the best you are ever going to get! He is never seen in public.
(To protect some younger family members I have altered them out of the picture. Click the image for a larger view. )
An advertised “British motorcycle swap meet” was placed in a few local press releases, at the Viking Tavern, with a scheduled start at 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 2, 1984.
On Sunday September 2, 1984 around 1 pm, a heavily armed group of Comancheros entered the carpark of the Viking Tavern during the motorcycle part swap meet with 30 similarly armed Bandidos arriving soon after with a back-up van carrying weapons following close behind. Both sides proceeded to line up at opposite ends of the car park. William George “Jock” Ross, who had founded the Comancheros in 1968, signalled by waving a machete in the air and the two clubs charged at each other.
Police responded after receiving reports that “a man” had gone berserk with a rifle at the Viking Tavern in Milperra and “a few shots” had been fired. The first of more than 200 police began arriving but the fighting continued for another 10 minutes before they were able to stop it. Four Comancheros died from shotgun wounds, two Bandidos died after being shot with a Rossi .357 magnum rifle and a 14-year-old bystander, Leanne Walters, also died after being hit in the face by a stray .357 bullet. A further 28 people were wounded with 20 requiring hospitalisation.
Mark Pennington, one of the first policemen on the scene, was later awarded $380,000 compensation for psychological damage.
6 BIKIE CLUB MEMBERS WERE KILLED THAT DAY…4 FROM THE COMANCHEROS, 2 FROM THE BANDIDOS AND ONE MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, TEENAGER LEANNE WALTERS
I had this wicked witch listed under a thread on High profile Convictions or somewhere a long time ago but when I read an article where she was writing to Media heavyweight Alan Jones like a giggling immature school girl I though it all needs to be dragged back to reality.
She murdered her infant children. Could of got away with it too. Have a read and let me know what you think. To get the current gist, here is the article I am talking about, followed by what this person has done ( I refuse to call her a mother)
IT IS A MUST READ AND A REMINDER WE MUST ALL BE VIGILANT
January 20, 2014
“Something I’ve always prided myself on over the years is always being different and separate from some of the worst criminals I have lived with,” she tells him in letters from her Silverwater Jail cell.
Jones believes the case against Folbigg is flawed and has backed a University of Newcastle Legal Centre bid for a judicial inquiry into her case this year.
“She writes a letter and I reply. We try to keep these peoples’ spirits up. It is an awful thing tobe locked away if you are innocent,” the 2GB broadcaster said.
He released the letters to The Daily Telegraph to highlight the “injustice” of the case against her. “Everyone needs someone to love them, don’t they?” he said.
“Surely we have an obligation to see that justice has been properly administered,” added Jones, who believes scientific evidence against Folbigg has been discredited.
But in a fresh twist, Jones called The Telegraph yesterday to say that, despite having visited Folbigg in jail and vigorously campaigning for a review of her case, he himself was not sure she was innocent.
Folbigg was sentenced in 2003 to 40 years, reduced to 30 on appeal, for the murder of three of her young children and the manslaughter of one between 1989 and 1999. She has served 10 years.
In the letters, Folbigg tells Jones how she has taken up painting and is looking forward to living in a granny flat in her best friend’s house in the country. She also talks about fellow inmates in the notorious high-protection child-killer wing of the jail. They include Kristi Abrahams, who killed her daughter Kiesha, 6, and Keli Lane, whose baby Tegan has never been found.
“I so don’t like being associated even in general with (the) likes of them. They are guilty and seriously not very nice women with many issues,” she says.
Folbigg clings to memories of her life before jail. “I have hung on to my 35 years of life (even as traumatic as it was) to any of the years that I would ever spend in here.
“Hung on to, a typical basically normal lifestyle. And even suffering so much death, disappointment and grief, it was a normal work, exercise, partner, home life. No drugs, no alcohol, no vices or excesses. So that makes me quite different to everyone in here. LOL,” she writes.
And then in a moment of reflections she adds: “Guess ‘normal’ is extremely suggestive isn’t it? Oh well, I hope you understand my jabbering on, on some level. Ha! LOL.”
She talks about hoping a judicial inquiry will have a “snowball” effect. “Of course my rational/logical side of me says ‘no guarantees’ and doubts about the success of it all are ever present. Especially as another week, another month, another year roll by. But that (is) to be human isn’t it? Full of hopes, dreams, doubts, determination. LOL. I have certainly come to discover that people care Alan.
“And it’s been quite refreshing. People say they care but actions don’t show it. The group of people I now include in my life, that’s including you too Mr, have undoubtedly shown me their hearts/minds and colour of their souls. LOL. Can’t ever ask for better than that in your life,” she writes.
Folbigg is relying on the team from the University of Newcastle Legal Centre gaining a judicial inquiry. Researchers also have argued she is the last serial child killer to remain in jail after the work of British serial child killer expert Sir Roy Meadow was discredited.
But Folbigg’s sister Lea Bown said the appeal was “a disgusting ridiculous joke. She has been found guilty by 12 jurors and there is no way those children died by anything other than her hand”.
Her Father’s Daughter – The Kathleen Folbigg Story
Against All Odds
When Kathleen Megan Marlbourough left school in 1982, she was 15. Like many kids her age with a limited education, she worked at several low-paying jobs before marrying at age 20. Her husband, Craig Folbigg, was a steel worker. He was 25. They settled in Mayfield, a suburb of Newcastle, Australia’s sixth-largest city an hour’s drive north of Sydney.
Within a year, Kathleen was pregnant. She gave birth to their first child a son, Caleb, in February 1989. At the time of his birth Caleb was described as full term and healthy.
Five days later Kathleen took him home. One morning while feeding him, Kathleen noticed that Caleb was having difficulty breathing and took him back to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him as having a lazy larynx.
At 8 p.m. on February 19, 1989, Kathleen put Caleb in his crib to sleep. At 2:50 a.m. the next morning, Craig Folbigg was awoken by his wife’s screams. Running to the sunroom where the baby slept, Craig saw Kathleen standing over the crib screaming, my baby, something is wrong with my baby.
Caleb Folbigg was dead at just 20 days old.
The official cause of death was listed as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death.
Seven months later, Kathleen was pregnant again. She gave birth to another son, Patrick, in June 1990.
On October 18, 1990, Kathleen put Patrick to bed. Craig looked in on him at 10 p.m., and he appeared to be sleeping peacefully. At 3:30 a.m. the next morning he was again awoken by Kathleen’s screams.
According to the police statement, He rushed into Patrick’s room and saw his wife standing over Patrick who was lying in his cot. Mr. Folbigg picked up the baby and noted faint, laboured breathing. He commenced resuscitation until the ambulance arrived. Patrick regained consciousness, but was (later) found to now have epilepsy and be blind.
Patrick survived, but not for long.
On the morning of February 13, 1991, Kathleen called Craig at work, and, according to the police statement, said: It’s happened again. Craig left work and arrived home just as the ambulances came. Patrick was taken to hospital, but was dead on arrival.
An autopsy was conducted and the cause of death was an acute asphyxiating event resulting from an epileptic fit.
Following Patricks death, the Folbiggs moved to Thornton, a town northwest of Newcastle.
A year later, Kathleen was pregnant again. In October 1992, a daughter Sarah was born.
All seemed well until 11 months later when Sarah caught a cold and was having trouble sleeping.
By 1:30 a.m. the next morning Sarah was dead.
This time, according to the police report, Craig was awoken by Kathleens screams and saw her standing in the doorway of their bedroom. Sarah was lying in bed, motionless.
Her death was officially attributed to SIDS.
After Sarah’s death they relocated to Singleton in Hunter Valley, a popular wine producing area north of Newcastle.
The couple spent two years there before Kathleen became pregnant for the fourth time. Their second daughter, Laura, was born in August 1997.
Laura was apparently healthy when Kathleen brought her home three days later. Unlike her siblings, Laura’s breathing and sleep patterns were monitored closely for several weeks after her birth, just to be sure.
All was well until 19 months later when Laura caught a cold.
Kathleen gave her medication but at 12:05 p.m. on March 1, 1999, she called an ambulance after Laura allegedly stopped breathing. According to the official report, two ambulance officers arrived to find Kathleen performing CPR on her daughter on the breakfast bar. They examined Laura and found that she was not breathing and had no pulse.
As before, an autopsy was conducted but, unlike the others, the coroner considered Laura too old to have succumbed to SIDS, recorded her cause of death as undetermined, and ordered a police investigation.
When Detective Sergeant Bernard Ryan was assigned to investigate Laura Folbigg s death, he could have looked at the case as just one more tragic cot death. But, following the coroners finding, he decided to consider all the possibilities.
Detective Ryan began his investigation routinely by interviewing Kathleen and Craig Folbigg. When he learned that Laura was the fourth child to have died in a similar fashion, however, his suspicions grew.
Then the case took an unexpected turn. Kathleen, who had left her husband after Laura’s death, had moved out without taking many of her possessions. While Craig was cleaning up, he made an unpleasant discovery.
In a bedside drawer he found her diaries, whose contents, he later told the court, made him want to vomit. He took them to the police.
He told police that he had the odd suspicion,” but after finding the diaries his suspicions became horribly real.
Detective Ryan learned that Kathleen had been keeping diaries most of her life, but had thrown most of them away. The ones Craig found obviously had been overlooked.
Her entries indicated a woman torn by mixed emotions. On one hand, she wanted children to prove she could do it, just like other women could, and described the feeling of having a child growing inside her and being impatient for the birth: We’re all waiting, little one, when will you come?
On the other hand, she wrote about the frustrations of being a mother, including her inability to breast feed despite numerous, fruitless attempts with each child.
She also wrote about the resentment she felt after each birth when the attention shifted away from her to the new baby, describing it as a feeling of abandonment just like she had experienced as a child, where she was in a family but never felt like part of it.
She wrote about her wild mood swings and how she watched fish swim in a tank to try and calm herself: I don’t know, how do I conquer this? Help is what I want.
Her writings also disclosed her innermost fears. She worried that Craig would leave her. She felt threatened when he teased her about her weight, and wrote about how she couldn’t deal with his perpetual flirtations. At one point, when he rejected her advances because of her pregnancy, she wrote, Craig’s roving eye will always be of concern to me.
Must lose extra weight or he will be even less in love with me than he is now. I know that physical appearance means everything to him, she wrote.
When she was pregnant with Laura, she wrote: On a good note, Craig said last night he accepts that I’m not going to be skinny again. That’s wonderful, but I know deep in my heart he wants his skinny wife back.
Time after time she wrote about her weight and Craig’s preoccupation with it. Got to start changing my life and becoming a hot-looking energetic mother for my daughter and a sexy wife for my husband.
An entry on November. 13, 1996, indicated the isolation she felt, even from her own family. Why is family so important to me? She wrote. I now have the start of my very own, but it doesn’t seem good enough. I know Craig doesn’t understand. He has the knowledge and stability and love from siblings and parents, even if he chooses to ignore them. Me I have no one but him. It seems to affect me so. Why should it matter? It shouldn’t.
Once, she was home alone when a storm struck. She wrote how she was torn between wanting Craig home to comfort her and then not wanting him there because of how bad he makes her feel: I actually relish in the fact he has a weight problem now. All the years of him tormenting me have come back to get him.
Another entry searched for identity: Thirty years. The first five I don’t really remember, the rest, I choose not to remember. The last 10-11 have been filled with trauma, tragedy, happiness and mixed emotions of all designs. If it wasn’t for my baby coming soon, I’d sit and wonder again what I was put on this earth for. What contribution have I made to anyone’s life?
Other entries seem more sinister. She wrote how stress made her do terrible things and spoke of flashes of rage, resentment and hatred toward her children.
The diaries also indicate that she had no control over her depression and feelings of resentment. She wrote about wanting to wake her husband and ask for help.
One entry marked 9:45, Wednesday, June 11, 1997 reads: My brain has too much happening, unstored and unrecalled memories just waiting. Heaven help the day they surface and I recall. That will be the day to lock me up and throw away the key. Something I’m sure will happen one day.
Some entries spoke specifically about her treatment of her children: I feel like the worst mother on this earth. Scared that she [Laura] will leave me now. Like Sarah did. I knew I was short-tempered and cruel sometimes to her and she left. With a bit of help.
She’s a fairly good-natured baby – thank goodness, it has saved her from the fate of her siblings. I’m sure she’s met everyone and they’ve told her, don’t be a bad or sickly kid, mum may, you know, crack. They’ve warned her – good.
Other entries showed some remorse: My guilt of how responsible I feel for them all, haunts me, my fear of it happening again, haunts me.
When I think I’m going to lose control like last time I’ll just hand baby over to someone else … This time I’m prepared and know what signals to watch out for in myself. Changes in mood etc.
Faced with this damning, though circumstantial evidence, Sergeant Ryan began to build a case against Kathleen Folbigg. From the time he started the long process of interviews and depositions to compile a chain of evidence, Ryan was often warned by doctors that he faced an uphill battle proving his case in court.
But as he dug into Kathleen’s past, Ryan also uncovered a terrible secret.
My Father’s Daughter
On a December evening in 1969, Thomas John Britton confronted Kathleen Mary Donavan outside her home in the Sydney suburb of Annandale and stabbed her 24 times.
They had been living in a de facto relationship, and had an 18-month-old daughter.
At the trial six months later, a woman who witnessed the murder gave evidence against Britton. She testified that after brutally murdering Donavan, Britton had knelt down and kissed her saying: I’m sorry, darling. I had to do it. Allegedly he then turned to the witness and said, I had to kill her because she’d kill my child.
Britton was convicted of murder and sent to prison. The child was sent to a church orphanage. Twelve years later, Britton was released and deported to the United Kingdom.
The little girl stayed in the orphanage until she was three. At that time Kathleen Megan Marlbourough was adopted by a foster family who lived in the Newcastle suburb of Kotara.
Kathleen was an adult before she met her half-sisters and learned the truth about her parents.
On October 14, 1996, with three of her children already dead, Kathleen made a disturbing diary entry that indicated how the tumultuous events of her childhood had affected her: Obviously I am my father’s daughter. It was to be her undoing.
Detective Ryan took two years to assemble a case that prosecutors could try with a good chance of a conviction.
On April 19, 2001, Kathleen Megan Folbigg was arrested at her home, taken into custody, and charged with murdering her four children.
During her bail hearing at Maitland Local Court, Police prosecutor Daniel Maher told the court that the prosecution would show evidence from Folbigg’s own diaries, technical evidence from pathology experts, and testimony from her estranged husband to prove that Folbigg had killed her children.
While each child’s individual death had not raised much concern, Maher told the court, their collective deaths could only be attributed to suffocation.
He said the circumstances surrounding the deaths were not consistent with sudden infant death syndrome or cot death. This included the fact that each child was found face up, they were still warm when found and in two cases there were signs of life.
He also cited medical evidence from the United States, given by forensic pathologist Dr. Janice Ophoven that showed the chances of cot death being responsible were a trillion to one.
What that means is this is the only case that has occurred in the world. It’s just not likely.
He also told the court that Folbigg did not appear to grieve after each childs death.
Extensive tests had ruled out the possibility that the children suffered fatal genetic or viral disorders, he told the court.
While admitting that the diary entries were circumstantial, Maher argued that they contributed to her partial admission of guilt.
Brian Doyle, Folbiggs defence council, told the court the deaths were a coincidence adding, Every one of the children was in fact ill in their lifetime before their death.
He told the court that the medical experts the prosecution would call as expert witnesses had come to their conclusions after being supplied with Mrs. Folbigg’s diaries and other statements. So what we have got at the end, wholly and solely, is coincidences, he said.
After hearing submissions, Magistrate Richard Wakely refused bail and ordered Folbigg be held in custody to await trial.
During the two-month trial at Darlinghurst Supreme court in Sydney, the prosecution led by Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, Q.C., presented strong evidence that portrayed Folbigg as a woman preoccupied with her own life and looks, more interested in going to the gym and nightclubs than looking after her own children.
Focusing on the same evidence presented at the bail hearing, Tedeschi made the assertion that Folbigg had a low stress threshold and killed her four children by smothering each of them over a 10-year period because she could no longer deal with the day-to-day responsibility of being a mother.
Tedeschi also criticized Professor Hilton, the pathologist who had conducted Sarah’s post mortem examination. He had been wrong to attribute Sarah’s death to SIDS when he was aware of the family history, the prosecutor said.
He told the court that because of Hiltons finding a full police investigation or coronial inquiry was never called.
The court also heard that the chances of Laura dying of SIDS were extremely low because during her life she was exhaustively investigated, monitored and had lived beyond the SIDS danger period.
To support this theory, the prosecution called Dr.Christopher Seeton, the doctor in charge of the sleep investigation unit at Sydney’s Westmead Children’s Hospital. Seeton told the court that Laura’s risk of dying from SIDS compared with other children was infinitely perhaps less than average, which is 1 in 1,000.
The crown also asserted that Folbigg avoided investigation because none of the children had shown signs of abuse so the matter was never reported to the Department of Child Services for attention.
The defence, led by lawyer Peter Zahra, refuted the claim and based their argument on the fact that the children had all been sick prior to their deaths.
To strengthen this argument, Zahra called Professor Roger Byard, a forensic pathologist who told the court that it was possible the children died from suffocation and medical problems relating to each of the four children could explain their deaths in isolation.
Considered an expert on cot deaths, Byard added: But the fact that there are all the other deaths in the family makes me less certain … I say undetermined because of the circumstances.
Asked in cross-examination whether it was possible the children had died from deliberate suffocation, Byard answered: It was a possibility, but declined to draw a stronger conclusion as he had not examined the death sites and the deceased children himself.
When questioned regarding the deaths of Patrick from epilepsy and Sarah from the heart disease, myocarditis, Professor Byard, said there was nothing in the pathology to show Patrick died of epilepsy, and added that only one child per year in Australia ever died of myocarditis.
Tedeschi shifted his attention to the incriminating diary entries claiming that they showed Kathleen Folbigg as deeply resentful of the intrusion her children had on her own life, in particular on her sleep, her ability to go to the gym, and her ability to socialize including going out dancing.
He drew attention to the fact that Folbigg was worried about her weight, telling the court: She was constantly preoccupied to an exaggerated degree on her weight gain due, in part, to the fact she couldn’t get to the gym because of her children,” he said.
He called witnesses to attest to the fact that Folbigg showed no obvious reaction to the deaths of her four children.
A hospital nurse described her as detached, and Deborah Grace, Folbiggs neighbour gave evidence that Folbigg was straight-faced after Laura’s death. There were no tears in her eyes. There was nothing, she told the court.
Folbiggs foster sister was also called and told the court that Folbiggs demeanour changed suddenly at Laura’s funeral from crying to being a totally different person. She was happy, laughing, enjoying a party.
During the presentation of evidence Folbigg remained calm, almost cool but during the fourth week of the trial she broke down as a video recording of her 1999 interview with police was played for the court. Crying uncontrollably, Folbigg attempted to leave the courtroom but was restrained by court staff and conveyed to a nearby hospital where she was sedated. The trial was delayed for several days while she recovered. When it resumed, Craig Folbigg was called to give evidence against his former wife.
In his testimony, he related the details of each baby’s death and described the terrifying growl that Kathleen would produce when she got frustrated with the children. He also told the court how Kathleen had pinned Laura to her high chair and attempted to force-feed her before dumping her on the floor with the words, “Go to your fucking father.” Several hours later, Laura was dead.
Two months after the trial began and the evidence presented, the lawyers for both sides completed their closing statements and the judge directed the jury to retire to consider their verdict. They returned in less than eight hours and told a hushed courtroom that they had reached a verdict. They found Kathleen Megan Folbigg guilty of murdering her four children.
As the verdicts were read, Folbigg broke down and cried and at one point turned toward her sister in the public gallery before slumping forward with her head in her hands.
She was taken to Mulawa Women’s Detention centre where she was placed in protective isolation, as women in prison take a very dim view of women who kill children, especially their own.
The following August she was returned to court to hear Justice Graham Barr officially sentence her to 40 years in prison with a non-parole period of 30 years.
Interviewed outside the court, Craig Folbigg dissolved into tears telling reporters, My humble thanks go to 12 people whom I have never formally met, who today share the honour of having helped set four beautiful souls free. Free to rest in peace finally.
Following the sentencing, Kathleen Folbiggs lawyers also made a brief statement indicating that they would begin working on an appeal at the first opportunity.
Several weeks after the trial, Folbigg wrote a scathing letter to the Sydney Morning Herald expressing her anger at the decision. It took four years to come up with a totally circumstantial non-factual, hearsay case, she wrote.
I now face being the most ‘hated’ woman around at the moment and death threats are a real consideration.
On the subject of her diaries she wrote: It’s a sad day when a mother can be put away for merely being a normal mother, who wrote down her emotions, anxieties and frustrations in bloody books.
She also defended herself against claims her demeanour was aloof and unemotional.
I didn’t have the choice to be any other way, she wrote. I would not have been useful in my own defence. The day may come where it is time to release it all, but till my battle is done in clearing my name and reputation, that day is not yet.
She also lashed out at her former husband saying he had betrayed her.
I have already suffered greatly at the hands of Craig and his capability to deliver with his tongue and his quite amazing ability to turn simple into exaggerated and extravagant tales.
Looking for Answers
Following the trial, Melbourne University Associate Professor Anne Buist, an expert in post-birth psychiatric disorders, told reporters that genetic predisposition, along with the loss of her mother at a young age, could have led Kathleen Folbigg to murder her children. We know her father killed her mother, so we know there is potentially a genetic issue there, she said.
Professor Buist also discussed the issue of neglect or emotional abuse of young children. A lot of studies have shown this can affect your development very significantly, she said. Both your brain development, your actual structural biological development if it starts early enough, as well as development at the level of not having a good parenting model, self-esteem.
Leading Sydney forensic psychiatrist Rod Milton, who gave evidence at Ivan Milats Backpacker Murder trial also agrees that the genetic implications of the case could not be rejected. We can’t discount what the father said If I let her (mother) live she would have killed the kid’.
I mean, it might be true, and that raises the genetic issue . . . that maybe there’s some sort of genetic tendency. We’re in the land of not knowing, but to exclude it would be folly. The obvious genetic implications can’t be rejected.
I think she must have lacked empathy for them, otherwise I don’t see how she could have killed them,” he said.
When asked if he thought Folbigg was mad or bad, he answered, she certainly wasn’t mad. Whether she was bad is in the judgment of others and not for me to say.
When asked if it would be possible to rehabilitate her, he said, the idea of her being released while still of child-bearing age is one that doesn’t inspire much confidence.
According to the U.S. National Centre for Health Statistics, infant homicides are classified as deaths purposefully inflicted by other persons on children less than one year old.
Studies from the same source also indicate that homicide is the leading cause of injury deaths among infants under one year of age in the United States and is the 15th leading cause of infant mortality from all causes.
In Australia, the Australian Institute of Criminology reports similar statistics: More infants under the age of one year are murdered each year in Australia than die in either motor traffic accidents, accidental poisonings, falls or drowning. Between 1989 and 1993 an average of 27 children aged under 15 were murdered each year in Australia. Almost two thirds of these children were aged five or less. Around half of all children killed by assault were under one year of age.
In a controversial article in Australia’s New Weekly magazine, Judy Wright, a criminologist at the Australia Institute of Public Safety in Melbourne, revealed the findings of her own investigation which she says shows that women are getting away with murder.
Her 1990 study revealed difficulties in prosecuting mothers that kill their children because a mother’s role is revered in society. Her study also indicates that when women are brought to trial for killing their children they mostly rely on mental disorders as their defence, she said. It’s all due to beliefs that no sane woman could be capable of wanting to kill her own child.
We look for explanations to say those mothers who kill must be sick not bad, just mad. Though we rather not think about it, women are capable of killing for the same reasons as men anger, revenge and power, she said.
To reach her findings, Wright examined hundreds of autopsy reports, coroner’s findings, Victorian Police homicide statistics and Supreme Court files as she investigated the deaths of seventy-four children between 1978 and 1990. She discovered that more than half had been murdered by their mothers, and in 11 cases women killed more than one child. Children had been drowned, set alight, stabbed, and suffocated and one baby had even been thrown out of a window by its mother who was furious at her partner for paying attention to their dog.
There were other deaths where mother’s sketchy explanations sounded suspicious, and 16 where the cause was undetermined. Many weren’t charged with murder, though there were clearly elements of rational planning in the offences. Those who were charged received lenient sentences after arguing they were traumatized, and others were given probation. Most were considered unwell and were treated accordingly.
As a result of her research, Wright also believes that many homicides have been falsely attributed to SIDS.
It’s a tragic excuse because it really devalues the pain of parents who genuinely lose children to SIDS she says.
Allan Cala, the forensic pathologist who voiced his suspicions after conducting an autopsy on Laura Folbigg agrees saying that homicide, accidental death and illness should be fully explored before reaching a diagnosis of SIDS.
He also believes that many pathologists give SIDS as the cause on death certificates to spare parents the trauma of a coronial inquest.
This may have also been the case for Kathleen Folbigg had it not been for her habit of writing down her innermost thoughts as without the damning evidence they contained she may never have been convicted or even brought to trial.
Even more disturbing is that at the time her case went to trial she was considering getting married a second time. She may have even considered having more children.
Here is an interesting addition, posted today on a sympathetic friend and blogger of Kathleen, called Alana House, who has a blog which can be found here. She is described as follows
Alana House is a blogger, mum and chook enthusiast (the live kind, not the fried kind, though she rather likes that too). Long, long ago she was a feature writer at Cosmopolitan magazine, where Mia Freedman sent her on crazy assignments to be a Dyke On A Bike at Mardi Gras and a judge at Miss Nude Australia. She went on to become editor of Woman’s Day magazine for five years. During her lunch breaks, she created and edited a series of children’s cookbooks: The ABC of Kids’ Cooking, The Nursery Rhyme Cookbook, Easy Kids’ Party Food, Easy As 1,2,3 and Fun Food. Follow her on Twitter (erratically) at twitter.com/AlanaHouse Visit Alana’s blog at housegoeshome.com
By Alana House
January 20, 2014
After a decade of bone-crushing isolation and fear inside her cell at Silverwater Jail, there have finally been tantalizing glimmers of hope for my former school friend Kathleen Folbigg … and those who feel she didn’t receive a fair trial when she was convicted of murdering three of her children and the manslaughter of a fourth.
Among them is the decision by The University of Newcastle Legal Centre to work on a submission seeking a judicial inquiry into her case.
Another was the surprise appearance in the prison visitors’ room one afternoon of radio host Alan Jones that was revealed in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph.
Kathy told me during my last visit to the jail that knew something was afoot when a buzz of excitement swept through the prison guards and an unusually large number of them suddenly decided they were needed in the visitors’ area.
She sat on her usual pink metal stool, bolted to the floor. To her surprise, Alan walked into the room and sat opposite her on one of the visitors’ blue metal stools, also bolted down.
The mutual friends who had arranged the meeting procured snacks of Mars Bar Pods and Kettle Chips from the junk food machines in the hallway and placed them in plastic bowls on the little bolted-down metal table in front of them, like some Tim Burton-style nightmare version of a fairy toadstool picnic.
Kathy wore a white canvas jumpsuit, secured with an electrical cable tie at the neck, and a pair of ugly, green Dunlop sneakers. Alan wore his signature sports jacket and a broad smile.
They chatted for over an hour and she was charmed by his open attitude towards her plight.
For the 10 years prior her only visitors have been a handful of friends and a dedicated group of Salvation Army members who offer support.
Kathy had become resigned to being branded a cold-blooded child killer who deserved to be locked away for 26 years.
Having Alan visit – and offer his very public support on the cover of yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph – is a sign that the tide of public opinion may finally be turning.
Alan told journalist Matthew Benns (who previously wrote a book called “When The Bough Breaks” that actively condemned Kathy as a murderer) that after reading academic lawyer Emma Cunliffe’s book “Murder, Medicine and Motherhood” about the court case: “I am persuaded that the expert evidence is not convincing at all.”
Alan’s public support is a powerful thing. Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger, for example, told ABC’s Lateline after the 1998 federal election that he knew who to thank for the Howard government’s narrow victory: his friend Alan Jones.
Alan has a loyal and trusting radio following. He speaks out and people listen, they believe.
Alan notes to Benns: “Having met the woman I find her a very courageous woman and an outstanding person who faces this injustice with great dignity.”
There are many, many issues that I vehemently disagree with Alan Jones upon. There are many, many things that he’s said in the past that I find distasteful. His views on Julia Gillard and her father dying of shame being a disturbing case in point.
(UPDATE: And his decision this morning to release private letters from Kathy to The Daily Telegraph distressed me – Kathy will be mortified and disappointed. How can he not realise how much more difficult he has made her life behind bars?)
But his words about Kathy yesterday were spot on.
I can never imagine having her courage. Prison is a terrible place full of terrifying people and, as Alan notes: “Society collectively should be concerned if a woman’s lying in jail, convicted for (killing) four children, if she didn’t do it.”
When Kathy finally steps outside those prison walls – whether in one year or 15 – she will have nothing. No home, no money, no family. She has lost them all. The Salvos promise someone will be there to meet her when she is freed. But then what? How does she successfully re assimilate into society after being incarcerated for so long, when she’s hated by so many?
I’ve written blogs about Kathy and the vitriol they inspire is fascinating:
“She murdered her little babies after she snapped when they wouldn’t stop crying. She’s a cold, evil and manipulative woman who deserves to rot in jail.”
“She was cruel and evil. I shudder to think of what those poor little babies went through.”
“This woman killed her kids. There are no ifs or buts. She’s a cold-blooded killer. End of story.”
But it’s not the end of the story for me. My world isn’t so black and white. The possibility an innocent woman has been jailed haunts me.
I think I would go mad, locked away for so long, the world believing I murdered my own children. But Kathy is strong, she always has been. She believes her difficult past has helped her survive prison, without it she might have gone mad.
And now she needs to remain strong and not let her hopes get too wild. Because while a wave of public support, a visit from Alan Jones and a campaign by The University of Newcastle Legal Centre are thrilling developments there’s still a long and fraught battle ahead before a judicial inquiry is even countenanced, let alone successful.
But I look forward to visiting her in a few short weeks, hugging her tight and hoping her barrister gets that miracle chance to prove whether justice was indeed done. Time will tell alana, something those kids never got…
Below is a PDF of all court judgements in one document.
Justice James Douglas was commenting on submissions from the counsellor’s barrister that her sessions with Baden-Clay and his wife, Allison, were confidential.
“I regard the proceedings of the criminal courts of Australia as very significant proceedings,” Justice Douglas told a pre-trial hearing.
“I would have thought it would require very strong words to prevent evidence being called.
“To construe an act like this, to say evidence isn’t admissible when somebody’s on trial for murder, is quite frankly, in my mind, bizarre.
“A person on trial for the most serious crime really should be able to call evidence or have evidence called that is relevant.
“To construe the act this way, to try to say it’s actually in the public interest not to, I find very odd.”
Baden-Clay, who is due to face trial in June for the murder of his wife, sat silently in the dock for yesterday’s hearing. Clean-shaven and dressed in a dark suit, he was flanked by security guards and did not have his usual family support.
He reported his wife missing from their Brookfield home last April and her body was discovered under a bridge 10 days later.
Justice Douglas has been asked to rule on whether evidence from Relationships Australia counsellor Carmel Ritchie was admissible in the trial.
Barrister George Kalimnios, for Relationships Australia, argued the counsellor could legally keep her sessions with the Baden-Clays confidential.
But the prosecution and defence yesterday both told the court they wanted the evidence to be included and argued it was admissible.
Prosecutor Glen Cash, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court police executed a search warrant on Relationships Australia Queensland on May 11 last year.
Baden-Clay had a session with Ms Ritchie on April 16 last year, just four days before he reported his wife missing from the Brookfield home. His wife had a separate session with Ms Ritchie immediately after his, and had a previous session on March 27.
Mr Cash told the court any public interest in confidentiality was overwhelmed by the need for access to the full evidence for the murder trial.
Concerns about discouraging openness in counselling sessions had to be put behind the interests of allowing the trial, he said.
Concerns about effects on future counselling sessions could be “overstated” as counsellors could only be called to give evidence in a very small number of cases, he said.
Michael Byrne QC, for Baden-Clay, said a murder trial had far greater public interest than confidentially for counselling sessions.
Justice Douglas said he would make his decision known at a future date.
Outside court, Baden-Clay’s solicitor Peter Shields said: “There won’t be any comment at all until the end of the trial.”
UPDATE (Thanks to JJE).
Developments on the BC case in court this morning. Mr Business-As-Usual was in court today, represented by the very capable Mr Shields. The counsellor has been ordered to appear as a witness. Although not mentioned in the relevant CM or BT articles, it has been said previously that BC’s legal team were not opposing the counsellor giving evidence… I wonder if that is the case now… (keep in mind his legal team has changed). A glance at the ruling and reporting indicates this is still the case. And previously the counsellor – through her barrister – has argued that the sessions were ‘confidential’… Thankfully this judge has sensibly ruled otherwise
Reveal all, I say… Reveal all and let everyone see for themselves…
Experiences and history of a former officer’s experience at H.M. Prison Pentridge.
Pentridge was often known by the nickname “The Bluestone College”, “Coburg College” or the “College of Knowledge”. The grounds were originally landscaped by renowned landscape gardener Hugh Linaker. Since decommissioning, the prison has been partly demolished to make way for a housing development. Large buildings have been built and a 16 floor modern apartment block is being planned.
The site is split in two with the northern prison being developed by Valad Property Group and the other areas by Pentridge Village. The National Trust has expressed strong concerns about the nature of the Heritage Victoria-approved Master Plans which involve peppering the walls with holes and building high-density high-rise between the historic divisions.