‘Thrill killer’ Thomas Hemming sentenced over Melbourne double murder


Judge considers media request for police interview with ‘thrill killer’ Thomas Hemming

Mon 12 Jan 2015, 3:40pm

A taped police interview with a man who stabbed a Melbourne couple to death last year is “not entertainment”, according to a Supreme Court judge considering a media request for access to the vision.

“Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of schoolchildren were traumatised by the murder of teacher Cheryl Adamson and her husband Robert, Justice Betty King said.

Ms Adamson, a librarian at Melbourne Grammar’s primary school, and her accountant husband were killed in their Murrumbeena home in Melbourne’s south-east last year by 21-year-old Thomas Hemming.

The double murder was described as a “thrill kill”, with Hemming telling police he had “wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone” for several months.

Hemming lived in the same neighbourhood as the Adamsons, both aged in their 60s, and the court heard he chose the couple on a whim because he thought it was better to kill older people than young victims.

He was sentenced last year to 32 years in prison with a minimum term of 27 years

While handing down the decision, Justice King described his crimes as “savage, horrific and motiveless”.

“There is nothing to indicate that you would not do it again as you lack an emotional connectedness with people in general,” Justice King told Hemming.

She described Hemming’s prospects of rehabilitation as “exceedingly poor”.

Justice King was back in court on Monday to assess a media application from the A Current Affair and Sunday Night television programs for access to vision of Hemming’s police interview.

She questioned the timing of the request and said it was important to consider how many children had been affected by the murders.

“I’ve been approached by people I know, due to the fact they had children at the school where the deceased taught,” Justice King said.

“They say they’re so glad it (the case) is done and finished, because of the ongoing trauma of all those children.

“They were so traumatised… it upset the entire Year 12.

“This is not entertainment… this is really serious.

“It’s a very important and relevant consideration in this case… because the position occupied by the deceased teacher involves hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of children.”

Justice King said she did not believe new coverage would be able to shed new light on the case.

“It’s inexplicable… really you can’t explain,” she said.

Hemming’s parents and siblings were in court to hear the application.

Justice King has reserved her decision.


 

Thrill killer‘ Thomas Hemming sentenced over Melbourne double murder

Updated 24 Oct 2014, 7:23pmFri 24 Oct 2014, 7:23pm

A 21-year-old man who stabbed a Melbourne couple for a thrill will spend 32 years in jail, with a minimum term of 27 years.

Thomas Hemming pleaded guilty to stabbing Robert and Cheryl Adamson to death in their home in Murrumbeena in February, in what prosecutors described as a “thrill kill”.

The court had previously heard Hemming “wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone”, a fantasy he had for several months leading up to the killings.

The court heard he chose the Adamsons on a whim because he knew an elderly couple lived at the home, and he thought it was better to kill older people than young victims.

Hemming has admitted knocking on the couple’s door at 6:00am on February 19 after a night of drinking and asking them if he could use their telephone.

When Mr and Mrs Adamson let him in, Hemming set upon them with a knife he had ordered off the internet.

Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.

There is nothing to indicate that you would not do it again as you lack an emotional connectedness with people in general.

Justice Betty King

In sentencing, Justice Betty King said his crimes were “horrific” and “motiveless”.

She called it a “savage attack” on two decent, caring and helpful people that sent a “shudder of fear” throughout the community.

“The Adamsons suspected nothing and were behaving as good, decent caring neighbours,” she said.

“The circumstances of your offending are entirely inexplicable and incomprehensible to anyone involved in this matter and accordingly as a result are totally unnerving to every member of the community in which we live.”

Justice King said Hemming had “exceedingly poor prospects of rehabilitation”.

“You have pleaded guilty to these offences and you know what you did was wrong,” she said.

“But there is nothing to indicate that you would not do it again, as you lack an emotional connectedness with people in general.”

During the trial, Hemming’s lawyer Damian Sheales, told the court his client had shown no empathy for his actions nor provided any detail about why he had carried out the killings, calling it “the most fathomless case I’ve come across”.

Hemming has Asperger’s syndrome, which was discussed during the trial as a possible cause for the attack, but his psychiatrist told the court people with Asperger’s were more likely to be vulnerable victims in the community than perpetrators.


 Melbourne couple murdered in ‘thrill kill’, attacker Thomas Hemming wanted to know what killing was like, court hears

Updated 14 Oct 2014, 1:14am

The man who randomly stabbed a Melbourne couple to death wanted to know what it was like to kill someone and had fantasies about it, a court has heard.

Thomas Hemming pleaded guilty to stabbing Robert and Cheryl Adamson to death in their home in Murrumbeena in February, in what prosecutors described as a “thrill kill”.

At Monday’s plea hearing, the court heard Hemming “wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone”; a fantasy he had for several months leading up to the killings.

The court heard he chose the Adamsons on a whim because he knew an elderly couple lived at the home, and he thought it was better to kill older people than young victims.

Hemming has admitted knocking on the couple’s door at 6:00am on February 19 after a night of drinking and asking them if he could use their telephone.

When Mr and Mrs Adamson let him in, Hemming set upon them with a knife he had ordered off the internet.

The knife was found at the scene and Hemming was later found with blood on his clothes.

A terrifying sociopath with no feeling: Justice King

Hemming’s lawyer Damian Sheales, and his treating prison psychiatrist, told the court their client had shown no empathy for his actions, or provided any detail about why he had carried out the killings.

They also acknowledged there was no evidence he would not act similarly again in the event he was released.

“It’s the most fathomless case I’ve come across in all circumstances,” Mr Sheales said.

“As you can imagine, his own family are shattered.”

Justice Betty King described Hemming as “terrifying to us, terrifying to the community”.

“What is going on?” she said.

“He’s a sociopath … there’s no feeling, no empathy, no care … it’s truly terrifying.

“There’s nothing to indicate in any way that he’s not going to remain a danger.”

Hemming has Asperger’s syndrome, which was discussed as a possible cause for the attack, but his psychiatrist told the court people with Asperger’s were more likely to be vulnerable victims in the community than perpetrators.

Hemming showed no emotion as details of the case were read out.

He will be sentenced at a later date.


 

Thomas Hemming killed Robert and Cheryl Adamson in Murrumbeena home for the ‘thrill’, court hears

Date
October 13, 2014

Court Reporter for The Age

View more articles from Mark Russell

Thomas Hemming.
Thomas Hemming. Photo: Jason South

A Supreme Court judge has described as “terrifying” the case of a young man who had been thinking about killing someone for months before stabbing to death a much-loved couple in their Murrumbeena home.

“I have to say what’s going on?” Justice Betty King said on Monday during a pre-sentence hearing for Thomas Hemming, 21, who pleaded guilty to murdering Robert Adamson, 64, and his wife, Cheryl, 60, on February 19.

The judge said the case was the second “thrill kill” murder she had had to deal with in less than a year and looking at Hemming’s behaviour, she had to ask if he was a sociopath.

Hemming had tragically told his mother months earlier how he was preoccupied with killing someone and she had organised for him to see a psychologist but he cancelled the appointment.

The other ‘thrill kill’ case involved loner Gareth Giles who wrote an 18 point step-by-step plan on his computer on how to commit the perfect murder before he tied up and strangled a man near Geelong. Giles was jailed by Justice King for 26 years in April.

Chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, QC, told the court Hemming did not know the Adamsons, who had two children, Michael and Katie, when he decided to kill them, believing it was better to murder someone older.

Mr Silbert said Hemming,who worked in the Woolworths bottle shop at Carnegie, was living at home with his parents when he had a friend over on the night of February 18.

The pair were drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky and listening to music before Hemming began to feel sick and vomited.

Hemming and his friend then went for a walk around the neighbourhood some time between 1am and 3am.

Mr Silbert said Hemming’s friend drove home at about 4am and Hemming went back to his house before deciding to act out his fantasy of killing someone.

Hemming, who lived only 160 metres from the Adamsons’ house in Omama Road, had ordered a Cold Steel Marauder knife from a Queensland company online in October 2013.

Wearing black leather gloves and a black leather coat, Hemming took the knife and walked to the Adamsons’ home where he knocked on the door at about 6am and asked to use the phone.

Mr Silbert said the Adamsons, who were both wearing pyjamas, invited Hemming inside in the spirit of being good neighbours.

Hemming followed the couple down the hall before attacking Mr Adamson, an accountant, in the living room area, stabbing him repeatedly.

Mrs Adamson, a librarian at Melbourne Grammar School, hit Hemming over the head with a broom trying to save her husband of 33 years.

The prosecutor said Hemming then stabbed Mrs Adamson in the neck, chest and back before walking home and hiding his bloodied clothes under his bed.

Mrs Adamson’s brother, Craig Collier, in a victim impact statement read to the court, said he could not fathom what was going through his sister’s mind as she tried to stop Hemming from attacking her husband.

“Life will never be the same for any of us,” Mr Collier, who lives in Washington, said.

“My sister was more loved than anyone I know.”

Mr Collier asked: would Hemming having the same desire to kill again if he was ever released?

He had been unable to tell his 86-year-old mother that his sister had been murdered, instead telling her that the Adamsons had died in a car accident.

Defence barrister Damian Sheales told the court one of the most troubling aspects of the case was the senseless nature of it.

Mr Sheales said Hemming had the autism spectrum disorder Asperger syndrome but it did not explain his offending.

Psychiatrist Dr Daniel Sullivan said people with Asperger syndrome were usually more likely to be victims of violence and more vulnerable in the community.

Justice King said Hemming killed the Adamsons and took steps to try to avoid being caught which showed he was aware what he had done was wrong.

Hemming will be sentenced at a later date.


Bryson Anderson murder: Family and colleagues confront killers Mitchell and Fiona Barbieri in court


Mongel dog cop killers get eye-balled by colleagues, family and friends of slain police officer Bryson Anderson and ball their eyes out.

By court reporter Karl Hoerr

Mon 24 Nov 2014

Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson, who was killed at a rural property in Oakville.

Photo: Family and colleagues described their grief over the murder of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson. (Facebook: NSW Police.)

Family and colleagues of a Sydney police officer murdered nearly two years ago have described their continuing grief over his stabbing death during a sentencing hearing for his killers.

One by one, those closest to Bryson Anderson rose to speak at the sentencing hearing for Mitchell and Fiona Barbieri.

The 45-year-old Detective Inspector was fatally stabbed during a siege of a home at Oakville in Sydney’s north-west.

His 13-year-old son told the court he has been denied the rite of passage of having his father teach him to shave.

“I had to learn this skill alone, without him by my side,” he said.

He spoke about his difficulties enjoying cricket, something he used to share with his father.

You should save the tears that you have shed from the dock. You will not be forgiven

Bryson Anderson’s brother, Warwick Anderson

Mitchell Barbieri, who attacked Detective Anderson with a knife and has pleaded guilty to murder, cried in the dock as the victim impact statements were read out.

His mother, Fiona Barbieri, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of mental illness and showed little emotion.

The officer’s brother, Warwick Anderson, addressed Mitchell Barbieri directly.

“You should save the tears that you have shed from the dock. You will not be forgiven,” Mr Anderson said.

Widow Donna Anderson said she had lost her best friend.

“I never contemplated how it would feel to be on the other side of a police investigation,” she said.

Colleagues who witnessed the attack spoke of their guilt and extreme difficulty returning to work.

Sergeant Adam Fitzgibbon said: “At times, I question myself. How did I let this happen to Bryson?”

Senior Constable Neil Constable said Detective Anderson had praised his work just hours before he was murdered.

“He told me to keep it up and keep locking up the crooks,” he said.

Justice Robert Allan Hulme appeared visibly moved by the statements.

“It’s simply astounding that such a senseless act can have so many victims,” he said.

The sentencing hearing continues.


Mother and son to stand trial for stabbing murder of Sydney police officer Bryson Anderson

Wed 11 Dec 2013, 6:39pm

A mother and son have been committed to stand trial for the stabbing murder of Sydney police officer Bryson Anderson.

Fiona Barbieri, 46, and her 20-year-old son Mitchell Barbieri are accused of killing Detective Inspector Anderson when he was called to a neighbourhood dispute at Oakville in Sydney’s north-west in 2012.

They are charged with murder and wounding with intent to resist arrest.

In Central Local Court magistrate Chris O’Brien has ordered them to stand trial in February 2014.

Police say they went to the property in December 2012 after an urgent call from a neighbour.

The officer was one of a large contingent of police called to the Oakfield home to attend a heated dispute between neighbours.

They say the Barbieri’s fired arrows at them from the house.

Officers say when the Detective Inspector tried to negotiate with them he was stabbed in the neck by Mitchell Barbieri and his mother Fiona Barbieri hit the officer with a hammer.

Magistrate O’Brien said after hearing the evidence there is a “reasonable prospect” a jury would “convict the accused”.

The mother and son have not yet entered a plea to the charges but will be required to in February.

Outside court members of his family told reporters they are pleased the Barbieri’s will stand trial.

Police officer in tears

During the committal hearing today police officer Constable Hannah Watson broke down in tears while giving evidence.

She told the hearing she thought her duty officer had been punched, because she could not see a weapon in Mitchell Barbieri’s hand.

When the officer began sobbing the court was adjourned to allow her to compose herself.

One officer described Fiona Barbieri screaming at police to leave, using foul language.

In court two new charges of resisting arrest were laid against the mother and son.


‘He deserves to f****** die': Court hears how police-killing mother and son shouted as their victim died… before emailing Russian president Vladimir Putin demanding asylum

  • Fiona Barbieri, and her son Mitchell, pleaded guilty to killing Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson in 2012 
  • Following her arrest, Fiona defended their actions as self-defence during a police interview 
  • The Barbieris had also sent emails to Tony Abbott and Mr Putin, saying: ‘We have every right to defend ourselves, our family and our property’
  • Inspector Anderson died after he was stabbed by then 19-year-old Mitchell Barbieri following a siege at their rural Oakville property
  • As he lay dying, the court heard that Fiona was heard yelling, ‘it’s his own f****** fault… he deserves to f****** die’
  • His family remember him as a larrikin with a great sense of humour
  • He also volunteered as a firefighter and in the Special Olympics  

A Sydney mother, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a police officer in 2012, sent emails to the Prime Minister and the Russian President in which she defended herself and demanded asylum.

Fiona Barbieri, 47, and her 21-year-old son Mitchell, attended their sentencing hearing in Sydney’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, where the full details surrounding the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson were revealed.

Inspector Anderson died after he was fatally stabbed by then 19-year-old Mitchell Barbieri following a siege at a rural Oakville property in Sydney’s north-west on December 6, 2012.

The police interview of Fiona Barbieri after her arrest in 2012, following the death of a policeman at her  property in Sydney's north-west, was shown to Sydney's Supreme Court on Wednesday

The police interview of Fiona Barbieri after her arrest in 2012, following the death of a policeman at her  property in Sydney’s north-west, was shown to Sydney’s Supreme Court on Wednesday

The 41-year-old and her 21-year-old son Mitchell (pictured) pleaded guilty to killing Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson

The 41-year-old and her 21-year-old son Mitchell (pictured) pleaded guilty to killing Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson

During a police interview following the Barbieri’s arrests in 2012, the 47-year-old mother who is believed to have been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, told officers that Inspector Anderson had been killed in self-defence before demanding asylum in Russia.

In the footage of the police interview attained by Channel Nine, Fiona is heard saying: ‘what happened at our house today, where we were ambushed by an army of police officers, was self-defence.’

She is then handed a telephone by the officers who allow her to call the consulate, to whom she says: ‘It is the Barbieris, president Putin, SOS Australia.’

According to Channel Nine, Fiona was advised by the consulate to forward her request via email, after which she refused to answer further questions from the policemen.

DECORATED police officer Bryson Anderson was "struck" by "two quick jabbing moves around a doorway" by a teenager with a "deliberate intention", a court has heard today.</p>
<p>The accounts of Detective Inspector Anderson's colleagues, who witnessed his death at a home in Oakville on December 6 last year, have been revealed during a pre committal hearing.</p>
<p>Mitchell Barbieri, 19, and his mother Fiona Barbieri, 45, have been charged with Inspector Anderson's murder after the seasoned officer was called to the property over a neighbourhood dispute and then fatally stabbed.

Inspector Anderson (pictured) died after he was fatally stabbed by then 19-year-old Mitchell following a siege at his rural Oakville home on December 6, 2012

In the police interview, Fiona is handed a telephone after demanding asylum in Russia. Police allowed her to call the consulate, to whom she says: 'It is the Barbieris, president Putin, SOS Australia'

In the police interview, Fiona is handed a telephone after demanding asylum in Russia. Police allowed her to call the consulate, to whom she says: ‘It is the Barbieris, president Putin, SOS Australia’

Fiona Barbieri arrives at the Supreme Court in Sydney for her sentencing  hearing on Wednesday

‘We are living here in convict Australia, corrupt convict Australia, and we have been doing our best to get out,’ she told officers.

‘The New South Wales police force is corrupt – that is what we have been standing up against and that is why we are in here today.’ 

Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Fiona and her son had been embroiled in a long-running dispute with their neighbour, which had been fuelled by Ms Barbieri’s paranoia.

On December 6, the tension spiralled out of control when the Barbieris spotted that Mr Waters was installing flood lights on his property.

Fiona – swinging a baseball bat – and Mitchell – armed with a crossbow – confronted the electricians working for Mr Waters.

The wife and brother of slain police officer  Anderson, Donna (left) and Warwick (right), leave the Supreme Court after the hearing

The parents of Mr Anderson, Red and Shirley Anderson, were also seen leaving the Supreme Court on Wednesday

Earlier in the month, the Barbieris cried and hugged in the dock as they prepared to plea to their roles in the death of Detective Inspector Anderson

Mitchell fired two arrows, narrowly missing them both, before he and his mother retreated into their home.

As the first police arrived, the court heard the Barbieris sent an email to a number of politicians, including then opposition leader Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying: ‘We have every right to defend ourselves, our family and our property.’

Just over an hour later, it had become a ‘siege situation’ with Fiona and Mitchell screaming at police to ‘f*** off’.

Det Insp Anderson ordered the door to be kicked in and was stabbed twice by Mitchell – once in the cheek and fatally to the chest, Mr Tedeschi said.

As he lay dying, the court heard that Fiona was heard screaming, ‘it’s his own f****** fault.. he fucking deserved it… let the dog c*** die… he deserves to f****** die’.

The policemand wife Donna, said her husband absolutely adored their three children

The policemans wife Donna, said her husband absolutely adored their three children

Murdered police officer Bryson Anderson honoured by family

Bryson Anderson with his wife Donna and children from left to right - Darcy, Cain and Olivia

Bryson Anderson with his wife Donna and children from left to right – Darcy, Cain and Olivia

On the morning they were due to stand trial last week, Mitchell pleaded guilty to the officer’s murder, while his mother – who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia – pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of substantial impairment.

Under legislation passed before parliament, a person convicted of the murder of a police officer while on duty faces a mandatory life sentence.

But Mr Tedeschi said this was not a situation where life imprisonment should apply as Mitchell was influenced by his mother’s delusions.

‘He (Mitchell) had been under the influence of his mother … and her delusions had to some degree been transferred to him,’ Mr Tedeschi said.

Olivia, Cain and Darcy could not speak highly enough of their deceased father

Olivia, Cain and Darcy could not speak highly enough of their deceased father

At officer Anderson's 2012 funeral, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the decorated officer was greatly admired by his fellow officers

Instead, he said the crown would be seeking a ‘very lengthy’ sentence.

Earlier in the month, Inspector Anderson’s family honoured the man who was a much-loved husband and father of three.

Bryson’s widow Donna Anderson and their three children Olivia, Darcy and Cain could not wipe the smiles off their faces when they told fond stories of how Bryson was always the larrikin of the family.

‘There was the policeman side to him which was incredibly serious – he took his job very seriously -but there was the family side of him where he was just the clown in every family gathering,’ Donna told Channel Nine’s ACA.

‘He just absolutely adored his kids,’ she said. He was a typical dad – he loved dad jokes and if he could embarrass the kids in front of their friends that was even better.’

Police officers and family attend the funeral of the slain officer at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Parramatta in 2012 

Police officers and family attend the funeral of the slain officer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta in 2012 

The family privately continue to struggle with their loss, and it will be some time before they finally come to terms with the tragedy

The family privately continue to struggle with their loss, and it will be some time before they finally come to terms with the tragedy

His three children could not speak highly enough of their father.

‘He would totally just love life – it was awesome,’ his only daughter Olivia said. ‘Yes, he liked to embarrass us.’

His eldest son, Darcy said he was a great dad who was always a joker.

‘He photo bombed a lot – my first cricket game in my photo – he was in the background,’ he said.

‘Cricket is my life – me and dad built the pitch out the front in 2003 I think.’

‘We got tonnes of dirt and just rolled it and got it all padded down and I just keep mowing it in.’

Bryson's only daughter Olivia said her father had a great love for life

Bryson’s only daughter Olivia said her father had a great love for life

Darcy loves cricket so much that his father helped build him a cricket pitch in their front yard

Darcy loves cricket so much that his father helped build him a cricket pitch in their front yard

Youngest son Cain said his father was always a joker who 'photo-bombed a lot'

Youngest son Cain said his father was always a joker who ‘photo-bombed a lot’

‘He would totally just love life – it was awesome,’ his only daughter Olivia (left) said. ‘Yes, he liked to embarrass us’ 

Bryson's family described him as a joker who had a great sense of humour

Bryson’s family described him as a joker who had a great sense of humour

‘He was always a joker – he photo-bombed a lot,’ his youngest son Cain said. 

While being dedicated to his family and career, he also managed to squeeze in volunteering with the Special Olympics, travelling to Vanuatu to give gifts to children and also volunteering as a firefighter.

‘He would come home from the police sometimes he would only be there for an hours or so and then the bells would go off and he would go out to a fire call and he did that for nine years,’ Donna said.

During the committal hearing last year, a number of police officers broke down as they recalled the murder.

At Detective Inspector Anderson’s 2012 funeral, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the decorated officer was admired by his fellow officers for his tenacity and determination, as well as his empathy and compassion.

‘He showed initiative and leadership; intelligence and perseverance; dedication and humility; and, memorably, a ready smile and an engaging way.

‘Bryson drew people to him, without guile and without effort.’

The matter will return to court later this month.

Mother and son Fiona and Mitchell Barbieri plead not guilty to Sydney policeman Bryson Anderson’s murder

Fri 7 Feb 2014, 1:41pm

 A mother and son accused of murdering a Sydney police officer have pleaded not guilty.

Fiona and Mitchell Barbieri formally entered their pleas in the NSW Supreme Court this morning ahead of their trial later this year.

The 46-year-old and her 20-year-old son were charged after the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson at Oakville on Sydney’s north-western outskirts in December 2012.

Inspector Anderson was part of a large contingent of police called to attend a heated neighbourhood dispute.

Police say the Barbieri’s fired arrows at them from their house.

Inspector Anderson then tried to negotiate with the pair for several minutes, when he was allegedly stabbed in the neck by Mitchell Barbieri and hit with a hammer by Fiona Barbieri.

The 45-year-old officer was rushed by paramedics to Windsor Hospital but died soon afterwards.

The Barbieris have also pleaded not guilty to additional charges laid late last year of wounding with intent to resist arrest.

In an earlier hearing a fellow officer who witnessed Inspector Anderson’s death broke down in court as she recalled the events.

Constable Hannah Watson told the court she initially thought her duty officer had been punched, because she could not see a weapon in Mitchell Barbieri’s hand.


Mother, son admit to killing police officer Bryson Anderson

Updated 5 Nov 2014, 3:19pmWed 5 Nov 2014, 3:19pm

A mother and son have pleaded guilty to killing a New South Wales police officer called to their home in Sydney’s north-west.

According to police, Mitchell Barbieri, 21, and his 47-year-old mother, Fiona, barricaded themselves inside their Oakville home when New South Wales police officer Bryson Anderson responded to an urgent call from neighbours in December 2012.

They say the pair fired arrows at the officer and attacked the 45-year-old with a knife and a hammer.

Mitchell Barbieri pleaded guilty to murdering Anderson, while Fiona Barbieri pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Prosecutors accepted her guilty plea to the lesser charge because she had “a substantial impairment brought about by an abnormality of mind” at the time.

The pair made their pleas in the Supreme Court the day their six-week trial was due to start.

They will return to court next week for a sentencing hearing.

Anderson, who held the rank of Detective Inspector, was one of several officers who attended the Barbieris’ home after reports of a feud between neighbours.

Colleagues say that when he tried to negotiate with the family, he was stabbed in the neck by Mitchel Barbieri and hit with a hammer by his mother.

White Ribbon Day Nov 25th 2014. What are you doing to stop the violence?

Featured


NOV25

EVENTS CAN BE FOUND HERE http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/events

White Ribbon is Australia’s only national, male led Campaign to end men’s violence against women.

Vision
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.

Mission
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.

The campaign works through primary prevention initiatives involving awareness raising and education, and programs with youth, schools, workplaces and across the broader community.

Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.

White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women), formally becoming a Foundation in 2007.

White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, annually on November 25. White Ribbon Day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10).


Thousands march in Melbourne against family violence amid calls for health officials to do more

Tue 25 Nov 2014, 8:31pm

Walk Against Family Violence

Thousands took to Melbourne’s streets to take part in the Walk Against Family Violence (ABC News)

Related Story: Defence force, military get behind White Ribbon Day

One woman is killed by a violent partner each week in Australia.

Two of the leading figures in the fight against family violence, Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and Rosie Batty, led more than 1,000 people through the streets of Melbourne today in a march to stop violence against women.

On the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr Lay said Australia could not arrest its way out of the situation.

“I think that for far too long family violence and resolving family violence has been left in the hands of police,” he said.

“We cannot simply arrest our way out of this. We need to change attitudes, it’s in the schooling, it’s in families.

“Clearly, fathers and mothers have got a responsibility to teach their children about gender inequity, teach their children to treat each other decently.

“They are partly responsible for this, no doubt.”

There were also calls for doctors and health officials to do much more to stop family violence, with new research published in The Lancet.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty, who co-authored the Lancet paper, is a GP and the head of primary care at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice.

She said the health system needed to be more focussed and streamlined when it came to addressing family violence.

“What we’re really looking for health professionals to do is provide a first line response that listens, validates, acknowledges what women and girls have been through in terms of violence against women and provides them with a pathway to safety and healing,” she said.

“To do that we need to strengthen the role of the health sector.”

Health sector ‘lacks awareness, training’ in family violence

In January 2013 Professor Hegarty called for GPs to be trained to recognise signs of domestic violence.

Since then, she said the health system had been slow to recognise the need for change.

“I think there’s been a large movement in the awareness in community campaigns with the development of Our Watch and other activities through White Ribbon,” she said.

“So I think people are becoming more aware that domestic violence or family violence is a problem in our community.

“What we haven’t found is the health sector responding.

We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.

Professor Kelsey Hegarty

“We haven’t got regular training or supervisional mentorship in medical nursing or public health or other curricular on a regular basis.

“We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.”

Professor Hegarty said substantial system and behavioural barriers existed in the health system.

“We haven’t got an enabling policy environment,” she said.

The Lancet paper examined five country case studies, including India and Spain, and how they responded and dealt with family violence.

Professor Hegarty said developing low-income countries such as India had made progress in addressing family violence in conjunction with their HIV-AIDs strategy.

“In fact, it’s been interesting to look at people who have done violence interventions attached to health interventions for HIV,” she said.

“That’s been showing some promise in a way we haven’t had those epidemics like that, and therefore I think health has been a little bit behind.”

She said Australia had a large focus on the national plan, which has been excellent to prevent violence against women and children.

“(But) it needs a whole spectrum across the ecological model from the community,” she added.

“(An) ecological model goes from a community to an individual, and often a health practitioner is seeing someone at an individual level. We need everybody to be activated.”


 

White Ribbon Day sparks more than 1,000 events across Australia in campaign against domestic violence

Tue 25 Nov 2014, 12:07pm

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised the involvement of Australia’s military in White Ribbon Day, saying it sends a signal that strong men protect others and do not condone domestic violence.

Speaking at a White Ribbon Day function in Canberra, Mr Abbott said shocking statistics associated with domestic violence crimes prompted the Government to allocate $100 million as part of an action plan to combat violence against women.

“It’s really good to see the participation of our armed forces in White Ribbon Day … because the presence of our armed forces, the presence of our police is a sign that tough, strong men protect others, they don’t persecute them. That the toughest and the strongest men are peacemakers, not brutes,” he said.

“Every week a woman dies somewhere in our country in a domestic context. One woman in three will experience violence at some stage of her life.

“One woman in five will experience sexual violence at some stage in her life. It’s just wrong. It must stop,” he said.

“Government has a role to play, that’s why this Government is investing some $100 million in our Second Action Plan to combat violence against women.”

Army chief Lieutenant-General David Morrison told a White Ribbon breakfast in Adelaide stories about the ANZAC spirit also needed a greater focus on the women who were involved.

He said many stories about World War I focused on stories about Anglo Saxon men.

“Unless they’re (women) included in the story, I think what we run the risk of is compounding this idea that Australia is a man’s country, a man’s world, where men get ahead,” he said.

“Men are promoted on their potential, women are only ever promoted on their proven performance. I don’t think we’re going to progress as a nation if that’s the case.”

Luke Batty death brought issue home for victims

White Ribbon ambassador John Caldwell told the ABC’s Breakfast program the tragic death of 11-year-old Luke Batty at the hands of his father earlier this year had brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds.

“When I saw his (Luke’s) photo and I thought, ‘that could have been me,’ and never before have I really thought of myself as one of the lucky ones, but that made me feel like I was one of the lucky ones,” Mr Caldwell said.

Mr Caldwell was nominated as Australian of the Year for Victoria in 2014 and said the nomination of Luke’s mother Rosie Batty for Australian of the Year in 2015 helped to highlight why the issue of domestic violence should be taken seriously.

It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours.

White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies.

“I grew up in Melbourne in a house that was plagued by domestic violence,” he said.

“I guess as a kid hiding under the bed I always felt so helpless and now as an adult, I don’t need to. I get to take back the power that I lost as a kid, but also to educate other children that you don’t have to stay silent yourself.

“Even for kids, there are people you can talk to. As a child, hiding under a bed hearing screams outside and not sure what you will find when you eventually walk out – I used to liken it to, as the eye of a cyclone. It would go quiet. Is it safe to go out? And then it erupts again.”

Mr Caldwell said nobody came to help despite people knowing what was happening and White Ribbon Day was about breaking that silence.

“It was known what was going on outside of the house and nobody would do anything, and that’s why White Ribbon Day is so important, because it is a male-led campaign,” he said.

White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said more than 1,000 events would be held across Australia to promote White Ribbon Day, including a walk through Melbourne’s CBD by members of both the Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs as part of the Walk Against Family Violence.

“It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours,” she said.

NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said several hundred people, mostly men, had marched from Randwick to Coogee in Sydney’s east in an event co-hosted with Randwick Council this morning.

He said those present, including many police officers, pledged an oath to help reduce violence against women.

“The oath is all about never ever condoning or committing acts of violence against women in any form. It’s about having those conversations with men acting as role models for other men,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said domestic violence cases were the single biggest crime police attended.

Phone app hidden function to protect domestic violence victims

In a bid to help protect victims of domestic violence, a free Australian mobile phone app was been launched in time for White Ribbon Day.

Buzz News looks like a regular news app on a mobile phone, but has a hidden function that allows people to secretly contact friends and call for help.

Developed by the Lisa Harnum Foundation, the app was named after the woman who was murdered by her partner Simon Gittany in Sydney in 2011.

Foundation executive director Aileen Mountifield said the phone app could save lives.

“If a perpetrator is used to checking his partner’s phone all that will come up is news, entertainment news, sports news, local news, national news,” she said.

“So that’s a deterrent hopefully that he won’t go to the help button because under the help button she would have stored her safe contacts, so if in distress all she has to do is open the app and press send.”

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.”

Toni McHugh-Who are You? Go away now


Courtesy of Australian Women’s Weekly…

Toni McHugh: ‘My future with Gerard included his children’

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The mistress of convicted wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay believed she would eventually build a life with him and his three young daughters.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Toni McHugh has opened up about how she and the now convicted murderer had high hopes of setting up house together and getting shared custody of his children.

McHugh, who was engaged in a four year affair with Baden-Clay when he violently killed his wife of 14 years,  Allison Baden-Clay, says she always considered the couple’s children when they discussed a life together.

“The future I was planning with Gerard, it actually included them. It included Allison! I thought we would all get to the point where we all, you know, shared custody, like adults and got on,” she told The Weekly.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s secret life of betrayal revealed

The former real estate salesperson also shared unsettling details about the moment she came close to Allison’s body.

“We drove over that bridge, and she was under there, and later that day, maybe around noon, we heard a woman’s body has been found, and I knew straight away – instantly – that it was Allison,” Ms McHugh said.

When asked whether or not she felt responsible for Allison’s untimely death, McHugh, who describes herself as ‘Australia’s Monica Lewinsky’ – the most famous White House intern in history, said ‘No’.

Related: Gerard Baden-Clay’s colleague tells: ‘I was working with a murderer’

“It is horrible to have it said that you are the motive (for murder),” she said.

“But no, I’m sorry, he wasn’t thinking about me. He was thinking about himself.”

While McHugh admits she’s still trying to come to terms with what’s happened, she is now planning to write a book about the case.

“I’m the only one who can tell this story,” she said.

Gerard Baden-Clay was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years behind bars for killing Allison and dumping her body in Brisbane’s Kholo Creek.

Read more of this story in the August issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly. 

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