David Eastman gets bail- conviction quashed and a retrial ordered.


David Eastman: The history of a legal saga spanning 25 years

Fri 22 Aug 2014, 3:16pm

David Eastman was arrested for murder in 1992.

Photo: David Eastman was arrested for murder in 1992. (ABC News)

David Harold Eastman is at the centre of one of Australia’s longest-running legal sagas.

He has served more than 19 years in jail for the 1989 murder of Australian Federal Police assistant commissioner Winchester in Canberra.

Today the ACT Supreme Court has quashed his conviction and ordered a retrial.

In May the Martin inquiry recommended Eastman’s murder conviction be quashed, primarily because of flaws in the forensic case developed by scientist Robert Collins Barnes.

Inquiry head Justice Brian Martin found Eastman did not receive a fair trial and there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice.

He said a retrial would not be feasible nor fair, but that the conviction should be quashed.

That was despite Justice Martin saying he personally thought Eastman was guilty.

A full bench of the Supreme Court, made up of three acting Judges appointed to sit on the ACT bench, Justice Steven Rares, Justice Michael Wigney and Acting Justice Dennis Cowdroy, spent a month considering the report after taking submissions from the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions and Eastman’s lawyers.

Eastman has lost numerous appeals

Eastman became a suspect for the murder of Mr Winchester the day after the killing.

David Eastman’s legal battle timeline

  • January 10, 1989 – AFP assistant commissioner Colin Winchester shot dead in his neighbour’s driveway
  • January 11, 1989 – David Harold Eastman becomes a suspect
  • August 1989 – Inquest into the death commences and ends with an open finding
  • November 1992 – Inquest reopens
  • December 24, 1992 – Eastman committed to stand trial for murder
  • May 16, 1995 – Eastman arraigned on one count of murder, trial begins
  • June 29, 1995 – Eastman’s bail revoked after a dispute with Justice Kenneth Carruthers
  • November 3, 1995 – Eastman found guilty of murder
  • November 10, 1995 – Eastman sentenced to life in prison
  • May 2000 – High Court challenges to overturn conviction dismissed
  • October 6, 2005 – Miles inquiry reports Eastman was fit to plead except for a short period – conviction stands
  • September 3, 2012 – Justice Shane Marshall orders inquiry into Eastman’s conviction
  • November 5, 2013 – Eastman inquiry begins
  • May 30, 2014 – Inquiry recommends Eastman’s conviction be quashed
  • August 22, 2014- ACT Supreme Court quashes Eastman’s conviction and orders retrial

Mr Winchester was shot as he got out of his car in his neighbour’s driveway at Deakin on January 10, 1989.

Detectives targeted Eastman who had threatened Mr Winchester after he refused to help him have an assault charge withdrawn.

Eastman believed if he was convicted for that crime it would thwart his bid to rejoin the public service.

Eastman was eventually convicted of killing Colin Winchester in 1995 and sentenced to life in jail.

He has long protested his innocence, through numerous appeals including in the High Court.

A major inquiry also considered Eastman’s fitness to plead at the original trial.

His court appearances were often fraught and unpredictable as he regularly sacked his legal team, including during the original trial.

In the end, Eastman’s murder conviction was secured by the forensic case which included key evidence linking Eastman’s car with the scene of the shooting.

Sentencing him in 1995, Justice Ken Carruthers said: “This investigation must surely rank as one of the most skilled, sophisticated and determined forensic investigations in the history of criminal investigation in Australia.”

But the recent inquiry turned that on its head.

The critical issue was that Mr Barnes had claimed gunshot residue in Eastman’s car was indistinguishable from that at the scene.

In the latest inquiry he was forced to concede that the evidence was misleading and the link between the scene and Eastman’s car was discredited.

From there the forensic case crumbled amid revelations there had been inadequate record-keeping and evidence had been destroyed.

The Martin Inquiry made other adverse findings about the prosecution and police not making disclosures to the defence.

The inquiry also considered fresh evidence in secret hearings about the possibility of Mafia involvement.

But in the end it was the forensic case which determined the outcome.

In his report, Justice Martin wrote: “The issue of guilt was determined on the basis of deeply flawed forensic evidence in circumstances where the applicant was denied procedural fairness in respect of a fundamental feature of the trial process concerned with disclosure by the prosecution of all relevant material.

“In addition, evidence of inadequacies and flaws in the case file and case work of the key forensic scientists were unknown to everyone involved in the investigation and trial.”

Justice Martin said he thought Eastman had probably committed the crime, but had not had a fair trial and his conviction should be quashed.

“In my view the substantial miscarriage of justice suffered by the applicant should not be allowed to stand uncorrected,” he wrote.

His findings gave a dramatic twist to one of the most significant legal battles in Australia’s history.

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Blanket suppression order on corruption case biggest in History


WikiLeaks court document: Website publishes details of suppression order granted in June

Julian Assange has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London since June, 2012.

Photo: Julian Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since June, 2012. (AFP: Carl Court)

The WikiLeaks website has published details of a suppression order granted last month ordering Australian media not to publish any details of a case.

The order prevents publication of any information about the case, including the names of some international figures and some of their relatives.

Fairfax quotes WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange defending the publication of the secret order despite the legal implications.

Mr Assange has told Fairfax it is completely egregious to block the public’s right to know and suppress the media, especially in cases of international corruption involving politicians and subsidiaries of a public organisation.

He says WikiLeaks will work to protect Australians’ right to know even when the Government tries to block it.

Mr Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy for more than two years, after fleeing there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sexual assault allegations, which he denies.

He believes the allegations are politically motivated and linked to WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of classified US documents.

Mr Assange has not been formally charged with any offences, but Britain has made it clear he will be arrested if he tries to leave the embassy.

He says WikiLeaks does not support one group or political party but rather supports those who act in an open and transparent manner.


 

Australia bans reporting of multi-nation corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam

Today, 29 July 2014, WikiLeaks releases an unprecedented Australian censorship order concerning a multi-million dollar corruption case explicitly naming the current and past heads of state of Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, their relatives and other senior officials.

The super-injunction invokes “national security” grounds to prevent reporting about the case, by anyone, in order to “prevent damage to Australia’s international relations”. The court-issued gag order follows the secret 19 June 2014 indictment of seven senior executives from subsidiaries of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The case concerns allegations of multi-million dollar inducements made by agents of the RBA subsidiaries Securency and Note Printing Australia in order to secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries.

The suppression order lists 17 individuals, including “any current or former Prime Minister of Malaysia”, “Truong Tan San, currently President of Vietnam”, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (also known as SBY), currently President of Indonesia (since 2004)”, “Megawati Sukarnoputri (also known as Mega), a former President of Indonesia (2001–2004) and current leader of the PDI-P political party” and 14 other senior officials and relatives from those countries, who specifically may not be named in connection with the corruption investigation.

The document also specifically bans the publication of the order itself as well as an affidavit affirmed last month by Australia’s representative to ASEAN Gillian Bird, who has just been appointed as Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

The gag order effectively blacks out the largest high-level corruption case in Australia and the region.

The last known blanket suppression order of this nature was granted in 1995 and concerned the joint US-Australian intelligence spying operation against the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange said about the order:

“With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public. This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government.”

“The concept of ‘national security’ is not meant to serve as a blanket phrase to cover up serious corruption allegations involving government officials, in Australia or elsewhere. It is in the public interest for the press to be able to report on this case, which concerns the subsidiaries of the Australian central bank. Who is brokering our deals, and how are we brokering them as a nation? Corruption investigations and secret gag orders for ‘national security’ reasons are strange bedfellows. It is ironic that it took Tony Abbott to bring the worst of ‘Asian Values’ to Australia.”

Read the Australia-wide censorship order for corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Two men jailed for importing $122 million worth of ecstasy from Italy in tomato tins


The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins.

The drugs were found packed in more than 3,000 tomato tins. (Australian Customs)

Related Story: Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Two men involved in the importation of more than four tonnes of ecstasy hidden in tomato tins have been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.

Customs officers at the Port of Melbourne intercepted the ecstasy in the form of 15 million tablets hidden in 3,000 tins arriving from Naples, Italy, in 2007.

The drugs, found packed in a shipping container, weighed more than 4.4 tonnes and had an estimated street value of $122 million.

It was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world at the time of the seizure.

In 2012 the drug ring’s leader Pasquale Barbaro was sentenced to life in prison.

South Australian Carmelo Falanga, 49, was today sentenced to 23 years in prison with a minimum sentence of 16 years and six months.

Jon Visser, 63, of New South Wales, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison with a minimum eight years.

Trio jailed over world’s biggest ecstasy haul

Updated Wed 1 May 2013, 8:15am

Trio jailed over ecstasy haul

Jailed drug smugglers (L-R) Salvatore Agresta, John Higgs, and Pasquale Sergi.

Three men have been jailed over their attempt to smuggle the world’s biggest haul of ecstasy into Australia.

A Victorian Supreme Court jury found the trio guilty of conspiring to smuggle more than 15 million ecstasy tablets into Australia from Italy in 2007.

The drugs weighed more than 4.4 tonnes, had an estimated street value of $122 million and were hidden inside tomato tins.

At the time of the seizure, it was the largest haul of ecstasy in the world.

Pasquale Sergi, Salvatore Agresta and John Higgs were sentenced to a combined total of 40 years in jail.

“You were all involved in a crime in which every one was playing for the highest stakes we have ever known in this country,” Justice Betty King said.

“That of obtaining possession of 15 million plus tablets of ecstasy

“You must have all been aware of the risk and the consequences of [your] involvement.

“You chose to take that risk and now you must all bear the consequences.”

Higgs, 65, who has a criminal history including a conviction for manslaughter, was sentenced to 18 years in jail with a non-parole period of 14 years.

Agresta, 44, who ran an Ascot Vale Deli where gangland identity Des Moran was shot dead in 2009, was sentenced to 12 years in jail to serve at least 8 years.

Sergi, 49, was sentenced to 10 years in jail, to serve a minimum 6 years and 9 months.

A fourth man who can not be named has also been jailed over the conspiracy.

The two ringleaders, New South Wales men Pasquale Barbaro and Saverio Zirilli, have already been jailed.

Drug dealer sentenced to life for world’s largest ecstasy haul

Updated Fri 25 May 2012, 9:05am AEST

It can now be revealed that drug king-pin Pasquale Barbaro, of Griffith, in New South Wales, is serving a life sentence for importing the world’s biggest ecstasy haul into Australia.

A suppression order on the sentence was lifted today, after a jury found four of his co-accused guilty of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Barbaro, 50, originally of Griffith, in NSW, pleaded guilty to charges including the importation of 15 million ecstasy tablets.

The drugs, which were estimated to be worth at least $122 million, were hidden in cans labelled as “peeled tomatoes” from Italy.

Barbaro will serve a minimum term of 30 years in jail.

In sentencing, Justice King said he was at the top of a “very well organised worldwide criminal group”.

“You, Pasquale Barbaro were at the apex of that criminality, at the very top of the tree in this country,” she said.

“Your purpose in attempting to possess the goods was to ensure financial riches of a quite astronomical order.”

Barbaro’s co-accused, Saverio Zirilli, 55, was sentenced to 26 years in jail with a minimum of 18 years.

Both men were also convicted of attempted possession of nearly 100 kilograms of cocaine, hidden in bags of Columbian coffee beans.

Four others have been found guilty of one count each of conspiracy to possess a commercial quantity of MDMA.

Ecstasy life sentence appeal rejected

Posted Thu 20 Dec 2012, 4:40pm AEDT

A man who was involved in Australia’s biggest ecstasy haul has failed to have his sentence reduced by Victoria’s Court of Appeal.

Pasquale Barbaro was charged after millions of ecstasy tablets hidden in tomato cans, were intercepted by Australian Federal Police in 2008.

Barbaro was given a life term in February with a non-parole period of 30 years, but appealed against the severity of the sentence.

The appeal was rejected last month, and can be reported now because a non-publication order has been lifted.

Multiple authorities, including the Malaysian Military let Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappear-Really?


  This has dragged on, so very sad for the victims families, reading  stories left right and center.  I guess I can do my best by showing the current media view here in Australia, after the world zoned in on our country and the west coast, in Indian ocean. Not to say we or anyone has a lot to still answer for…VERY SAD STORY HERE. I will continue to update this no matter what the outcome or damage to any country

May 19, 2014
Pilot Described as Competent, Modest Professional 2:51

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://m.wsj.net/video/20140328/032714asiatodaypilot1/032714asiatodaypilot1_1280x720.jpg&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

Who is the captain behind the missing Malaysia Airlines plane? The WSJ’s Mark Magnier reveals a portrait of Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the man who piloted Flight 370.

A NUMBER of authorities, including the Malaysian military, reportedly let MH370 disappear, according to shocking new claims about the missing plane.

ABC’s Four Corner’s program quoted Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein as saying that Malaysia’s civil aviation authorities called the military asking them to keep an eye on the plane but that the military allowed the plane to glide out to sea.

The plane was deemed not to be hostile and therefore the military did not send a plane up to investigate.

“If (we didn’t) shoot it down, why send it (jet up),” Mr Hussein said.

Malaysia’s airspace as MH370 flew almost directly over the station located on the island of Penang but that it appeared nothing was done.

Anwar Ibrahim said the military had completely breached the standing operating procedures.

“The air force will be alerted and will have to then be flown to that area to either … guide the plane to land or to leave the Malaysian airspace. They’re standard operating procedure and this was never done,” he said.

“Yeah I mean it’s a major scandal here because … this is of course amounting to a major threat to national security.”

Happy family ... A screen capture from a You Tube tribute for Malaysian Airlines pilot Ca

Happy family … A screen capture from a You Tube tribute for Malaysian Airlines pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, posted by his family. 

MORE: Doubts raised over ‘ping’ validity

The program also addressed rumours that Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah’s wife had left him.

His brother-in-law, Asuad Khan, said claims that his sister Faizah had left Zaharie, taking their children with her to another house, in the hours prior to the ill-fated flight’s take off were “completely false.”

Mr Khan also denied that his 53-year-old brother-in-law was experiencing personal problems, had been upset about politics or that he was unfit to fly on March 8.

He said the veteran pilot’s marriage was not in trouble over a rumoured affair, saying that as a Muslim he was permitted to have multiple girlfriends outside his marriage.

Close family ... Ahmad Seth Zaharie, 26, with his sister Aishah Zaharie, 27, left,and mot

Close family … Ahmad Seth Zaharie, 26, with his sister Aishah Zaharie, 27, left, and mother Faizah Khanum Mustafa Khan

RELATED: Pilot’s family lash out at reporters

“Even I don’t believe it because she, she’s at home. Well the normal procedure for their … whenever the husband fly the wife will go to another house where the younger son’s staying. Otherwise she will be alone in that big house. That’s been practised since they bought the house.”

It was claimed Captain Zaharie had received a two-minute phone call shortly before takeoff from a mystery woman, using a mobile phone number obtained under a false name.

Family tribute for Captain Zaharie Shah 0:58

http://mashery.news.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/01bjE4bDqRd4t3HS6ol8K05drB7HLUN_/promo219297557&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

Family of missing Malaysian Airlines Captain Zaharie Shah from flight MH370 pay tribute to him.

Mr Khan defended his brother-in-law’s right to have a girlfriend.

“That I do not know about. Even if I know I said why not? We are allowed to, as long as you take good care of your wife. Even if you ask my sister and she said she don’t care,” he said.

“He can marry another one. Why not — we can marry four. We are Muslim.”

Technical experts in the US were also working to recover deleted information from a sophisticated flight simulator Zaharie had set up on a home computer.

But Mr Khan said the simulator had not been used this year.

“I don’t think so because the simulator is not working,” he said.

“That simulator was dismantled already, the things crash. It don’t work so he got to ah reformat the drive.”

Family ties ... Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and daughter Aishah Zaharie. Source: Facebook.

Family ties … Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah and daughter Aishah Zaharie

RELATED: Captain Zaharie’s daughter ‘was in Australia’

Mr Khan also said Zaharie had not attended the trial of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim that day, which some reports suggested proved he had been radicalised and had hijacked the plane in an act of terror.

“No. I ask my sister personally, even my sister herself informed him on what happened on that day,” he said.

The program also claimed that someone inside the cockpit began interfering with the in-flight entertainment system around the time MH370’s transponder was turned off or failed.

It also revealed that a team of up to five officers could or should have been on duty at the nearby radar operations centre at Butterworth air base looking for unidentified aircraft.

FOR THE LATEST OVERVIEW VIA WIKIPEDIA READ BELOW

(click on image to see full size or right click to download and save)

19-05-2014 11-34-14 PM

Luke Batty, 11, dies in horrific attack by his father, Greg Anderson at Tyabb cricket oval


UPDATE 14/02/14

Victoria’s Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay says police had been dealing with complaints against Anderson for at least a decade and there were five outstanding warrants for his arrest relating to domestic violence.

“We owe it to the community, we owe it to Luke, we owe it to Rosie to understand exactly what happened not only with police, but other services so the community can understand exactly what happened but I just hope that this may well be the next step to get so much better in the family violence space,”

 says police had been dealing with complaints against Anderson for at least a decade

says police had been dealing with complaints against Anderson for at least a decade

Killer dad Greg Anderson tormented family for years, faced arrest warrants and threatened to kill Luke’s mother

We can reveal that Greg Anderson should have been behind bars when he murdered his son.

Police failed to execute ­arrest warrants in the weeks leading up to Wednesday night’s horrific incident.

Anderson was a violent drifter who had tormented his ­estranged family for years.

The warrants were issued after he repeatedly failed to turn up at court on charges of assaulting Luke’s mum and threatening to kill her.

It is understood four separate warrants for his arrest were issued throughout January but police failed to apprehend him.

Victoria Police said that its investigations would look into “not only the events on the night, but also all relevant circumstances which preceded them”.

The force said it would not be commenting further.

On May 16, 2012, Anderson assaulted Rosie Batty by grabbing her by the hair, pushing her to the ground and kicking her before threatening her with a glass vase.

Ms Batty told police she feared her former partner suffered from some form of mental disorder.

Anderson was also arrested and charged after making threats to kill her on January 3 last year.

During the incident Anderson allegedly said to Ms Batty: “Right now I really want to kill you. I want to cut off your foot. I hope you have made a will.”

Anderson was arrested again by police on May 27 last year after attending his son’s football training.

Sources say Anderson, who was living in his unregistered car, had little to do with his son for years before re-entering his life and taking his mother through a long court battle.

Although known to Hastings and Frankston police, who felt sorry for Ms Batty, Anderson’s legal matters were ongoing so he didn’t have prior convictions at the time of his death.

Despite the incidents of domestic violence in the past two years, Anderson and Ms Batty had tried to work out ­access visits for Luke. In addition to the threats to kill and assault charges, Anderson was also facing a charge relating to accessing child porn.

He was arrested after viewing the porn at Emerald Hill Library on November 17, 2012.

Library staff noticed what he was looking at and raised the alarm. When Anderson was arrested he was found with a USB stick containing the child porn images.

Sources say Anderson had psychological issues but refused to be assessed or treated.

It is believed family had wanted Anderson to get counselling but he had refused.

Considering there were warrants out for Anderson’s arrest, questions have been raised as to whether he should have been allowed to have an access visit.

A man who shared a house with Anderson said he had to ask him to leave after being threatened with death.

The man, who did not want to be named, had lived with Anderson in Chelsea Heights since late last year but decided three weeks ago he had to go.

“We knew he had psychological problems but we found out recently how crazy he was,” the man said yesterday.

“He threatened to kill me. I had to take out an intervention order against him. I was meant to go

LUKE Batty was seen with his father after 6pm, when training finished, doing extra batting practice.

It is understood about 20 minutes later, the father was spotted bending over the motionless boy.

Police believe the child had been struck to the head with a cricket bat and attacked with a knife as he lay prone on the field. It was initially thought Luke may have suffered a sporting injury so ambulance officers were called. They were confronted by a bloodied, knife-wielding Mr Anderson.

Four police arrived soon after and were menaced by Mr Anderson, who reportedly asked to be shot as he advanced on them. Capsicum spray had no impact and, as he then closed on one policeman, that officer fired one shot to the chest, felling Mr Anderson.

Police then moved in and cleared the weapon away but Mr Anderson continued to struggle as paramedics tried to get him into an ambulance and off to hospital.

No car connected to the armed dad was found at the scene, leading police to believe he may have caught the train from Chelsea Heights to Tyabb. A premeditated suicide-by-cop scenario is one element of the probe into the tragedy.

The father made no attempt to leave the scene after the attack on his son and continued to advance on police as the risk of being shot escalated.

Police Association Secretary Greg Davies said there was then no option but to fire.

“There’s every likelihood this is suicide-by-cop. You’ve got a knife and they’ve all got firearms,” Sen-Sgt Davies said.

“It’s a police officer’s worst nightmare to see a young tacker apparently murdered by a man who turns out to be his father, who then advances on you with a knife. They (police) appear to have done everything possible to avoid this outcome.”

Veteran police were shocked at the brutality, one comparing it with the actions of child-killers Robert Farquharson and Arthur Freeman. “This is horrific and it’s in front of other kids,” one officer said.

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
May 2012: Anderson unlawfully assaults Rosemary Batty at her home in Tyabb by grabbing her hair, pushing her to the ground and kicking her before threatening her with a glass vase. Later charged.

November 2012: Caught by staff at Emerald Hill library viewing child porn on a public computer. Charged by police with viewing child porn and two months later possessing child porn when officers find him with a USB stick containing the images.

January 2013: Anderson again attends Ms Batty’s home and allegedly threatens to kill her. Arrested later that day and charged.

April 2013: Fails to appear in accordance with his bail conditions at Frankston Magistrates’ Court.

January 2014: Warrants are issued for Anderson’s arrest after repeated failures to attend his court dates.

What a tragic awful crime, committed in front of kids and families who just finished cricket training. It must have been so hard for paramedics trying to save this cowards life after he had just murdered his own son in cold blood. My heart goes out to the mum who was also there and witnessed it…

WHY does this happen?

UPDATE 5.30 pm 13/02/14

Rosie Batty in ‘disbelief’ after son Luke killed on cricket oval by father Greg, who had history of mental illness

By Monique Ross

The mother of an 11-year-old boy killed by his father at a cricket ground in Victoria has spoken of her shock, and revealed her estranged partner had a history of mental illness and was the subject of an apprehended violence order (AVO).

Luke Batty with his mother Rosie

Luke Batty with his mother Rosie

Luke Batty was killed in front of horrified onlookers after a cricket training session at the oval in the small town of Tyabb, south-east of Melbourne, on Wednesday evening.

His 54-year-old father Greg was shot by police at the scene and died in hospital early this morning.

Luke’s mother Rosie Batty was at the cricket ground when the tragedy unfolded, after her son asked for “a few more minutes” with his father.

This afternoon she described her “shock” and “disbelief” and told reporters her estranged partner Greg was a man who loved his son but had suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness for two decades.

“Luke was nearly as tall as me. He was sensitive. He enjoyed his footy, he enjoyed his cricket,” she said.

Luke was nearly as tall as me. He was effervescent, he was funny. He wasn’t the best scholar but he was intelligent.

“He was effervescent, he was funny. He wasn’t the best scholar but he was intelligent. He enjoyed his school.”

She says Luke loved his father and “felt pain” because he knew he was struggling.

“He was a little boy in a growing body that felt pain and sadness and fear for his mum, and he always believed he would be safe with his dad,” she said.

“[I told him] ‘you’ll always love your dad. You won’t always like what they do or say, but you’ll always love your dad, and he’ll always love you’.”

Father had long history of mental illness

Ms Batty says she had known Greg for 20 years, and over that time his mental health deteriorated.

“[He went] from someone who brushed off losing a job to someone that was unemployable,” she said.

“He was in a homelessness situation for many years. His life was failing. Everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life.”

She says Greg had been offered help, but he failed to accept it, instead choosing to “believe he was OK”.

She had an AVO against Greg, but says he loved Luke and there were no signs he would ever hurt their son.

No-one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No-one loved Luke more than me. We both loved him.

“You’re dealing with someone who’s always had problems, and they start out small and over the years they get bigger, but he’s still the father,” she said.

“He loved his son. Everyone that’s involved with children would know that whatever action they take is not because they don’t love them.

“No-one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No-one loved Luke more than me. We both loved him.”

She says people thought she was the one at risk, and some had urged her to return to her home country.

“Doctors, psychologists, everyone said to me, why don’t you go back to England and live there? But Luke wanted to be here,” she said.

“His school was here, his friends were here. And I had decided that was the right choice.”

‘Family violence happens to everybody’

Ms Batty says if there is a silver lining to be found in the tragedy, it will be increased awareness about the issue of family violence.

“I want to tell people that family violence happens to [anybody], no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are,” she said.

“When you’re involved with family violence, friends, family judge you, the woman. The decisions you should make, the decisions you don’t make.

I want to tell people that family violence happens to [anybody], no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are.

“You’re the victim, but you become the person that people condemn.

“The people here reading this will say ‘why didn’t she protect him, why didn’t she make certain decisions’.

“But when you actually finally decide enough is enough, and decide to go through a court process, you do not know what the outcome will be.

‘What I want people to take from this is that it isn’t simple. People judge you, people tell you what you should do. You do the best you can.”

She says she does not regret allowing Greg to have a relationship with his son despite the problems, as her “guiding star” was ensuring Luke knew he was loved by both of his parents.

Mother first thought it was an accident

Ms Batty says her son died after what was “just a normal cricket practice”.

“Most of the kids and parents had gone. Luke came to me and said, ‘could I have a few more minutes with my dad’ because he doesn’t see him very often and I said, ‘sure, OK’,” she said.

“There was no reason to be concerned. I thought it was in an open environment.”

She says when she realised something was wrong, she thought an accident had happened and tried to call an ambulance.

“I tried to ring but couldn’t ring because I was too stressed. I looked for help and I ran towards help, screaming ‘get an ambulance, this is really bad’,” she said.

“I thought Greg had accidentally hurt him from a bowling accident … and that Greg’s anguish was because he had hurt Luke accidentally.

“I was screaming, I was inconsolable.”

Paramedics called to the sports ground on Frankston-Flinders Road treated the boy but were unable to revive him.

Police are refusing to give more details of the incident, but some witnesses say a cricket bat was used.

Ms Batty says it was only later that she realised that what happened to Luke was not an accident.

“What I saw that I thought was Greg comforting Luke and helping him with what I thought was an accident, wasn’t necessarily what I saw,” she said.

“The full extent of what happened I don’t want anyone, other than the [coroner], to know.

“Luke was killed by his father. No-one else including myself needs to know the details of what he actually did.”

‘Police acted the way they needed to act’

Homicide detectives have spoken to several children who saw Luke die and then watched as police then shot his father.

Officers say they shot the man in the chest after he threatened them with a knife. Police say they tried to subdue him with capsicum spray but that did not work.

Greg, from Chelsea Heights, was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, where he died about 1:30am.

Ms Batty says police did not do anything wrong.

“The police acted the way they needed to act. In the past Greg has been confrontational and difficult,” she said.

“The police had no other option.”

She says Greg had not violated terms of the AVO by attending the event.

“It was allowed from the intervention order. It was a public place, I believed he was safe,” she said.

“It was just a little cricket practice. There was people there, I believed he was safe.”

Ms Batty says she is grateful for the support of loved ones, and will soon be joined by family who are travelling to Australia from England.

February 13, 2014 12:02PM

EMOTIONAL friends have paid tribute online to an 11-year-old boy who was stabbed to death on the Mornington Peninsula last night.

Luke Batty was horrifically killed by his father during cricket training at Tyabb Cricket Ground about 6.30pm yesterday.

Paramedics frantically tried to revive the Grade 6 student, but he died at the scene from head injuries.

Tributes to the slain boy began pouring in on social media last night, with one Facebook page attracting nearly 6,000 members by 9am.

Carol Bennett said she was “so sorry that you were taken so early in your life and in such a horrific way.”

Tahila Williams wrote: “It’s sad to see such a young boy have his life taken away from him when he had done nothing wrong.”

Yvette Wagg said: “Very sad and shocked to hear this devastating news… Condolences to all”.

After the attack four police officers tried to subdue his knife-wielding father with capsicum spray before shooting him in the chest, witnesses said.

The Chelsea Heights man, 54, was taken to The Alfred hospital where he died about 1.30am, Victoria Police spokeswoman Natalie Webster said.

“I can confirm that the male that the police shot was the father of the deceased boy,” Commander Doug Fryer said last night.

The boy’s mother was at the ground.

“We’ve had an absolute tragedy here tonight,” Commander Fryer said from the scene.

“It’s a horrific scene.”

Speaking this morning, Commander Fryer said it had been a “shocking time” for the boy’s family, the witnesses at the scene and the officers involved.

“Our members were confronted by an incident that thankfully, it’s very rare when it happens, but when it does, they put their training into practice,” Commander Fryer told 3AW.

“They used an option that they thought appropriate and unfortunately we’ve now got two people dead.”

Commander Fryer said the boy’s mother, who was estranged from his father, was “in close proximity to where this happened”.

“I don’t know how a mother gets past losing her son in these sorts of ways,” he said.

Children were at the ground for cricket training and Commander Fryer said police wanted to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident.

“We spoke to a lot of people last night,” he said.

“Because cricket practice had just finished, we think there were probably kids down there and parents down there that may have seen something who we haven’t yet spoken to.

Luke’s classmates were told of his tragic death this morning when they arrived at Flinders Christian Community College in Tyabb.

The flag was flying at half-mast as parents, students and teachers rallied around each other.

Luke was remembered as a popular, happy child who loved life and enjoyed his sport at an emotional school meeting this morning.

Executive principal Jill Healey said the death of the popular Year 6 student was “an absolute shock and a tragedy”.

“There were lots of tears this morning,” she said.

She said the school community was coping as well as could be expected, and that counselling had been arranged for all those affected by Luke’s death.

Luke’s friends plan to hold a vigil for the 11-year-old at the cricket oval where he was killed.

The small community is reeling from the horrible crime and friends have already begun to bring flowers.

Taylor Cuthbertson, 15, said a friend of hers was a witness to the horrible scenes.

“He was just crying when he was telling me what happened.

“It’s so horrible.”

Emergency services were called to the oval on Frankston-Flinders Rd in Tyabb about 6.30pm yesterday following the vicious attack.

Witnesses said when officers from Mornington police station arrived, the father turned on them with a knife, forcing them to shoot him.

The man was flown to The Alfred hospital, where he later died.

The incident shocked the local community, with one resident describing it as “bloody horrific”.

Tyabb Cricket Club officials would not comment about the incident last night, saying it was “too raw”.

But the club’s junior cricket co-ordinator, Ron Dyall, said the boy — in grade 6 at Flinders Christian Community College — had played for the club for two or three years and was also an avid footballer.

Mr Dyall said he was devastated by what had happened.

“As his coach, I knew him pretty well,” he said.

“My own son plays in his team. I’m trying to figure out how to break it to him, and how we’re gonna deal with the kids.”

Local Wayne Murray, 64, said he heard what he thought was fireworks about the time of the shooting.

He said “a shiver (ran) down my spine” when he learned the sounds were gunshots.

“I heard a couple of pop pops,” he said.

“It didn’t sound unusually loud. I’ve never seen anything like this. It doesn’t happen here.”

Melissa, 37, who did not wish to give her surname, said her father had also heard gunshots.

“We heard helicopters going over the oval,” she said. “I have an 11-year-old. I was nearly in tears when I heard.”

Commander Fryer said four local officers were confronted by the knife-wielding man when they arrived about 6.40pm.

“They’ve attempted to use less than lethal force (OC foam). They’ve attempted to talk him down. That has been unsuccessful,” he said.

“They have then discharged a firearm, hitting that male once in the chest.”

Commander Fryer said police were still working to ­determine what caused the local boy’s death.

He could not confirm reports the boy was being beaten by his father with a cricket bat when police ­arrived, but said he suffered “significant injuries”.