Daniel Morcombe murder trial jury -guilty all charges


GUILTY ALL CHARGES-WHAT A RELIEF AND WHAT A BASTARD-CAN NOW BE REVEALED HE IS WAS A SERIAL SEX OFFENDER

Brett Peter Cowan found GUILTY murdering schoolboy Daniel Morcombe in 2003

Brett Peter Cowan found GUILTY murdering schoolboy Daniel Morcombe in 2003

At a 2011 coronial inquest into Daniel’s disappearance, Cowan admitted he had been abusing children since he was a child of nine or 10 years old himself.

By the time he was 18, he had preyed on up to 30 children.

Many of them were targeted at a local swimming pool in fleeting encounters in order to avoid detection.

His first conviction for child sexual offences was for an attack on a seven-year-old boy in Queensland in 1987.

While performing community service at a playground, he took the boy into the public toilets and molested him.

After two years on the run, he was arrested and sentenced in 1989 to two years in jail for indecent dealing.

Four years later, while living at a caravan park in Darwin, Cowan attacked again.

A six-year-old boy was looking for his sister, but when he approached Cowan, Cowan took him into bushland and molested him so violently the victim suffered a punctured lung from choking.

Cowan left the boy to die in an old car, before the child staggered into a service station naked, dazed and bleeding.

Cowan initially denied any involvement, at one stage telling detectives: “I hope you catch the bastard.”

He confessed only after police told him they had found DNA evidence.

In late September 1993, Cowan pleaded guilty to gross indecency, grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty, and was sentenced to seven years in jail.

When he was released on parole in 1998, Cowan moved to the Sunshine Coast to live with relatives and became involved in the Christian Outreach Church, through which he met his former wife.

The pair married in 1999, and by December 2003 they were living in Beerwah with their baby son, but Cowan had cut ties with the church and the marriage was strained.

On December 7, 2003, Cowan spotted his next victim on the side of the Nambour Connection Road waiting for a bus.

He was a fresh faced boy called Daniel and he was wearing a red shirt.

Cowan once looked into the eyes of Daniel’s parents, Bruce and Denise, and said: “I had nothing to do with Daniel’s disappearance, nothing at all.”

He told the brazen lie while giving evidence at a coronial inquest into the teenager’s disappearance in March 2011.

The guilty verdicts bring to an end the biggest police investigation in Queensland’s history and Australia’s biggest missing person’s case.

The jury in the murder trial of the man accused of killing Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe has retired to consider its verdicts.

Daniel Morcombe Discussion Page here

Daniel Morcombe in the T shirt he was wearing when went missing.

Daniel Morcombe in the T shirt he was wearing when went missing.

Daniel was abducted and murdered on the Sunshine Coast in 2003 and his remains were found in nearby bushland in 2011. previous posts and daily coverage of trial here

Brett Peter Cowan, also known as Shaddo N-Unyah Hunter, has pleaded not guilty to murder, indecent treatment of a child, and interfering with a corpse.

Brett Peter Cowan is accused of murdering schoolboy Daniel Morcombe in 2003.

Brett Peter Cowan is accused of murdering schoolboy Daniel Morcombe in 2003.

Update 13/03/14

JURORS deciding the fate of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe’s accused killer are deliberating for a second day.

The six men and six women on the Supreme Court jury retired at lunchtime on Wednesday to consider their verdict in the trial of Brett Peter Cowan.

They left the Brisbane courtroom after Justice Roslyn Atkinson told them they may consider a manslaughter verdict.

They deliberated for three and a quarter hours on Wednesday before the court was adjourned for the day.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson began proceedings this morning delving into the undercover police operation.

She told jurors they cannot use against Cowan his right to remain silent when he was arrested.

Justice Atkinson told the jury it had been a long trial with a lot of evidence.

She said jurors could check any facts of the case while considering their verdicts.

Justice Atkinson has provided jurors with a question trail to help them reach verdicts.

Earlier this week, prosecution and defence lawyers gave their final submissions.

In the past four weeks, more than 100 witnesses have given evidence at the trial.

The court heard police found the schoolboy’s remains at an old macadamia farm at Beerwah in 2011.

Seventeen bone fragments were found after one of the largest searches undertaken by police and State Emergency Service volunteers.

Defence lawyer Angus Edwards said there was no proof Cowan killed Daniel and the alleged confessions recorded by undercover police were made up.

Mr Edwards said it was more likely convicted child rapist Douglas Jackway killed the schoolboy.

“For a fellow like him to be driving down that stretch of road past Daniel Morcombe would have been like a snake going past a wounded mouse,” Mr Edwards said.

“He stalked, abducted and killed Daniel Morcombe, and if you accept that, all the other evidence in this trial will fall into place.”

He said Jackway’s sexual assault of a boy in 1995 had striking similarities to Daniel’s case.

He owned a blue car, and a blue car was seen by witnesses circling and stalking the teenager as he waited for a bus, Mr Edwards said.

The car “wasn’t always in the same position. It was stalking Daniel Morcombe”, he said.

The inevitable conclusion, Mr Edwards said, was that Jackway was involved in Daniel’s abduction.

He said although there was no direct evidence of the convicted paedophile’s involvement, the jury should draw inferences.

But prosecutors said that scenario was a red herring and Cowan’s confessions were truthful because of their detailed nature and gravity.

Crown prosecutor Michael Byrne said Cowan alone led police to Daniel’s remains and his confessions were not forced.

Mr Byrne said despite Jackway’s horrendous crimes, he was a “cheap target” and there was no evidence he was on the Sunshine Coast that day.

Justice Atkinson told the jury yesterday to put out of their minds anything they have seen, heard or read about the trial outside of the courtroom.

“The evidence is what you’ve heard in this court and not recollections of what you might have read in the newspaper or seen on television or heard on the radio at some time during the past or even during the trial,” she said.

“You should dismiss all feelings of sympathy or prejudice against the defendant or anyone else.

“Nor should you allow public opinion to sway you, you must approach your duty dispassionately.”

A Look back at the key developments in the murder case of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe.

December 7, 2003:

Daniel Morcombe, 13, vanishes while waiting for a bus under the Kiel Mountain Road overpass on Nambour Connection Road at Woombye on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. He was on his way to go Christmas shopping when he disappeared.

December 7, 2004:

About 1,000 people attend a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of Daniel Morcombe’s disappearance. A special plaque is also unveiled at the site.

October 4, 2004:

A $250,000 reward is posted by the Queensland Government for information leading to an arrest or conviction.

February, 2005:

Parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe launch the Daniel Morcombe Foundation to continue their message on child safety.

December 1, 2008:

A record $1 million private reward is offered for new information about the disappearance.

April, 2010:

The State Coroner receives an extensive investigation report, containing thousands of pages, from police regarding the suspected death.

October 13, 2010:

A coronial inquest led by State Coroner Michael Barnes begins. The inquest is held in Maroochydore and Brisbane. It adjourns on April 6, 2011.

August 13, 2011:

Brett Peter Cowan, 41, is arrested and charged. Police and State Emergency Service volunteers search bushland in the Sunshine Coast hinterland as part of the investigation. Over the next two months, a pair of shoes and human bones are discovered. DNA results confirm they belong to Daniel Morcombe.

November 26, 2012:

Cowan’s committal hearing begins in the Brisbane Magistrates Court.

December 7, 2012:

A funeral is held for Daniel Morcombe at St Catherine of Siena Church at Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast, nine years to the day since he disappeared. He was laid to rest at Woombye Cemetery.

February 7, 2013:

Cowan ordered to stand trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland. He is charged with murder, indecent treatment of a child and interfering with a corpse.

February 10, 2014:

Cowan’s trial begins. It is expected to take six weeks. A pool of about 100 potential witnesses may be called to give evidence.

Brett Cowan, portrait of a monster

March 13, 2014 – 2:31PM

The little boy was looking for his sister. He was six and dressed only in a pair of underpants as he wandered alone through the BP Palms Caravan Park on the Stuart Highway on the outskirts of Darwin.

The little boy lived in the caravan park with his family. Brett Peter Cowan lived in a neighbouring van.

Around dusk on a Thursday night in September 1993, Brett Cowan, then aged 24, approached the boy and asked him if he wanted to go for a walk to see an old car wreck abandoned in the bush not so far away.

The pair left the trailer park, climbed through a hole in a wire fence and walked along a scrubby bush track. When the little boy asked Cowan how far it was to the wreck, the young man swung him up on to his shoulders for the final 200 metres.

Cowan then lay the boy on the upturned rust bucket, pulled the boy’s underpants down and dropped his own shorts.

About an hour later, the boy, naked and filthy now, stumbled through the dark back into the BP Palms service area. Northern Territory Supreme Court documents reveal he was dazed and distressed.

In intensive care at Royal Darwin Hospital the extent of his injuries became apparent. A collapsed and punctured left lung, haemorrhaged eyes, a bloodied nose, abrasions across his face, a deep cut in his scrotum area.

A doctor said the boy’s “combination of injuries was consistent with his having sustained a complex series of injuries involving an asphyxial element, blunt force injury, sharp force injury and anal penetration”. The boy’s wounds were heavily contaminated with carbon-containing material, “consistent with contact with a heavily ashed bushfire area”.

After initially denying any involvement, Brett Peter Cowan made a full confession. He told police that he needed help.

But just how much help did he get? It’s a question that many will be asking about the 44-year-old, who on Thursday was found guilty in Brisbane’s Supreme Court of murdering 13-year-old Daniel Morcombe on the Sunshine Coast on December 7, 2003.

In Queensland’s highest-profile criminal case ever, Cowan, the father of three young boys, now awaits Justice Roslyn Atkinson’s sentencing decision.

It might be little consolation to Daniel’s heartbroken and weary parents, Bruce and Denise Morcombe, that Cowan denies molesting their son. “I never got to molest him or anything like that; he panicked and I panicked and grabbed him around the throat and just before I knew it, he was dead,” Cowan confessed to an undercover police officer in Perth in August 2011.

“I was starting to pull his pants down … and he said, ‘oh no’, and he started to struggle..” Cowan told the officer. In a later conversation, he said, “… if I didn’t panic I could’ve been there for an hour doing stuff.”

Whatever jail term Justice Atkinson settles on, it will be Cowan’s third for crimes against boys. He was sentenced to two years’ jail in 1989 after indecently dealing with a seven-year-old boy. Cowan was 18 when he took the boy into a public toilet in Brisbane and molested him.

In June 1994, he was sentenced to seven years’ jail for his crimes against the little boy in Darwin. But by 1998, only four years later, Cowan was out of jail and living in the Sunshine Coast community of Bli Bli with his aunt and uncle who were pastors at the Suncoast Christian Church (formerly the Christian Outreach Centre).

It was to be a new start for the convicted paedophile and small-time drug dealer, a 190cm-tall man with a goatee, two silver earrings, a tattoo of a clown on his shoulder and two upper-arm tattoos –  one of a skull holding a smoking gun with skeletal fingers, the other of a skull in a top hat.

At one point Cowan was going to church three times a weekend. He met a girl through church and, in September 1999, after a church wedding ceremony, they celebrated at a reception at the Big Pineapple, a remnant of gaudy 1970s tourism on the Nambour Connection Road.

The couple started their life together in Beerwah, an old sugarcane town spliced by Steve Irwin Way and with a view of the jagged Glasshouse Mountains. Cowan smoked pot and did a bit of this, a bit of that — odd jobs, tow-truck driving, industrial spray-painting — until someone hooked him up with local businessman Trevor Davis. “I thought quite a lot of Brett,” says Mr Davis, who owns a sandblasting business.

By all accounts, Cowan had a disciplined upbringing. “He was an army brat,” says Mr Davis of his former employee, who was born in Bunbury, Western Australia, in September 1969. He and his three brothers spent much of their childhood in Brisbane’s Everton Park. Cowan’s father, Peter, retired from the Army having achieved the rank of major.

Mr Davis says Brett Cowan was intelligent and hard-working, “an open and friendly chap” who got on with customers and “never forgot anything I taught him”.

Mr Davis was so impressed by his employee that he bought a second sandblasting business with the intention that Cowan could run it independently. “I figured that I could front him into it,” says Mr Davis.

Tracey Lee Moncrieff gave birth to the couple’s first child, a little boy, in mid 2003, about six months before Bruce and Denise Morcombe’s little boy vanished from a bus stop under an overpass at Woombye on the Nambour Connection Road.

Police quickly identified Cowan as a person of interest in their investigation. Cowan was interviewed and, just before Christmas, his white Pajero was carted off to Nambour police station where it was scoured it for evidence. Nothing was found.

Cowan denied having anything to do with the case. He would later officially change his name in a vain attempt to avoid further scrutiny. His new name was “Shaddo N-unyah Hunter” — “Shaddo” because it was his dog’s name and his dog followed him around like a shadow. When undercover police asked what “N-unyah” was all about, he replied “Nunyah business”.

In 2004, Moncrieff gave birth to his second son but the marriage was soon over. At some point Cowan’s spiritual observance had come to an end too.  “Something was preached over the pulpit that I didn’t agree with and (I) went and spoke with the pastor about it and he wouldn’t change his mind so…” he would later tell police.

“He just didn’t appear at a job site one day and that was the last I saw of him,” says Trevor Davis. “He just did a bunk.”

The Darwin judge who sentenced Cowan after his sex attack on the six-year-old boy described Cowan as a “pathological liar and a person who is prepared to steal even from his own parents”. He had lived a “parasitic existence, relying on social security and his parents”, the judge said, listing offences including stealing, break and enter and unlawful use of motor vehicles.

After he left Moncrieff, Cowan seems to have resumed that behaviour, drifting through a drug-hazed underclass, from what he described as “Nam-boring”, to Moranbah in north Queensland and then, by the time of the Nerang interview in 2005, to Uki in the Tweed Valley.

In 2008 he was living with 18-year-old Leticha Anne Harvey in Durack, Ipswich. By December 2009 she’d given birth to their son and they were living in a caravan park on Bribie Island in Moreton Bay off Brisbane. Cowan would later tell undercover police that he’d lost access to his two oldest children and that his brother and his wife had custody of his youngest son.

By March 2011 when Cowan was called to give evidence at the inquest into Daniel Morcombe’s disappearance, he was living in yet another caravan park — this time in Perth with another woman, also called “Tracey”, a woman he described as “a friend with benefits”, and his pet “birdie”, a “twenty-eight” or Australian ring-neck parrot.

At the inquest in the Brisbane Coroners Court, Cowan was Dubbed “P7”, “Person of Interest 7”. He had been bullied at school, Cowan told the court, and came to struggle with his bisexuality.

He admitted to smoking “cones” of marijuana in his hotel room each morning he was required to give evidence.

He admitted something else as he tried to convince the inquest he wasn’t involved in Daniel’s disappearance. “I wasn’t interested in teenage boys. I was interested in six, seven and eight-year-old boys.”

On April 1, excused from the inquest, Cowan caught a flight back to Perth. On the plane, he sat next to a bloke who introduced himself as Joe Emery. They got chatting and swapped numbers. “Joe Emery” was the false name of an undercover police officer. One of the most extraordinary undercover police investigations in Australia’s history had begun.

About these ads

Liam Humbles who shot dead Lewis McPherson jailed for at least 24 years


This is the gutless little punk who has finally been sentenced for the cold-blooded murder of Lewis McPherson. AS in most South Australian crimes, the system protects the perp not the victim. Watch his arrest video, but DO NOT feel any sympathy for this drug and booze infested gutter rat. He has shown NO remorse or in fact anything towards his victim since it happened. he bragged he was going to kill the other 2 mates Lewis was with, James and Liam walking along a street to a party the night of the murder. I commend those buddies for fronting up to the trial and eyeing this little mongrel in the eye.

Video of his arrest

THE drunk, drugged and gun-wielding teen who took the life of Lewis McPherson on New Year’s Eve 2012 will spend at least 24 years behind bars and can today be named for the first time.

The SA Supreme Court has released police footage of the youth who shot dead Lewis McPherson on New Years Eve in 2012.

The SA Supreme Court has released police footage of the youth who shot dead Lewis McPherson on New Years Eve in 2012.

A Supreme Court gallery packed with Mr McPherson’s friends and family today gasped with relief and embraced as Liam Patrick Humbles was sentenced for his crime.

Humbles’ mother, meanwhile, erupted into howls of grief and had to be comforted by her husband as her son was led into the cell to begin his penalty.

In sentencing, Justice Michael David said there was nothing that could validly explain Humbles’ decision to carry a loaded .22 calibre handgun on his person the night he killed Mr McPherson and shot at his two friends.

“It was put to me … that your reason for possessing a firearm was that you had it for protection against bullying — such a reason does not bear close scrutiny,” Justice David said.

“The concept that a young person might think they have to carry a weapon with them for self-protection is appalling, frightening, and has no place in our society.”

He said a psychological report showed Humbles had demonstrated little remorse and only slight insight into the impact of his offending on his family, Mr McPherson’s family and the community.

He jailed Humbles for life with a non-parole period of 24 years and two months, including the 14 months he has already spent in custody.

Justice David said Humbles had shown no contrition for the senseless murder and was still struggling to fully accept responsibility or recognise the catastrophic consequences of the shooting.

Humbles was grossly affected by alcohol and drugs and told his lawyers he had no memory of the shooting.

Justice David said that after shooting at Mr McPherson and his friends, Humbles also fired a shot at a passing car.

“This was an appalling, wanton crime. Disastrous as it was, it could have been even worse and three, perhaps four people could have been killed that evening,” he said.

“I found in my reasons for judgement that you intended to kill them all.”

Justice David ordered that Humbles, now aged 19, be transferred at his own request to an adult prison as soon as possible to complete his hefty sentence.

He further ordered the long-standing, statutory suppression order on Humbles’ identity be lifted, allowing MEDIA to name the killer and show the police video of his arrest.

Humbles will be eligible for parole in March, 2037, when he will be 42 years old.

He was found guilty of murdering Mr McPherson and attempting to murder his best friends, James Lamont and Liam Trewartha .

He shot at the trio with a .22 calibre pistol on New Year’s Eve, 2012, in the suburb of Warradale as they were walking to a party.

Humbles — a drug-using, binge-drinking, cannabis-selling couch-surfer — had himself attended a different party that night, and was upset about an argument that had occurred there .

In harrowing testimony during the trial, Mr Lamont and Mr Trewatha recalled trying to keep their “best friend until the end” alive after the shooting .

They had to flee when the teen returned and stood over Mr McPherson, saying “if you don’t stop being dead, I’ll make you really dead”.

Mr Lamont later gave a passionate victim impact statement, telling the killer Mr McPherson had “never judged” him and believed he would “some day be good to this earth” .

Last week, The Advertiser exclusively revealed the man who allegedly provided Humbles with the murder weapon is facing firearms and drugs charges .

Outside court, Mr McPherson’s father Mark repeated his calls for mandatory jail terms for firearms offences.

“There is no place for guns in our society, and those who have them aren’t going to do any good with them,” he said.

“There should be mandatory sentencing — if you have a gun, you’re going to jail.”

He said he felt justice “had been done” even though no sentence “is ever enough” to compensate for the loss of a son.

“It’s certainly more than we expected,” he said.

“I feel for her (the killer’s mother) but not for him … I will never forgive him.

“His lack of contrition is disturbing and hurtful … I just don’t know what goes on in his head.”

Mark McPherson said he was concerned that Humbles would emerge from the adult prison system as a more dangerous person.

“But what else do you do with him?” he asked.

“I hope that he does get the sort of programs and education he needs to come out as a productive member of society.”

He acknowledged Mr McPherson would likely wish the killer the best for his rehabilitation, but said he could not share that feeling.

“Lewis only hoped for good for everybody, that’s just the sort of person he was,” he said.

“He would probably be the first to say ‘I hope it works out for him (the killer)’.”

Mr McPherson’s mother, Kim, declined to comment outside court.

Murderer Liam Humbles in a photo from his Facebook page.

Murderer Liam Humbles in a photo from his Facebook page.

SA murder victim Lewis McPherson, centre, with best friends James Lamong (left) and Liam Trewartha (right).

SA murder victim Lewis McPherson, centre, with best friends James Lamong (left) and Liam Trewartha (right).

The .22 calibre handgun used to murder Lewis McPherson

The .22 calibre handgun used to murder Lewis McPherson

The SA Supreme Court has released police footage of the youth who shot dead Lewis McPherson on New Years Eve in 2012.

The SA Supreme Court has released police footage of the youth who shot dead Lewis McPherson on New Years Eve in 2012.

Brett Cowan-VIDEO and TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO


All previous  posts, including round up of  every day of trial press here

TRANSCRIPT and VIDEO OF THE CONFESSION VIDEO

press read more to read transcript

Continue reading

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”.

 

 

 

Family of Bevan Meninga murder victim Cheree Richardson dreading imminent parole


This case is one of disgusting sick depraved torture and murder in my view, the case is so sad to read and this mongrel is getting out on parole. No one the family are scared. Bevan is the brother of famous Rugby league legend and coach Mal Meninga (an ex cop) some say he has had some influence on the case, who knows…

But big generous Mal, has offered for the crim to stay with him, can you imagine the freedom he would have with Mal away constantly coaching football etc? What a bloody joke that is, and reflects poorly on Mal being an ex cop, to think he is able to properly supervise and guide (grrrrrrrrr) his animal of a brother on parole.

FLASHBACK The Daily, August 7, 1992

FLASHBACK The Daily, August 7, 1992

Kay Dibben
The Courier-Mail
February 12, 2014

THE parents of Sunshine Coast murder victim Cheree Richardson are dreading the imminent release from jail of her killer, Mal Meninga’s brother Bevan Meninga.

Family of Bevan Meninga murder victim Cheree Richardson dreading imminent parole  Kay Dibben  The Courier-Mail  February 12, 2014  THE parents of Sunshine Coast murder victim Cheree Richardson are dreading the imminent release from jail of her killer, Mal Meninga’s brother Bevan Meninga.  Bevan Meninga, 42, who has served 21 years behind bars, could be out of jail within weeks on conditional parole. Meninga brother set to walk free  Famous brother made prison life hell  Meninga’s parole bid for brother It is understood a condition of his parole will be that he not live on the Sunshine Coast, where Cheree was killed, which means he cannot live with his mother as he had planned. Mal Meninga, who also offered his brother a home with his family in Brisbane, said yesterday his brother would be living with a sponsor outside his household. “But we’ll be there providing support for him, and we’ll visit him on a regular basis to ensure that he’s happy, he’s being looked after, he’s cared for,’’ he said. Meninga said the family would help his brother reintegrate into the community. “It’s really important the Meninga family get behind him,’’ Meninga said. Bevan Meninga murdered Richardson in 1991 by hitting her with a tree branch, later claiming he had been intoxicated at the time. Mal Meninga said yesterday his brother was extremely remorseful for what he had done and had “a lot of empathy for the victim and her family’’. Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group general manager Ross Thompson said Cheree’s parents Helen and John Richardson were dreading Bevan Meninga’s release. He said they did not want him back on the Sunshine Coast. “It’s where it all happened,’’ Mr Thompson said. “Now he is about to be out on parole it brings it all back to the family, it makes them feel very insecure, regardless of where he will live. “This takes them back to the very first days it happened.’’ Bevan Meninga took the Queensland Parole Board to the Supreme Court last month to force it to make a decision on his parole application, after waiting more than a year. The board has not yet approved his parole because conditions, including where he will live, are still being finalised. Conditions against his use of alcohol and illicit drugs also are expected, as psychiatrists and the board have expressed concern about the risk of him returning to substance abuse. Both Mal Meninga’s home and that of their mother were assessed for suitability for Bevan Meninga by probation and parole officers. On January 29 the board wrote to Meninga saying he might pose “an unacceptably high level of risk if released from custody at this stage’’, but invited him to make submissions.

Family of Bevan Meninga murder victim Cheree Richardson dreading imminent parole 

Bevan Meninga, 42, who has served 21 years behind bars, could be out of jail within weeks on conditional parole.

Meninga brother set to walk free

Famous brother made prison life hell

Meninga’s parole bid for brother

It is understood a condition of his parole will be that he not live on the Sunshine Coast, where Cheree was killed, which means he cannot live with his mother as he had planned.

Mal Meninga, who also offered his brother a home with his family in Brisbane, said yesterday his brother would be living with a sponsor outside his household

Queensland Origin coach Mal Meninga has offered to have his brother live with him if paroled.

Queensland Origin coach Mal Meninga has offered to have his brother live with him if paroled.

“But we’ll be there providing support for him, and we’ll visit him on a regular basis to ensure that he’s happy, he’s being looked after, he’s cared for,’’ he said.

Meninga said the family would help his brother reintegrate into the community.

“It’s really important the Meninga family get behind him,’’ Meninga said.

Bevan Meninga murdered Richardson in 1991 by hitting her with a tree branch, later claiming he had been intoxicated at the time.

He not only hit her with the tree branch, the sick bastard, use you imagination folks…sick

Mal Meninga said yesterday his brother was extremely remorseful for what he had done and had “a lot of empathy for the victim and her family’’.

Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group general manager Ross Thompson said Cheree’s parents Helen and John Richardson were dreading Bevan Meninga’s release. He said they did not want him back on the Sunshine Coast.

“It’s where it all happened,’’ Mr Thompson said.

“Now he is about to be out on parole it brings it all back to the family, it makes them feel very insecure, regardless of where he will live.

“This takes them back to the very first days it happened.’’

Bevan Meninga took the Queensland Parole Board to the Supreme Court last month to force it to make a decision on his parole application, after waiting more than a year.

The board has not yet approved his parole because conditions, including where he will live, are still being finalised.

Conditions against his use of alcohol and illicit drugs also are expected, as psychiatrists and the board have expressed concern about the risk of him returning to substance abuse.

Both Mal Meninga’s home and that of their mother were assessed for suitability for Bevan Meninga by probation and parole officers.

On January 29 the board wrote to Meninga saying he might pose “an unacceptably high level of risk if released from custody at this stage’’, but invited him to make submissions.

Mal Meninga in parole bid for brother Bevan, serving time for murder

LEAGUE legend Mal Meninga offered to have his brother Bevan, a convicted murderer, live in his Brisbane family home if he was released on parole.

Mal Meninga's letter in support of his brother.

Mal Meninga’s letter in support of his brother.

Bevan, who has served 21 years for the “horrific killing” of 19-year-old Cheree Richardson, has gone to court to force the Queensland Parole Board to make a decision.

Early last year, a probation and parole officer assessed Mal’s home’s suitability for Bevan, saying Mal had agreed to have him live there.

However, late last year Bevan applied to live with their mother on the Sunshine Coast, where Cheree was murdered, Supreme Court documents show.

In his latest release plan, filed in court, Bevan said his brother had offered to move him and his mother to Brisbane after his initial community reintegration on the Sunshine Coast.

“If the move to Brisbane is approved, my brother has full-time employment,” the document says.

Mal wrote in a letter to the board in 2012 that he “supported Bevan by phone, letters and visits over the term of his incarceration and have kept a keen interest in his welfare”.

“I believe family support is so invaluable, regardless of his wrongdoing … the family love, respect and support is paramount to his reintegration,” the letter states.

“Whilst as a family we don’t condone his actions of the past, I will make certain that Bevan will have the necessary family support during his reintegration.”

Last week, the Queensland Parole Board said Bevan might pose “an unacceptably high level of risk if released from custody at this stage” and gave him two weeks to prove otherwise.

Bevan murdered Cheree in 1991 by hitting her with a tree branch.

She had massive head and internal injuries.

The board says it is concerned Bevan, who claimed he was intoxicated at the time, could reoffend if he returned to alcohol or drug abuse.

Bevan has been eligible for parole since 2005 but has been kept in jail and has been waiting since January last year for a decision on his ­latest application.

He is at a low-security ­prison farm in Rathdowney.

A MAN who partied with teenager Cheree Richardson just an hour before her murder says he is still haunted by that night, 23 years after she was murdered.

Gavin Seib told the Daily yesterday that he believed the man convicted of Cheree’s rape and killing, Bevan Meninga, should never be released from prison.

Mr Seib spoke for the first time about his deep feeling of regret after going home early that night rather than staying around to make sure his new friend was safe.

He said he has battled to suppress his deep guilt for more than two decades.

His emotional problems erupted in stress and mental difficulties last year.

He decided to finally speak publicly about that horrific time in his life after reading reports that Meninga, who was jailed for life over the murder, may be released on parole – possibly as soon as today.

“I was talking to a girl who was brutally murdered an hour later,” Mr Seib said about that night in Mooloolaba.

“It has affected me my entire life.

“She was a lovely person, me and her got on like a house on fire, and over the years this has mentally stuffed me up.”

Mr Seib was 22 and out on the town when he met Cheree.

They chatted, laughed, he bought her drinks, they had a great time.

They even talked about his girlfriend, who Cheree had wanted to meet.

“We made plans to catch up after that night, but we never had the chance.

“I just want to say what a wonderful person she was.

“She’ll always be in my heart to the day I die.”

Cheree’s mutilated body was found two days later in dense parkland at Alexandra Headland.

Mr Seib, now 46, said he regrets leaving early that fateful night.

He believes he should have ensured his new friend’s safety before he left.

“I blamed myself,” he said of the death.

“When I left, I turned around to see her and I saw she was with him and he would look after her.

“I put my trust in him.”

“(I should have asked), ‘Are you right? Do you need a lift home?’

“She was a nice, lovely, happy-go-lucky woman and for someone to do that to her was horrific.”

Mr Seib, a prawn fisherman, is adamant that Meninga should remain behind bars for the murder.

“He got a life sentence, doesn’t that mean life?”

“It’s about time they stopped all this.

“People who murder people should get what they were sentenced.”

He also advised anyone who was struggling with deep guilt or anxiety to seek help soon from a doctor.

“It’ll do (them) a world of good to speak to someone about it.”

 

Simon Gittany gets 26 years’ jail (min 18) for murdering Lisa Harnum


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

GUILTY SIGN

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)

Gittany Sentence Summary 11-02-14

Simon Gittany sentenced to at least 18 years for fiancée Lisa Harnum’s murder

Murderer Simon Gittany’s violent past revealed

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.

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Sentenced to 26 years for tossing her off a highrise balcony

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Sentenced to 26 years for tossing her off a highrise balcony

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.

AMY DALE
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”.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC told the court it could be “very much guided” by the standard non-parole period for murder in NSW, which is 20 years.

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).

Simon Gittany sentence hearing over murder of Lisa Harnum Day 1,2


This is live and ongoing reporting from the court folks, I will be out this afternoon, so feel free to add new news in comments for now and I will update tonight…I hope he gets LIFE
Day 2 is under way, and the NEW girlfriend made a much quieter grand entrance today!

He was found guilty last year of murdering his fiancee, Lisa Cecilia Harnum on July 30, 2011.

Gittany, 40, who pleaded not guilty, was found to have thrown the 30-year-old off their 15th-floor balcony in Sydney in a fit of “apoplectic” rage after she made plans to leave him and return to her native Canada.

In a shock move, the Crown introduced a new witness to give evidence against Gittany at the sentence hearing, regarding the abusive relationship between Ms Harnum and Gittany.

The Crown will use the new evidence to argue Gittany had “frequently threatened Lisa Harnum with death if she ever left him”.

Lisa Harnum who died after falling from the 15th floor of an apartment in Sydney, Australia. Picture: International Austral

Lisa Harnum who died after falling from the 15th floor of an apartment in Sydney, Australia. Picture: International Austral Source: Supplied

The witness, who has not been named and met Ms Harnum at beauty college, only came forward after the prosecution closed its case last year.

“I thought there was an ample amount of people who knew what happened, so I thought there was enough evidence without me,” the new witness said.

She said her own relationship was abusive and Ms Harnum had asked her how and why she had left.

Ms Harnum told her friend that if she left Gittany “he’d kill me” and he had said he would find her if she fled.

As the witness spoke of the almost daily death threats against Ms Harnum in court, she broke down.

She said Ms Harnum feared he would poison her food, and that if Gittany killed her “he would make it look like suicide”.

To help her friend out of the situation, she offered her money as she expressed fears he was also tracking her finances.

As the new evidence was revealed at the hearing, Gittany turned to his lawyer and mouthed “seriously” and shook his head. He then gestured they needed to speak.

Gittany’s barrister, Philip Strickland SC, dismissed the new claims as “fabricated” and “made up”.

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Picture: Channel 7

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Picture: Channel 7 Source: Supplied

Ms Harnum’s mother, Joan, used her victim statement to call for the end to domestic violence and express the unimaginable grief a family feels at losing their loved one.

Lisa Harnum sleeping. Picture:

Lisa Harnum sleeping. Picture: “Respectance” Source: No Source

The statement was read out by her daughter’s counsellor, Michelle Richmond, who played an integral part in trying to help Ms Harnum escape Gittany’s abuse.

The Harnums remained in Toronto, Canada for family reasons.

The statement read: “When a parent dies, you lose your past. When a child dies, you lose your future.

“A child who loses a parent is an orphan. But there’s no word for a parent who loses a child.”

She outlined the control of Gittany over her daughter’s life and the violent end Ms Harnum ultimately faced.

“No one has the right to control a person’s life so intensely.

“She was taken too early and in such a violent way. It’s a wound that will never heal.”

Joan Harnum leaves court after Simon Gittany's was found guilty of murdering girlfriend Lisa Harnum.

Joan Harnum leaves court after Simon Gittany’s was found guilty of murdering girlfriend Lisa Harnum. Source: News Limited

Gittany looked to his feet and played with the buttons on his shirt as the powerful statement continued.

“All Gittany had to do that day was step aside and let her come home to her family.”

“It was a senseless and thoughtless act of violence,” the statement said.

“Lisa Cecilia’s death has caused a cry around the world to stop violence against women and children.

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Picture: Channel 7

Simon Gittany and Lisa Harnum. Picture: Channel 7 Source: Supplied

“Stop the unimaginable pain and profound loss caused by domestic violence. Let my daughter’s cries be heard.”

Sunday Promo: Inside Simon Gittany’s secret life 1:00

http://content5.video.news.com.au/NDM_-_news.com.au/11/465/2434913652_promo215816506.jpeg

In a Sunday Night exclusive, we take you inside Simon Gittany’s secret life and hear his new lover’s explosive claims.

THE WOMAN WHO LOVES A MURDERER

In a bizarre act, Gittany’s current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise, and supporters earlier arrived outside court holding signs advocating his innocence.

Rachelle Louise protests her partner's ...

Rachelle Louise protests her partner’s innocence. Source: News Limited

Without uttering a word, Ms Louise pointed to signs carrying the name of notorious acquitted murderers, including Gordon Wood and Lindy Chamberlain.

Another sign read: “How do you render Some 1 unconscious in less than 65 sec without any sign of trauma to the body”.

Rachelle Louise & supporters arrives at Darlinghurst court to hear sentencing submission against partner Sim...

Rachelle Louise and supporters arrive at court to hear sentencing submission against her partner Simon Gittany who was found guilty of murdering Lisa Harnam. Source: News Limited

THE GITTANY TRIAL

Gittany’s trial heard he was controlling of Ms Harnum, installing CCTV in his apartment and using a computer program to monitor her text messages, emails and internet usage.

CCTV captures Lisa Harnum’s final moments 0:52

CCTV footage shows Lisa Harnum and Simon Gittany together minutes before her death.

But while Gittany admitted some of his behaviour towards Ms Harnum was controlling, he has always denied that he flew into a rage on the morning of her death.

Supplied CCTV footage showing murder suspect Paul Gittany on the night he is accused of killing his girlfriend.

Supplied CCTV footage showing murder suspect Simon Gittany on the night he is accused of killing his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

He told the court that after an argument that morning – in which he was captured on camera dragging a screaming Ms Harnum back into their apartment – he went to make her a cup of tea while she sat on the lounge.

Supplied CCTV footage showing murder suspect Paul Gittany on the night he is accused of killing his girlfriend.

Supplied CCTV footage showing murder suspect Simon Gittany on the night he is accused of killing his girlfriend. Source: Supplied

Gittany said Ms Harnum then ran to the balcony and “disappeared” over the railing as he desperately tried to reach her.

But in a damning judgment handed down over nearly five hours in November last year, Justice Lucy McCallum found Gittany lied with “telling ease” and distorted the truth to denigrate the woman he murdered.

 

GERARD BADEN-CLAY Hearing 3rd Feb 2014-UPDATED


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.

Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

Gerard Baden-Clay, charged with the Murder of his wife Allison Baden-Clay

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.

Scratches on the accused, Gerard Baden-Clay.

Scratches on the accused, Gerard Baden-Clay.

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.”

Matters before the Court 3rd Feb 2014

reserved

Joan Ryther raped & murdered whilst pregnant


When the husband of a murdered woman writes to me asking why her case is not on my website called aussiecriminals I really had no answer for him, other than I had not been here much last year. Pathetic really, so the best I can today in honour of Joan’s memory is to ensure this stays up and we highlight the search for justice in the coming months…

Please read and refresh your memories, it was indeed an awful crime.

Joan Ryther,  who was raped and murdered whilst pregnant last year is still awaiting justice, as is her grieving Australian husband Cory Ryther, as well as her family in the Philippines .

The 18-year-old alleged rapist and murderer cannot be named for legal reasons, has been in custody since June 2013.

Although a suspect was quickly arrested and charged we still need to be reminded what an awful senseless wicked crime this was, as we await the trial to take place.

Joan Ryther

Joan Ryther

Mrs Ryther was three months pregnant when she was raped and killed on her way home from work in suburban Logan in May.

Her partially clothed body was found on the lawn of a Leichhardt Street home at Logan Central, not far from the McDonald’s at which she worked.

It was 8.23pm on May 21 2013 when a council security camera picked up the teenager accused of the rape and murder of Joan Ryther walking into a service station with four of his mates, a court has heard.

They were inside just long enough to steal a couple of screwdrivers before they were again on their way, the camera outside a nearby KFC store showing them as they turned into Mayes Ave four minutes later, according to documents filed in the court yesterday deciding her alleged killer’s application for bail.

From Mayes Ave, the group walked into Leichhardt St where they found a white car parked outside No. 50.

They used a stolen screwdriver to smash a back window when a shout sent them scurrying away, the court documents say.

The four mates fled up the street towards Mayes Park. They would later tell police it was at this point they lost the teen, who took off in the opposite direction towards McDonald’s, the court documents say.

On that same night, police allege 27-year-old Ryther, eight weeks pregnant with her first child, switched off her home computer and left her Mayes Ave home for the 25-minute walk along her street and into Leichhardt St to the McDonald’s store where she worked.

She was due to start her shift at 9pm although colleagues say she would regularly arrive around 15 minutes early.

In refusing bail for the man accused of raping and murdering Logan woman Joan Ryther, a court has been told of his alleged movements on the night.

It was on Leichhardt St about 100m from her work that police believe she crossed paths with the teen now accused of killing her.

The series of events that police say led to the 18-year-old running into Mrs Ryther as she walked along the footpath were detailed in documents handed to the Supreme Court yesterday when his lawyers made an application for bail.

“Investigating police submit, on reasonable grounds, available evidence strongly places the defendant in Leichhardt (street) at approximately 8.30pm on 21 May, 2013, which is a time that corresponds with the likely time the deceased was walking in that street to attend work,” a police affidavit states.

From there, the court heard, the teenager’s movements “could not be accounted for” for around an hour and a half.

It was the following morning that a passer-by spotted Mrs Ryther’s body face down in the front garden of 30 Leichhardt St.

The teenager has been charged with murder, rape and the unlawful assault of a pregnant woman.

 Prosecutor Vicki Loury told the court the teenager’s DNA was found on four areas of Mrs Ryther’s clothing both on the front and back of her jumper and on the pants that were left around her ankles. Blood on a bandage from his hand belonged to Mrs Ryther, forensic tests have revealed.

But court documents show police are still waiting on the results from nearly 100 forensic samples.

The documents also reveal Mrs Ryther likely died from a combination of injuries to the left side of her face, “substantial” genital injuries and strangulation.

A bottle the teenager was seen carrying earlier in the night was probably used in the attack, police allege in their affidavit.

“The attack itself was brazen and involved a degrading attack on a woman unknown to him who was going about her business walking to work,” Ms Loury told the court.

In applying for bail, defence lawyer Tim Meehan said there was no direct evidence linking his client to the murder only forensic evidence showing he came into contact with Mrs Ryther some time during the evening. “There was contact to some degree but it goes no further than that,” he told the court.

But Justice Peter Applegarth denied the teenager bail, describing Mrs Ryther’s murder as “horrific” and said the man was an unacceptable flight risk.

Cory Ryther with a treasured photo of his wife Joan

Cory Ryther with a treasured photo of his wife Joan


DNA hold ups delay Joan Ryther murder case

November 25, 2013

Hold ups in the analysis of DNA evidence have further delayed the case of a teenager accused of raping and murdering Logan woman Joan Ryther.

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will have to wait until next year to discover if he will stand trial for raping and murdering Ms Ryther and killing her unborn child.

Ms Ryther’s bloodied and partially clothed body was found in a frontyard after she was viciously attacked on her way to work at Logan, south of Brisbane, in May.

The 27-year-old was three months pregnant when she died.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Karen Friedrichs says the investigation has been significant and some forensic evidence is still being analysed.

‘‘There is significant DNA evidence and analysis of clothes and various exhibits,’’ she told the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday.

Sgt Friedrichs said the bulk of evidence had been given to the defence, including 231 statements and 133 exhibits.

Outside court, defence lawyer Michael Bosschen said he would have to examine the evidence before deciding whether his client would re-apply for bail.

The 18-year-old has been in custody since his arrest in June.

Magistrate Trevor Morgan remanded the teen in custody and adjourned his case until February 3.

Magistrate Morgan also set aside three days in April for a committal hearing which will determine whether there is enough evidence to commit the teen to trial.

Neither the accused nor Ms Ryther’s husband Cory attended the hearing.

Kathleen Folbigg-triple child killer, writing to allan jones


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

MATTHEW BENNS

January 20, 2014

 CONVICTED child killer Kathleen Folbigg has written heartfelt letters from inside jail to her new “friend”, broadcaster Alan Jones.

‘Different and separate from some of the worst criminals I have lived with’. Folbigg wrote this of herself to Alan Jones.

‘Different and separate from some of the worst criminals I have lived with’. Folbigg wrote this of herself to Alan Jones.

“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.

Appeal a disgusting ridiculous joke-Folbigg’s sister Lea Bown.

Appeal a disgusting ridiculous joke-Folbigg’s sister Lea Bown.

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”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Damning Evidence

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.

The Trial

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.

Betrayal

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.

yesterdays paper

yesterdays paper

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

When Kathy met Alan (Jones) … In jail

By Alana House

January 20, 2014

unverified person TBA, Kathleen Folbigg and Alana House

unverified person TBA, Kathleen Folbigg and Alana House

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.

R v Folbigg ALL judgements