All convictions quashed
Melbourne teacher wrongly imprisoned for child abuse demands investigation
Melbourne teacher Annette Toohey says Victoria Police must launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances that led to her sister Josephine Greensill being wrongly jailed for nearly two-and-a-half years.
“It’s outrageous that my sister was jailed,” Ms Toohey told the ABC’s Australian Story.
“And it’s outrageous that since her acquittal there has been no apology for what has happened to her, no-one has been held to account. We want a full investigation into this and we won’t stop until we get that.”
Ms Greensill, a retired teacher, was 59 years old when she went to prison after two men accused her of child sexual abuse, including full intercourse when they were eight years old and she was their year 3 teacher.
From the outset, Ms Greensill protested her innocence.
But in June 2010 a jury found her guilty of nine of 20 charges, all relating to an alleged incident in a tent in her backyard.
Top criminal lawyer investigates
Criminal lawyer Robert Stary, who took on the case a year after Ms Greensill’s conviction, said in 30 years of practice it was very rare for him to be so strident about a person’s innocence.
“Right from the very outset, we thought that there was something untoward about that conviction,” he said.
For Mr Stary, much of the evidence in the case “didn’t stack up”.
“The thing that struck me most is the complete implausibility of the allegations,” he said.
“The fact that they as prepubescent children claim to have had firstly penile sexual intercourse with Josephine and then in their account describing how they’ve ejaculated.
“Their description of the events really beggars belief.”
Ms Greensill said she would have languished in prison for much longer had it not been for the dedication and persistence of Mr Stary and her family.
All convictions quashed
In a unanimous appeal decision in November 2012, three Supreme Court judges acquitted Ms Greensill and quashed all convictions.
“They were incredulous as to the nature of the evidence and the conviction,” Mr Stary said of the judges’ decision.
The judges gave nine reasons for their decision, including “a real likelihood” the two complainants had collaborated and “a real possibility of concoction”.
They also cited considerable inconsistency in the evidence of the men, a lack of medical and forensic evidence, and a possible financial motive relating to the prospect of compensation.
“When I left jail, I was 61 and I’d served two years, five months and 13 days,” Ms Greensill said.
The toll on her health has been substantial, both physically and mentally, and she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“One of the most distressing things about the time in jail was that I missed important family events, like my aunty’s 90th, a few 60ths that I missed, including my own 60th birthday,” she said.
“I had three grandchildren born.
“And one of my sisters got breast cancer and I wasn’t there to support her, and sadly my son-in-law passed away and I wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral – no reason [given], just ‘no, you can’t go’.
“It was really tough knowing that all these things were happening, really important things in my life, as I love my family, and that I couldn’t participate in them.”
Mr Stary said it was unacceptable there were no consequences for those responsible for what happened to Ms Greensill.
Police consider further investigation
Victoria Police said a Special Crime Investigation unit was considering whether to investigate the men who made the allegations in relation to possible perjury, perverting the course of justice and conspiracy.
But Ms Toohey is angry she and her sister have heard nothing from the police since January.
“We want something to happen,” Ms Toohey said.
“This has been a dreadful miscarriage of justice and she deserves to have justice.”
Victoria Police told the ABC the special investigator’s “review is ongoing”.
Australian Story spoke with the first complainant who declined an on-camera interview and the second complainant did not respond to the program’s inquiries.
Government rejects compensation claim
In the seven years since the allegations emerged, Ms Greensill has not been arrested or charged with any other offences.
In light of what the Court of Appeal has said, this case should never have gone before a jury.Lawyer Robert Stary
Ms Greensill said she has spent well in excess of $200,000 to defend herself since the case began.
Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula rejected an application for an ex gratia payment to compensate her for what happened, saying her case did not fit the criteria of suffering a financial loss or other detriment directly as a result of the workings of government.
No other form of government compensation is open to Ms Greensill.
A leading Melbourne QC is understood to be currently assessing this decision.
Mr Stary believes the Victorian Government should be accepting responsibility.
“In light of what the Court of Appeal has said, this case should never have gone before a jury,” he said.
Ms Greensill’s family said their experience of the judicial system was a warning to others.
“She was innocent,” Ms Toohey said. “If it could happen to her, it could happen to anybody.”
Here is one you do not see often, A female teacher jailed for sexually abusing boys back in the seventies. I am sure this scumbag (man or woman does not matter) thought she had got away with this one, lets hope she does the full 5 years. Her husband who died in a car accident hopefully never knew what his deviant wife was up to and is left to rest in peace…
A MOTHER of five who had sex with two 8-year-old boys who were her school pupils has been jailed for up to five years.
Josephine Mary Greensill was a Grade 3 teacher when she molested two students in a tent in her back yard in the 1970s.
Judge Gabriele Cannon said her crimes were repugnant and dastardly, robbing the victims of their childhood innocence.
Greensill, now 59, denies sexually abusing the children but a County Court jury found her guilty of nine charges.
Judge Cannon said Greensill had treated the two boys as teacher’s pets in the days before the offences occurred.
She said they were invited to a camp out at her home and Greensill had sex with them, instructing them on what to do.
The victims lost all trust in teachers and the crimes had “poisoned and eroded” their lives.
Greensill lost her husband in a tragic train crash in 2006 and the impact on her family had been great, the judge said.
But Greensill had shown no remorse and got no discount for pleading guilty as she maintained her innocence.
She was jailed for five years and ordered to serve at least 2 years 8 months before being paroled.
She will be a registered sex offender for life… And thank god for that people
And here is what people think of you Mrs.Greensill
banal of CBD Posted at 11:19 AM Today
wha? wow!!! finally a good sentence!
Comment 1 of 38
Toola of Keysie Posted at 11:23 AM Today
What a disgusting human being she is.
Comment 2 of 38
Paul of Melbourne,vic Posted at 11:32 AM Today
All teachers should undergo psychiatric analysis prior commencing their teaching courses.These ‘psycho’s’ must not be allowed to even get close to our children.
Comment 3 of 38
Comeon of harsher penalties Posted at 11:33 AM Today
She should be jailed for a hell of a lot more time than that. 15yrs minimum. She ruined those childs lives. Those two boys have been sentanced to a life of hell thanks to her. Damn this stupid government and damn that EVIL woman.
Comment 4 of 38
Suzanne of Lilydale Posted at 11:36 AM Today
Comment 5 of 38
doc eggbert of banrock station Posted at 11:39 AM Today
8 year olds????? well that’s going to make interesting pillow talk for these 2 lads later in life.
Comment 6 of 38
C.E of melbourne Posted at 11:39 AM Today
This is disgusting 8 year olds what is the matter with people she should of got longer in jail as parents you have trust in teachers to do the right thing but with this sort of thing going on you can not trust teachers either…. THIS WOMEN SHOULD HANG HER HEAD IN SHAME BUT DONT WORRY LOVE THEY WILL LOOK AFTER YOU IN JAIL AND THEY WILL INSTRUCT YOU WHAT TO DO WHEN IT IS YOUR TURN TO DO SEX FAVOURS FOR SOME IN THERE HAVE FUN LOVE…..
Comment 7 of 38
Jane Lewis Posted at 11:52 AM Today
Well as a woman wanting equal rights I think this lass is entitled to an equal sentence to a man, slap on a few more years please!
Comment 8 of 38
Katie of Geelong Posted at 11:52 AM Today
5 YEARS and out in less than 3! What a joke! When are we going to start treating these horible crimes seriously. Where is the justice for these boys. Their innocence was taken from them and sent their lives on paths that they did not deserve. Appauling!
Comment 9 of 38
Darren of Here N Now Posted at 11:53 AM Today
What has the death of her husband in 2006 got to do with her offending back in the 70’s?? What a crock our justice system has become!! 2 yrs min is BS….compared to the effects this would have on 8 yr olds life and future. A 5 yr sentence should mean 5 yrs… what BS.
Comment 10 of 38
Fred de Boer Posted at 11:55 AM Today
Did she get 5 years or 2 and a bit years? Is there anybody who will get the full term? After poisoning and eroding 2 lives, why do you get only a couple of years in prison? Where is the protection for the next victims?
Comment 11 of 38
Pat Rooney of Melbourne Posted at 11:59 AM Today
8 year old boys??? WTF is wrong with this woman???
Comment 12 of 38
Stu of Mentone Posted at 12:08 PM Today
She gets 5 years – a priest would just get relocated – work that out ?
Comment 13 of 38
sam of far cue Posted at 12:11 PM Today
so it should be
Comment 14 of 38
Dan Posted at 12:14 PM Today
2 yrs and 8 months for molesting children. This is a joke isn’t it? What does she get if she murdered them…4 yrs? Bloody hell our justice system needs to have a good hard look at itself.
Comment 15 of 38
Ian of Albury / Wodonga Posted at 12:16 PM Today
Another one out of the way
Comment 16 of 38
Bobby Posted at 12:22 PM Today
that’s just crazy! 8 year old boys. what is wrong with these people?
Comment 17 of 38
Visionar of Melbourne Posted at 12:28 PM Today
‘Judge Gabriele Cannon said her crimes were repugnant and dastardly, robbing the victims of their childhood innocence’ and ‘The victims lost all trust in teachers and the crimes had “poisoned and eroded” their lives’. What did the men (the then boys) said?
Comment 18 of 38
Milly O of Ivanoe Vic Posted at 12:31 PM Today
How would a middle aged woman, a teacher, have sex with 8 year olds? Even if physically possible, why? As a mother of 5, surely she would have more empathy with children than this? The human race is muddled with so many contradictions, and with so many vices. Abusing children must be one of the lowest crimes, apart from murder.
Comment 19 of 38
DM of Sydney, Australia Posted at 12:35 PM Today
If it was a male teacher to 8 year old girls, I guarantee it would of been a life sentence.
Comment 20 of 38
Casper of Ouyen Posted at 12:36 PM Today
That’s just f….d I hope this piece of filth gets some real justice while she rots inside.
Comment 21 of 38
jacki of craigieburn Posted at 12:40 PM Today
So,tell me. Who can our children trust, if not their parents or teachers? I can’t and never will understand why these people of trust abuse that position of trust. As always…suffer the little children at the hands of evil doers..!!!!!
Comment 22 of 38
jen miedzinski of can you just put jen from rushworth please. Posted at 12:40 PM Today
i hope this piece of filth rots in jail, your turn has come now to be told what to do for sex now in jail, women prisoners wont take to kindly to a discusting person like you and to show no remorse, have a good nights sleep. ha ha.
Comment 23 of 38
Jules of Girl about Town Posted at 12:41 PM Today
its a real shame that this child rapist wasnt found out long ago..shame on her! sex with an 8 yr old??? dirty HO!!
Comment 24 of 38
Ray of Pt Melbourne Posted at 12:46 PM Today
Interesting that our society dishes out substantially higher punishment for crimes such as this than for bashings where the victims come within an inch of their lives. Paul of Melbourne,vic (statement 3) Do you really think that psychiatric analysis can detect would-be offenders? You might as well look at potential offenders’ star signs, or read their palms – you’d have more chance.
Comment 25 of 38
Terry Reynolds of Hampton Vic Posted at 12:46 PM Today
This is a most unusual situation and one wonders why the two “boys” concerned, who would now be in their forties, would be motivated with a need to humiliate Mrs. Greensill and her family and friends now, over 30 years later? Were they awarded money which the split with their lawyer? What hope did this 59 year old teacher have of defending herself when there would presumably have been no evidence, just her word against the word of the two men? Was she a “serial transgressor” with a history, or was this isolated and out of character. Also did her lawyers wrongly urge her to plead guilty just as a tactic to keep this 59 year old lady and mother of five, out of Court and the press.
Comment 26 of 38
Helen of Hawthorn Posted at 12:47 PM Today
Wow, just goes to show that your past really can catch up with you……she probably thought she had gotten away with it after 30 odd years…..your turn to bend over lovey, hope you enjoy it…
Comment 27 of 38
Sexist of Perth Posted at 12:53 PM Today
If she would be a men (having sex with two 8 yo girls) I’m sure she would get 15-20 yrs in no time.
Comment 28 of 38
Luke of Melbourne Posted at 12:54 PM Today
What sort of jail term would a male teacher have gotten if he had sex with 8 year old girls?
Comment 29 of 38
janet of shepparton Posted at 12:57 PM Today
If it was up to the churches she would be walking the streets and stalking more young kids.
Comment 30 of 38
Emma of melbourne Posted at 1:02 PM Today
What the HELL is wrong with some people? How could people do such a terrible crime by robbing a child of their childhood? She should be locked away for life not 5 years. I hope she gets suffers in gaol and for the rest of her life just like those poor boys will have to suffer for the rest of their lives.
Comment 31 of 38
Franca/St Kilda East Posted at 1:02 PM Today
This is absolutely disgusting, what possible enjoyment could she have gotten out of doing this. I’m sick to the stomach thinking of those innocent children & how she has ruined their lives. What makes this even worse is that she has 5 children, how would she feel if someone did this to her children.
Comment 32 of 38
Rae Posted at 1:10 PM Today
It is not only obscene and disgusting but i want to know how come her name can be identified but others that have done the same can type of crime can get away with having their name suppressed. She will do the time and her life as it should be is ruined but others just get moved into a new community with a new identity.
Comment 33 of 38
Jack of the sea Posted at 1:10 PM Today
What a sick perverted vile cockroach. The only thing worse than her disgusting crime is the pathetic sentence handed out to her. I hope some bulls in prison make her their own personal hand puppet for the next couple of years.
Comment 34 of 38
Lisa N of Brooklyn Posted at 1:12 PM Today
A jury finds her guilty, I am assuming that they are right, how can anyone guilty of such crimes not plead guilty? What are people like her missing in their souls?
Comment 35 of 38
rachel Posted at 1:17 PM Today
And the Church wants to rehabilitate this piece of scum. It’s a bit after the horse has bolted, isnt’t it???
Comment 36 of 38
michael Posted at 1:18 PM Today
Bet her kids are really proud of her
Comment 37 of 38
Tim of Point Cook Posted at 1:18 PM Today
wouldnt be anywhere near as much as what a man would get. totally sick of this system they call justice
Comment 38 of 38