Andy Irvine and Paul Brady in Brunswick in 2013
Jill Meagher’s killer walks an old path
It’s impossible to ignore the similarities in the explanations offered by men who kill women. ’What have I done?’ Adrian Bayley told police in the aftermath of raping and strangling Jill Meagher in September 2012. Peter Keogh (my sister’s killer) used the same words, allegedly, when collected by a female friend after stabbing my sister to death on 26 August 1987.
‘She flipped me off and that made me angry, because I was actually trying to do a nice thing…I didn’t take well to her response, you know. I just don’t wanna go through it in detail.’
‘I lost it,’ said Keogh, as a consequence of my sister (Vicki) allegedly telling him to fuck off or piss off when he confronted her only a short distance from where Jill Meagher was killed. Vicki was parking her car for work, three months after ending the relationship.
Saying no to a relationship or to an unwanted suitor can be dangerous for a woman. Keogh was found not guilty of murder.
Just another little murder
My 2001 book about the 1987 murder of my sister, Vicki, is titled ‘Just another little murder’ for good reason. The killing of the woman in a man’s life is never treated as seriously as other acts of violence. That’s why Oscar Pistorius is out on bail despite being charged with the murder of his girlfriend. As that Professor Rachel Jewkes, director of gender and health research unit at the South African Medical Research Council, said: ‘This sends exactly the opposite message to what we want. It shows that the courts do not take gender violence seriously, especially in a situation as extreme as this. It’s a symptom of a problem we have in South Africa.’
I’d only add that it’s symptomatic of a worldwide problem.
Helen Spowart defends Adrian Bailey’s Rights
We read today in the media that ‘An application by defence lawyer Helen Spowart for an extension of a suppression order preventing the publication of any damaging material related to Adrian Bayley was granted and also applied to a previous name he has used, Adrian Earnest Edwards.’
This is entirely appropriate, as an alleged killer should not be prejudged in the media or blamed for something he hasn’t done. We trust Jill isn’t about to be blamed for being murdered, as so many women, my sister included in 1989, are!
Another Woman Dead
Yes, George Hampel was the judge who granted Peter Keogh a provocation defence after stabbing our sister Vicki to death in 1987.
Yes, he did send him to gaol for three years and eleven months in February 1989.
Yes I was highly critical of the provocation ruling and the sentence.
Yes, I have read the article in the Age today about his son Antony’s girlfriend’s death in 2010.
Yes, reading the article today I understand why the family wants an inquest, which of course in no way reflects on Antony. The loss of a child, as I saw with my Mum, is a catastrophic event for a mother, so it’s understandable Phoebe’s mother Natalie wants to find out if there was foul play by a third party.
Provocation; Brutalising women with words and pictures
In 1987 Christine Boyce was shot dead by her estranged husband, Kevin Crowe, in front of her two children. It culminated in one of the most astounding arguments by a defence barrister, Bob Kent, who sought to have an album of nude photos of Christine admitted in evidence, to be viewed by the jury. He won the debate by way of this argument:
We would submit it is a proper and valid argument to say it is relevant to know that the person who is deceased in this case was an attractive woman both in face and body and was in fact the wife of the accused man. And that in those circumstances a juror might say, ‘an ordinary man in this man’s situation may well have acted, lost control and acted in that way [the photos show] she is somebody whom we could understand him having a great passion for.
Crowe was found not guilty of murder and did about four years in gaol. Is that your idea of justice?
SBS Insight tonight
Appearing on SBS Insight tonight on the law of provocation. A piece I wrote for The Punch: