I wrote this last thursday, the 13th of October. Since then, I have been portrayed by The Australian as a crazed activist, just to discredit my wonderful sister in law, and been through the absolute worst misery I can recall.
I still am not ready to talk about everything that is going on with me, but I feel it’s important to keep this case alive, and share my experiences in the hope that there will be enough outrage to get a decent sentence.
Downing Street Centre 13.10.2005
I have just returned from the court.
Brendan McMahon does not look a lot like the court illustration, and sitting calmly outside the courtroom he looked like he could have been a lawyer, not a defendant. He has a craggy face, a thin frame, and was very well dressed – like the banker he used to be. He made no attempt to avoid eye contact, and sat without speaking to anyone. I didn’t hear him say a word the entire time.
I entered the small courtroom, and waited while the press filed in. Apart from the press and the lawyers, there were about 6 other people in the court. Before the judge entered, the lawyers discussed dates. I couldn’t hear everything that was said. When the judge entered, she was asked by the defense for a later court date, due to the large amount of evidence in this case. The prosecution had no objection, and the judge set the date for the 10th of November, bail to continue until that time. Representations to be given to the DPP by the 20th of October.
And that was it. The press raced out to get to the front of the court before him, and I was left to share an elevator with him and his lawyer, and a woman (I don’t know who she is). She said something about the number of people in the court, so I introduced myself as being from the Australian Companion Rabbit Society, and I saw his shoulders stiffen – he had his back to me. The lawyer nodded to me.
I collected my camera and my phone from the law (security in the court is pretty tight), and came down to the front steps to wait with the press. The trio had left the lift at the first floor, so we weren’t sure if he was taking a back exit (very unusual for the courts to allow this), or wether they were waiting till the press went away.
After about 30 minutes of waiting, they came out. I got a pic, but I don’t think it’s going to be much good. The press chased him down the street, and when they returned, I was mobbed. I was interviewed for ch 7 news, the Australian, AAP, The Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald, a guy from New Zealand, and a few radio stations.
I spoke about the reasons he chose rabbits as his victims, and I hope that will give the press something to talk about, to keep the case alive. Since the matter is before the courts, there is very little the press can talk about publicly, but general stuff, like pet shop policies, and the psychology behind his actions will provide fodder for the press. I intend to do everything I can to keep this case in the public eye.
While there are further charges pending, it has not yet been decided if they will be laid or not. The police won’t do all the paperwork to prepare for laying the charges unless they get a commitment from the Department of Public Prosecutions that they will be aggressively pursuing the case. If the DPP don’t intend to push for a harsh sentence, there is no point in the police laying the groundwork. I have been asked by the detective in charge of the case to prepare a document for the DPP that outlines the reasons that rabbits were chosen as his victims. Margo deMello from the House Rabbit Society has offered to help me with this.
Hopefully the DPP won’t need to be lobbied in order for them to take this seriously, but stay posted.