Brendan McMahon on Bail Pending Appeal

SMH Article

“There is a debate in this case as to whether that condition was self-induced”

The judge that allowed the bail clearly thinks that there is grounds for an appeal. In court on the day of sentencing, both lawyers argued for different interpretations of the law. The law says that mental illness makes a person not responsible for their actions, but it also says that if a person takes drugs or alcohol and is responsible for their own impairment, then they must take responsiblity for their actions.

The judge ruled on the day that he was responsible, and that he must face the consequences. The expert witness (Dr Allnut) testified that there was a “history of mental illness” in the McMahon family, but during cross examination, it was revealed that in one of their first interviews (while McMahon was alledgely still in a psychotic state), McMahon had told him that his brother suffered from bipolar disorder. No-one ever checked out this story (to my knowledge), and even if it is true, does one brother with a mental illness (wether mild or severe) constitute a “family history”?

And if there is a family history, surely knowledge of this would act as a deterrent from indulging in mind altering substances.

Whatever the appeals court decides, I really don’t know if I have the strength to attend the court again. I felt a little safer knowing that McMahon was behind bars, but I feel no malice towards him. Revulsion, yes, but malice is not helpful. His acts were worse than awful, but I do believe he wasn’t well when he did them. He might be well now, but there is a very thin line between in and out of control once you have a drug addiction. McMahon claims to love all animals, but that love wasn’t enough to prevent him from becoming a monster.

The most important thing for me has always to do what I could to make sure that this never happened again. I don’t feel that I acheived very much, but it was all I could do, and now I am not sure that I can do any more. Maybe I’ll hate myself if I don’t go to court, but maybe it’s time to just let the courts decide, and let this case fade from my horizon, but I’ve never been good at hiding from an ugly truth. I have already been pilloried by the press, and marginalised so that my input into the case would probably do more harm than good at this point.

I don’t belive that the criminal justice system should be solely concerned with punishing the perpetrators of crime, nor should it be only concerned with protecting the innocent. If there is to be social justice in our criminal system, it must be concerned with rehabilitation, and prevention as protection from evil, rather than punative action after the fact.

The victims in this case have no voice, and my voice is not loud enough.

The Invalid

He’s going to get very bored in the three months he’s not allowed to walk, but I have brought him some needles, some wool, and a learn to knit book. Thanks M-H, great minds think alike. 🙂
He’s more likely to use the needles for scratching under his cast, but I tried….


They’re Home !

Thank you to everyone who contacted me with messages of support, and who tolerated my dramatic reactions to my Dad’s accident. Mum and Dad arrived safely this morning (no thanks to the insurance company), and are relaxing at home.

Mum and I brought down her futon bed from upstairs for Dad, so that she can sleep downstairs in my old room and be able to hear if he needs her in the night. Tomorrow I’ll install a DVD player for him so he can watch movies and digital TV with the touch of a button. It’s going to be a very boring three months before he’s allowed to walk, or drive a car, so he’s going to need all the entertainment he can get.

I’ve ordered him a new 24″ iMac, but it will take a few weeks (it’s got a special video card, and a larger hard drive, so it will be built to order), and in the meantime he won’t have much to entertain him. Maybe I should start an internet hoax – “Old man wants to collect more get well cards than previous spotty youth…..”.

Apparently they’re serious about going back to Burma/Myanmar next year, and taking me with them. Can’t wait!

A Visitor

After knitting today (thanks to everyone that braved the weather), I came home and collapsed in my little craft room /study. A noise at the window startled me, and I looked over my shoulder to see a little face very similar to this one.
I didn’t get a picture, but you’ll have to believe that it was damn cute.
Thanks to for the gorgeous picture.


My Sentiments Exactly

OK, this is my last post on this issue (for a while at least). I am glad that at least two writers have seen what I have seen in these vitriolic outbursts, and I hope that this episode is not cementing a new way of dealing with women with unpopular opinions. I could be in for a very hard time 🙂

Very little of the anti-intellectual hot air blown about this week has been about what Germaine Greer may or may not have thought about Steve Irwin. It had everything to do with a dominant male power-base telling women to be seen and not heard. Of marginalising a particular kind of woman and reducing us to condition and circumstance. Of reminding those of us who like to speak our mind to watch our step, to remember our place and to shut up and agree with the menfolk. We are all a lot poorer for the unsightly fallout.

Excerpt from an opinion piece in the Age by Tracyee Hitchison


Dad had a plaster cast put on today, and they gave him a wheelchair. I spoke to him at about 5pm Thailand time, and he was planning to go to the hospitals rooftop garden for the first fresh air he’s had in nearly a week.

The doctor is really pleased with his progress, and though he may be allowed to fly home a little early, mum is thinking that it might be best to stay the full week so he can recouperate as much as possible, and take advantage of the great care he’s getting at hospital. Once he’s home things will be a lot harder – we’ll have to put a bed downstairs for him (my parents have a 2 storey house), and there won’t be any nurses to give him sponge baths and fresh pyjamas.

I’ll do whatever I can to help, I just what them home.

If Only I Were So Articulate

Sydney Morning Herald Link

If you can’t read the whole thing, I urge you to just read the first paragraph. The whole piece is worth a read, particularly if you care about fairness and balance.

Thanks to Kate for pointing out the article.

And another life has been cut short this week. Peter Brock lost control of his vehicle today and was killed. Peter was nicknamed “Peter Perfect” because of his skill behind the wheel. A great ambassador for motor sport, and a dedicated vegetarian.

Here’s a link to a transcript of his Enough Rope interview.

Another popular figure who died too early, but died doing what he loved.