Friday, May 27, 2011

Do the the crime, pay the price

It seems is is never a good idea to intervene in a fight among strangers. One tourist from the Netherlands nearly lost his life and another local male did die when they intervened in an assault of a woman by a man. Paul de Waard took a long time to recover from his injuries and Brendan Keilar did not recover. They were both very brave and justice was done with the male responsible being sentenced to life in prison.

In another case Luke Mitchell intervened in a fight and he was bashed and stabbed to death allegedly by three Thai nationals, who immediately fled the country. A team from Australia is in Thailand to represent Luke's and our interest in having them extradited to Australia to face a trial. We can assume they will appear before our courts and convicted and sentenced harshly. Of course it will be up to the courts to decided their guilt and if found guilty, impose an appropriate sentence.

Sometimes though I really think our system of justice is screwed when what I will describe below occurs.

Ryhs Marshall may or not have been an angel. He had been drinking too. Nevertheless he intervened when a man who was very drunk was bashing his own head against a pole. For his pains he was punched very hard by the drunk, fell to the ground, hit his head and died. The assailant then went home and then out again to party some more.

The perpetrator was charged with manslaughter and astonishingly found not guilt by a Supreme Court Jury.

How could this possibly be? The family of the victim have no criticism of the police or the prosecutors. You physically assault someone and they die because of your actions, and you walk out of court a free man. I can only shake my head in disbelief.

I would hesitate to do this if I felt in any way that justice was done but I do not. Whatever mitigating circumstances there may have been, the essence of what happened is above and is not denied.

So Mr Digby Gram, you have been extremely fortunate but these days a prospective employer or partner does not have to check court records to see what you may have done in the past. It is all out here on the internet for everyone to come across. Your grandchildren will be so proud of their grandad. Photos of Digby Gram from the Fairfax press.


  1. I would instantly telephone the police on my mobile phone, if a man was beating a woman or if two men were beating a single bloke. But I would not intervene myself. Sad, isn't it?

  2. I hadn't heard of this last incident. I am heartened by the fact so many brave folk are still willing to try to help, but saddened by the results. Too much alcohol, too little personal responsibility? I certainly don't have the answers. Glad you are enjoying Merrilyn's story Andrew thanks for finding me again.

  3. I with you Hels. But I do wonder what I would do if it was someone I know or family member. Stay calm, think and don't act in haste.

    I hadn't heard about it either Cheryl until yesterday and it was all concluded earlier this year.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people? - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.