Monday, December 21, 2009

Dad who drowned 3 sons gets to spend Xmas with family (Victoria, Australia)

Dad ROBERT FARQUHARSON is another one of those Exhibit A's for the failure of knee-jerk "shared parenting" schemes, the kind that pays no attention to the mental health or fitness of the parents involved. Seems Daddy wanted to "pay back" his wife for divorcing him, so he drowned their three sons. Naturally. Now Dad's getting a retrial, and is getting to spend Christmas with his family. How SWEET. He gets the egg nog and all the good cheer, while his three sons lay in a grave. Who says daddies are persecuted by the courts? Maybe the courts could stop by the house with cookies, too. Just to add to the holiday spirit, you know.

Farquharson granted $200,000 bail after drowning murder conviction quashed
Lauren Wilson From: The Australian December 21, 2009 2:35PM

A MAN facing retrial over the alleged drowning murder of his three sons on Fathers' Day in 2005 can spend Christmas with his family after being granted bail this afternoon.

Robert Farquharson had three life sentences without parole quashed last week, when the Victorian Court of Appeal determined a miscarriage of justice occurred during his murder trial.

In 2007, a jury found that Farquharson, 40, had deliberately driven his three sons - Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and Bailey, 2 - into a dam on the outskirts of Geelong on Fathers' Day 2005 in an act of revenge against his former wife, Cindy Gambino.

Throughout the trial Farquharson maintained he had a coughing fit, blacked out at the wheel, and the car veered out of control into the dam.

Bail has been granted on the condition of a $200,000 surety.

On Thursday, Judges Marilyn Warren, Geoffrey Nettle and Robert Redlich ordered a retrial on the grounds that there were problems with the evidence of prosecution witness, Greg King, who said Farquharson, a long-time friend, had told him prior to the incident that he was, “going to pay (his wife) back big time.”

In evidence Mr King said Farquharson mentioned an, “Accident involving a dam where I survive and the kids don't.”

The Court of Appeal found that the Crown's failure to reveal to the jury that the witness was himself facing criminal charges deprived the defence the opportunity to challenge his testimony and amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

The judges also determined the jury had not been given proper instructions about considering the inconsistency in King's evidence.

“A difficulty for the crown was that King had, over time, given different versions of the kind of threats Farquharson made,” they wrote in their judgment.

“On one version, Farquharson was said to have told King that he would kill his children on Father's Day.

“On another version, Farquharson was said to have simply made general threats.”

He's expected to walk free from the Victorian Court of Appeal in the next hour.