Friday, 13 June 2008

20yrs' jail for brutal Huxley bashing

Robert Black Farmer has been sentenced to at least 20 years in jail for brutally bashing and trying to murder Sydney TAFE student Lauren Huxley.

Ms Huxley was 18 when Farmer bashed her repeatedly with fibro cutters, doused her in petrol and left her for dead in her burning Northmead home in 2005.

The assault left the woman, who is now 21, partially brain-damaged.

Farmer was today told he would spend a maximum 24 years and six months in jail, with a 20-year non-parole trial.

His victim did not attend the trial but was in the New South Wales Supreme Court today for the sentencing.

She left the room with her sister, Simone, while details of her ordeal were read out, but returned to hear the sentence.

Ms Huxley has said the attack took the beauty from her world but she is blessed she cannot remember it.

In a victim impact statement tendered to the court last month, she said the bashing had left her living in fear and she found it difficult to trust people, especially men.

Farmer has a long criminal history. [Doesn't mean his a killer?] He was in court for stealing thousands of litres of petrol just one month before the attack and has also been convicted of armed robbery with wounding. [Doesn't mean his a killer?]

A jury took less than three hours to find the 39-year-old guilty of charges including attempted murder a month ago, but he maintained his innocence.

It was this continued denial and the serious nature of the crime that prompted the prosecution to call for the maximum penalty.

[? If a person was not guilty why wouldn't they keep saying so?]

Prosecutor Chris Maxwell QC wanted Farmer, who he said was an extremely dangerous person, to be jailed for at least 25 years.

He said the attack caused "severe traumatisation and extreme fear" in the victim, and had started and continued while Ms Huxley was completely defenceless.

Mr Maxwell last month told the court that when Farmer poured petrol over his victim, he had shown "the ultimate sign of disdain and lack of any... qualities of humanity". [If it was him?]

Evidence [?]

DNA evidence linking Farmer to the attack and a footprint matching his shoe were found at the Huxley home, but he had said the evidence was wrong. [Easily planted by police?]

He said he was playing the pokies at Northmead Bowling Club at the time of the attack.

The club had no records of Farmer being there but he said that was because he had signed in under another name. [As lots of people do?]

Farmer admitted to washing his clothes and 'trainers' 'after the attack' but denied it was to remove evidence.

[Not after the 'attack' as the Corporate media just wrote above but after the 'fact of Laurens death'? Read that line again? They have writen him guilty there. Who doesn't wash there cloths and trainers at some time after the fact of her death?]

His ex-girlfriend, Caroline Beverley, told the court he said he was thinking of killing himself the day after the attack and left a suicide note for his mother.

[Again miss reported here? After the fact of Lauren's death not after the attack as it has been written here? They make it sound like this is what he done straight after the attack? Why can't a person think of killing themselves for no apparent reason but the ho hum dread of life itself?]

Ms Beverley said the suicide note included the words, "I'm sorry".

[Why wouldn't he be sorry if he was thinking of leaving this world and the people that he loves and may be leaving behind?]

The prosecutor said [?] the accused drove off to see an old school friend, who he told, "I've done something stupid and I can't tell you what it is".

[Like people don't do anything stupid in life? That doesn't mean they murdered someone.]

Ms Beverley also said Farmer had asked her to drive him to the intersection closest to the Huxley home on the night of attack.

[Again just 'flawed circumstantial evidence' to go along with the 'alleged DNA' and alleged foot print taken from his shoe alleged to have been at the crime scene' and of course once again 'trial by media.]

Farmer denied he wanted to see the Huxley house alight to make sure the evidence was destroyed.

Questions: about this case?

An Ex Prisoner who was forced to hand over his DNA to the police data-base via the prison system during his earlier sentence. So at all material times police had his DNA profile and DNA is not hard to collect and plant.

Instances of corrupt DNA handling below.

That is to suggest that DNA can be planted at a crime scene and tampered with. Hypothetically, let's say a cop or another person was the perpetrator and that Farmer was framed? That would mean the cop or another person could do it again to someone else and may still be out there ready to perpetrate. I should hope I am wrong and so should you.

I never attended the trial but someone who knew him did. The following links may give someone who knows more information about some related views in terms of the history of DNA handling and procedures of other cases.

In this instance we all know that there has been and over the top trial by media and in fact a corporate media extravaganza.

Those views have been challenged here not to take anything away from Lauren Huxley but to be certain that the perpetrator was caught.

Corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes

Others have raised concerns about corrupt police planting DNA evidence at crime scenes.

DNA - A Shadow of Doubt

One case points to misinterpretation of evidence that helped put a man behind bars. The other shows just how easy it is to plant falsely incriminating DNA evidence. As our forensic techniques become ever more sensitive, so the possibility of abuse continues to grow.

Military lawyers await probe on DNA tampering

The Army's Criminal Investigation Command said nearly 500 forensic test results from all services dating back 10 years are under review after one of its examiners allegedly faked results. About 119 of those cases pertain to the Navy and Marine Corps.

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder

As long as the the prisoners DNA wasn't planted at the crime scene. It is one thing to force prisoners to hand over their DNA and another thing to exploit it.

By the way Robert Black Farmer was sentenced on Friday the 13th I suppose the judge knew that or was it just a co-incidents?

Related DNA Links:

Expert baffled by Falconio evidence DNA contamination
NT: The director of the Northern Territory's forensic science unit has told a Darwin court he does not know how his DNA contaminated a key piece of evidence in the Peter Falconio murder trial. [lost trial? After all he wasn't found?]

The ABC for good or evil?
He had a suspect that he wanted to find guilty based on the chances of a spouse killing a spouse which were greater in anycase, at least more likely than that of a stranger.

First Grabs To Control Our DNA
A small company in Australia has been subjected to gross denials of rights after DNA database technology was stolen from it's company. This one year saga has spawned them to form a new approach to projects of importance to all people.

Worries over DNA and racial profiling
UK: Black men are four times more likely than White men to be on the national DNA database and there is growing concern about racial profiling in criminal investigations.

Lab's Errors Force Review of 150 Virginia DNA Cases
US: WASHINGTON, - A sharply critical independent audit found that Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory had botched DNA tests in a leading capital murder case. The findings prompted Gov. Mark Warner to order a review of the lab's handling of testing in 150 other cases as well.

Witch-hunt targets scientists
QLD: SCIENTISTS at the John Tonge Centre are being threatened with jail in the wake of a government hunt for the source of leaks highlighting serious problems in the forensic laboratories.

Fresh swipe at DNA labs
Scientist Kris Bentley, whose departure yesterday follows that of forensic biologist Deanna Belzer after concerns about "inaccurate" DNA results and unvalidated equipment, issued a scathing resignation letter leaked to The Courier-Mail.

DNA leads 'CSI' cold-case squad to first arrest?
Frozen case? I don't really know what to say about them until they come up with their case. They say it involves DNA evidence but that's the only stuff we know.

Criminal's DNA filed under relative's name
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an investigation into claims that police have entered DNA data for serious offenders under incorrect names.

DNA fingerprinting 'no longer foolproof'...
The genetic profiles held by police for criminal investigations are not sophisticated enough to prevent false identifications, according to the father of DNA fingerprinting.

PROFESSOR BARRY BOETTCHER: Now, there should be a law enacted within Queensland so that when cases come up like this they can be brought to attention and if an appropriate authority such as a judge of your Supreme Court considers that it merits further inquiry, an inquiry be ordered.

'Rape' officer clears his name
UK: A former policeman has been cleared of rape after protesting his innocence for 15 years. Judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled that Brian Kelly, 47, had suffered a miscarriage of justice over crucial DNA evidence.

New unit investigates unsolved deaths?
A new police unit has been established to investigate more than 360 unsolved deaths in New South Wales, with many of the deaths dating back more than 30 years.

Prisoner's bid for review denied
Prisoner Roger Cheney has lost a Supreme Court action to have a judicial review of his 1993 convictions an 30-year jail sentence. Justice Shaw said he was concerned about the prisoner's claim that DNA evidence held by the police could prove his innocence. Although Cheney had requested the results of the DNA tests, he had been denied access to the forensic analysis.

QLD Prisoners DNA Bid THE curious case of Queensland's "cat lady" murder is set to test the state's legal authorities again, with the man convicted of the killing asking the Attorney-General to take the unprecedented step of releasing blood samples for DNA retesting.

Database clears up crimes?
NSW Police Minister John Watkins said at the launch of a Sydney conference of international forensic experts meeting to mark 100 years of fingerprinting in NSW. He said the collection of DNA from prisoners and suspects in NSW during the past two years had led to more than 5,400 matches on the forensic database.

A Question of Innocence
Katrina Bolton: The promise of DNA freeing the innocent as well as convicting the guilty has been repeated by politicians across Australia, usually while DNA laws are being expanded. The promise was made as a national DNA database, ‘Crimtrac’ was created, and it was made as NSW introduced legislation giving unprecedented powers to take DNA samples from prisoners, by force if necessary.

Weak Carr Government suspends Innocence Panel
It's a callous disregard for justice! The panel takes applications from convicted prisoners for DNA evidence to be analysed a move that may help in a future court appeal.

JUST BEAT IT! Govt lauds crime-solving technology?
The New South Wales Government says advances in crime solving technology are helping the progress of hundreds of police investigations.

DNA testing causes debate in murder case
The use of voluntary DNA testing in the investigation of a murder case in New South Wales has been applauded by victim support groups who are ill informed about the process said Justice Action's spokesperson Gregory Kable.

Abolition of double jeopardy law a political stunt: NSW Opp
Why draconian laws? What about the re-trial by media that goes along with it? Twice shy?

The NSW government has finally appointed somebody (Justice John Nader) to head up its Innocence Panel and has produced leaflets and forms for people convicted of serious crimes (eg murder) to apply for DNA testing if they believe it may help prove their innocence. You can get the info by phoning 1300 881 717 or writing to the panel at GPO Box 45 Sydney NSW 2001.

Is the Westminster System flawed?
Most people would say Lady Di got the boot and NSW has so much trouble getting the Innocence Panel moving. I said hey, what's going on!

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder Mass DNA testing of prisoners has led to the first NSW case of a person being charged with a previously unsolved murder as a result of a controversial gene-matching data bank. The Herald reported 25 Nov 02 "a DNA saliva swab led to the charging of a former prisoner with the bashing murder of a woman. Police had been unable to find any witnesses or suspects following the murder in Sydney's inner city two years ago. Detectives had admitted they faced a tough job finding the killer."

Prisoners can prove innocence for $20
Les Kennedy Daily Telegraph reported today that" Prisoners who believe that DNA will prove they were wrongly convicted will have the chance to prove their innocence for a mere $20 administration fee. The move comes 20 months after NSW inmates were asked to provide DNA for comparison with a databank of DNA from unsolved crime scenes for possible convictions.

DNA yours or mine?
Now they have isolated two genes that they say tells you if you're more likely to be depressed. What does that mean? It could mean that you should stay in jail because you are more likely than not to continue your offending behaviour according to a Department of Corrective Services Forensic Psychiatrist.

DNA = Do Not Assume - DNA Controversies!
The national DNA database of all known offenders proposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair could mean that innocent people will be accused of crimes they did not commit.

DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship
Last week the U.S. Congress passed the Justice for All Act, which includes provisions of the Innocence Protection Act. As of this posting, the legislation has not yet been signed by President Bush. Attached is an analysis of the legislation prepared by the Justice Project.

DNA - A Shadow of Doubt
One case points to misinterpretation of evidence that helped put a man behind bars. The other shows just how easy it is to plant falsely incriminating DNA evidence. As our forensic techniques become ever more sensitive, so the possibility of abuse continues to grow.

Murder charge first for DNA data bank link, but not the same as solving the murder
As long as the the prisoners DNA wasn't planted at the crime scene. It is one thing to force prisoners to hand over their DNA and another thing to exploit it.

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