Murder in the Land of Oz
Trigger warnings: murder, sexual violence, assault.
Lynette Daley was a 31-year-old Aboriginal woman who lived in the Clarence Valley, northern NSW. She was a mother of seven and a beloved daughter who had fallen on hard times and was experiencing homelessness. In 2011, on Australia Day, two local lowlifes asked her to accompany them on a camping trip to the isolated Ten Mile Beach, north of Iluka. They kept Lynette drinking throughout the day, and at night, while Lynette was too drunk to fight back, they performed a violent sex act that left Lynette with internal lacerations so severe that she bled to death. Despite a colossal amount of evidence against the two men who committed this heinous crime, the Department of Public Prosecutions repeatedly declined to prosecute the case.
This lack of care from the government led Lynette’s family to wonder: if a white woman was left to die at the hands of two black men, would they have been allowed to go free?
Lynette Daley’s case did a lot to expose the biases that are inherent within our court system. While no official ever came out and said that Lynette was treated differently due to being Indigenous, many of the nation’s top legal minds were on hand to point out the bloody obvious. Lynette’s family had to endure years of torment and anguish as the men who killed their daughter in a such a violent and degrading manner were allowed to walk free.
If you’re in Australia, you can watch the episode of Four Corners entitled Callous Disregard which covers Lynette’s case here https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/callous-disregard-promo/7388056
You can read more about the case and the inquest here https://countingthewomen.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/norma-45-2011/
You can read an excellent piece by Professor Marcia Langton, who is an absolute queen and massive advocate for Lynette and all Indigenous people, here https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2016/july/1467295200/marcia-langton/two-victims-no-justice#mtr
To read more about Adrian Attwater and Paul Maris’ trial and sentencing, go here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-08/lynette-daley-justice-with-attwater-and-maris-sentenced-to-jail/9239312
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