Not forgotten in Mudgee

On the way up the stairs to the organ loft at St John’s Mudgee.

See Green v R [1997] HCA 50; (1997) 191 CLR 334, an infamous case.

Mr Green (22) slew Mr Gillies (36), who had been his friend for about 5-6 years, in a frenzy after what he said were unwelcome sexual advances by Mr Gillies when Gillies came to the room where Mr Green was sleeping after they had spent an evening drinking and watching television together at Mr Gillies’ place. [Poignant detail: in fact it was Mr Gillies’ mother’s place, but she was away.] Mr Green told the police “Yeah, I killed him, but he did worse to me” and, later, when asked why he had killed Gillies, “he tried to root me.”

When first tried, Green put forward a defence of self-defence (which was not allowed to go forward to the jury) and also one of provocation (which reduces what might otherwise be a murder to manslaughter). He was found guilty of murder. The gist of the provocation defence was that Gillies’ actions put Green in mind of the assaults he had witnessed his father visit on his mother and other family members and the sexual assualts he had been told his father had committed against his sisters, so that he simply “lost it,” picked up the poultry shears which he said were just in sight in the bedroom and stabbed and bashed Mr Gillies to death.

On appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal the prosecution conceded that the trial judge had made some errors but claimed (under what is known as “the proviso”) that this had not deprived Green of the chance of an acquittal. The High Court thought otherwise and granted Green a retrial. On the retrial Green’s provocation defence succeeded and he was found guilty of manslaughter.

See also here for the sentencing after the retrial.

There’s an extensive secondary literature. Tom Molomby appeared for the defendant and has continued to defend him subsequently in Quadrant. I’d find Molomby’s defence more persuasive if it were less selective (he doesn’t like to dwell on the self-defence claim or the “he did worse to me” justification). I don’t derive any particular comfort from the jury buying it.

One Response to “Not forgotten in Mudgee”

  1. 戏子无义 婊子无情 « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] think this means: not for payment) on pain of intimate pictures being released.  This seems rather R v Greenish, and it doesn’t sound as if Justice Christine Adamson was […]

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