There are so many things I want to say

Bella woke me up a little after 2 this morning. She paced the way she does when she wants me to get up – far enough from the bed that I can’t reach out and touch her, but close enough for me to feel the stare. The you need to get up now mumma look.

Why had she woken me? Perhaps she knew I had been fighting sleep all night hoping to hear peaceful news, perhaps she heard the noise? I got up and opened the back door for her, but she just looked at me and walked back inside. I turned the television on and saw the footage of what had happened only moments earlier.

The outcome no-one wanted: a deadly end to the Sydney Siege.

The lives of two hostages cut short for no more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the life of the man who took their lives – whether directly or indirectly {at this stage, this information is not publicly known}.

The 16 hour siege in our usually peaceful city was not an act of religion.

The holding of innocent people against their will was not an act of race.

The destruction of those lives was the act of a lone man.

A man who is known to our justice system, who was an accessory to his wife’s murder, was currently bailed facing 40 sexual {and has a spate of other} offences.

A man whose criminal history makes me wonder why on earth he was not only walking freely in our city, but carrying a firearm.

In a situation like this we humans have a need to blame someone or something. To compartmentalise what has happened so we can process it and start to move forward.

For the second time this year I have been forced to wonder at our justice system and the ability of offenders to make bail. In particular sexual offenders. Under The Bail Act 2013 {introduced May 2014} the bail authority must consider the presumption of innocence and the general right to liberty of the accused when determining whether they are an unacceptable risk.

Section 17{2} of the Act sets out the following unacceptable risks for a bail authority to consider:

  1. that the accused will fail to appear in any proceedings for the offence,
  2. commit a serious offence,
  3. endanger the safety of victims, individuals or the community, or
  4. interfere with witnesses or evidence.

Surely this man {whose name I am not going to use because he has had more than enough media coverage} should have been considered an unacceptable risk to our society? While not blaming the justice system entirely, I certainly think they have a lot to answer to in this instance.

My heart breaks for all involved in the siege yesterday. For those who lost their lives, and for those who have to live personally with the horror for the rest of their lives. For our police and rescue community who were exemplary.

Australia is the beautiful country it is because of its multiculturalism. Because we have people of all races, religions and belief systems living under our big blue sky. Because of our mateship.

sydney

Although the landscape changed yesterday, I hope we keep our focus on the joy brought to us through diversity, not the horror brought to us by the lone act of one evil man.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. sandy dodson says:

    thanks for saying what we all feel x

  2. Bongo says:

    That type of thing can happen anywhere – and has happened many times in the States. While it is horrible that it happens, it does bring people – and dogs, closer together.

  3. Beautiful post. It puts the ugliness in perspective.

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