Friday, December 12, 2003

Jordan's death could have been prevented

BABY Jordan had his tiny toes crushed one by one, was hit so hard his bottom teeth went through the roof of his mouth, and was subjected to repeated punches to the stomach. The seven-month-old's torture and suffering ended only when he choked to death on his own vomit.

Valuing children now!

Yesterday the man responsible for the brutal killing of the baby boy was sentenced to a minimum term of eight long years. With time already served, Christopher Hoerler could be free in January 2010, at the age of 32.Hoerler, 26, repeatedly denied involvement in the gruesome killing, but in July, at the end of the Crown case in his murder trial, decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Even then, he would not accept full responsibility for the attack he told a psychiatrist that Jordan's mother, Louise Anderson, asked him to hit the child twice because he was (crying)!

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW

Jordan died in the Housing Commission home Hoerler shared with the baby's mother, Louise Anderson, at Ashmont, Wagga Wagga, in the early hours of February 25, 2000. The trial had been told that nobody heard Jordan scream during the attack because it was believed the first punch to his jaw, which drove his bottom teeth into the roof of his mouth, knocked him unconscious.

His extensive facial injuries and fractured ribs suggested he had been dragged face down over carpet or a sofa and punched hard in the abdomen. It was (alleged) Hoerler then set about crushing Jordan's little toes one by one with a fan clamp but was that true?

Hoerler may have acted out of frustration over the babies crying punching and dragging the baby to stop but we doubt whether frustration would have caused a person to set about crushing the babies toes one by one with a fan clamp, and if it did then we would be very surprised indeed if the intention was to stop the babies crying.

Were we told the truth? I guess you'll have to ask Crown prosecutor Virginia Lydiard? And could these sorts of allegations make this a worse case of manslaughter? Perhaps!

We can remember a case of manslaughter where it was said that the man murdered his wife in front of his children but when the truth is told he killed his wife in a crisis situation (manslaughter) and his children did not see it. Uncorroborated lies told by Crown prosecutors and corporate media like the Daily Telegraph serve as no remedy to crimes of this nature and in fact hide the real reasons and causes thereby causing more deaths.

During sentence proceedings yesterday, Crown prosecutor Virginia Lydiard told the Supreme Court she could not think of a worse case of manslaughter and called for the maximum sentence of 25 years to be imposed which is ridiculous.

But Acting Justice Jeffrey Miles sentenced Hoerler to a maximum 11 years in jail with a minimum term of eight years and three months. He said that to impose any more was "far beyond the range of sentences established by past sentencing practice in this court in recent years".

Justice Miles obviously taking into account the mitigating facts of the case, which included human failure and the circumstances surrounding the killing of this child.

Sentences of less than 25 years were imposed for murder and it would be "entirely against the tradition and history of the criminal law" to treat a murder as less serious than manslaughter, except in exceptional circumstances, he said.

THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE: Until smacking is outlawed in all States of Australia then everyday is a dark day for some child or adult alike in Australia. A dark day for violence, domestic violence and brutalised children who (if they live to tell their story) are bound to pass on what they have been (taught).

Parents are encouraged to use threats and violence by States who subconsciously give grace to parents who think it's normal behaviour to smack a child below the shoulders and by ignoring the current literature.

Corporate media do the same by producing sensational lies that fog the real issues so practical outcomes cannot be found.

Better to read literature like Parent Effectiveness Training (Thomas Gordon PHD). Parent Effectiveness Training provides all parents and States with information that tells them that violence and threats don't solve problems in the long term. Without adhering to such knowledge the inflation of more deaths and more jails is likely to continue.

States that give grace to parents to smack children in the first place have to change the pattern and States who use threats and violence as a means to get short term results themselves from the community opposed to long term results have to change the pattern.

Smacking a child, teaches that child a very bad lesson, because you don't know when that smacked child will use this bad resource. Or do you know what circumstances and conditions this bad resource will be used. Or whether the previously smacked child's resources (social skills) can tolerate a crisis situation that has developed when they are adults..

If smacked children live to tell their story these people are "more likely than not" to ensure it stops. As Justice Alastair Nicholson of the Family Court of Australia said, "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault."

Christopher Hoerler should be able to tell his story and should be allowed to explain the circumstances, which caused this violence. Was he a victim of domestic violence? The Daily Telegraph should know better when reporting these cases. Throwing rocks at him using their power and printing profanities from bitterly disappointed relatives and Crown prosecutor's only puts sensational fuel on the fire and hides the real truth. A real truth that will go on to cause more anguish somewhere down the track.

Christopher Hoerler will have learnt his lesson long before his 11-year sentence has finished. Hopefully passing on his experience for the greater good. In fact he may be the best person to pass on this message to whole community, if he is given the chance, by the grace of the Universe, and may in fact prevent more deaths than he has caused.

By LAW N ORDER 12 December 03


But there are Keys!
Charles Dickens said, "Life is a secret and you haven't got the key." "And you never will have." True, that you cannot see or know your future! But there are keys and you may need them in order to survive. Also the skills you have are the resources you have to survive events that occur in your life. Some people don't get through it. Some people do. Some people have better results than others do.

Valuing children now!
The 2001 legislation specified where a child could legally be hit, which only perpetuates the view that physical punishment is normal and a parent's right, Bernadette Saunders, of the Child Abuse and Family Violence Research Unit at Monash University, says.

Development problems hit 1 in 4 kids: study
Australian of the Year Fiona Stanley has described the results of a groundbreaking study into child development as frightening.

WHEN THE PUNISHMENT IS THE CRIME AND PLANTING THE SEED In New South Wales today if you get into trouble with the law you have little or no defence. Unless you're wealthy enough to get yourself a lawyer and even then the odds you will escape justice are minimal because of the infrastructure and resource of the government opposed to your Legal Aid Status. I am not saying Legal Aid cannot help you but I am saying they have become overworked and under resourced.

Zero Tolerance for Families
A three-strikes plan, which uses the threat of fines and jail to (force) parents to meet their parental obligations after divorce, could be introduced under a draft proposal from the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing the Family Law Act.

Australia to tackle child abuse and rescue impoverished children?
A national report on child protection in the Northern Territory has blasted the system, saying it has abandoned the most impoverished children and families in Australia.

ATSIC call to smack kids?
The ATSIC commissioner said the high levels of regulation was not unlike the attention focused on Aboriginal families that led to the creation of a Stolen Generation of Aboriginal people. Mr Hill said he did not condone violence and admitted he did not smack his own children, but he stressed he wanted the issue of child discipline debated among Aboriginal people and community leaders.

No-Smacking Day for Children in NSW
Patmalar Ambikapathy the Children's Commissioner, HOBART Tasmania spoke to Gregory Kable a caseworker at Justice Action at the Controlling Crime Conference at Redfern in Sydney yesterday and we both realised how parallel our ideas about crime prevention were.

NSW education professor warns further commitment needed
The author of a report on the New South Wales education system has urged the major political parties to do more for education in the election campaign.

Fiona Stanley, the children's crusader
It is all about prevention. As Fiona Stanley sees it, with one in five Australian teenagers experiencing significant mental health problems, there are just not enough treatment services to cope with the demand.

Parents call for feedback on social skills
Parents are calling for the same level of feedback on their children's social development as on their academic progress, according to a national survey.

Alcohol is just the beginning
People who start using alcohol by their mid teens are more than twice as likely as others to experiment with different drugs and to become dependent on drugs a major Australian study has found.

The punishment: Is the 'crime'
The punishment is the crime according to retired chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Justice Alistair Nicholson. "Smacking a child ought to be seen as assault".

Australian prisons are fast becoming the new asylums of the third millennium. The prison industry is booming, while Australia spends far less on mental health services than similar countries.

The Seed
Respect, you only get out what you have put in. What about Life Skills, Communication and Conflict Resolution. Evolution, perhaps some children and adults miss the whole or part of the course. I did, and so how surprised do you think I was when I realised my parents missed the course as well. Things like Compromise, Win Win, Empathy, and Love. Invisible energy and other skills like public speaking, how to Relate, Assuming, Blaming, Forgiveness, Freedom and Discrimination. This is how I learned respect. If you don't know what it is then how do you relate?