This is what a terrorist looks like.
Arthur Freeman, shortly after his arrest in 1999.
Fathers’ Rights Groups (the procreating arm of the MRAs) are spelling it out for everyone to see. Check out this story with commentary from Australian group Lone Fathers’ Association (LFA), whom I gather are just as derranged as the British Fathers 4 Justice (F4J).
Legal system failed Darcey Freeman, lobbyist says
THE murder of Darcey Freeman by her father following a child custody dispute is inexcusable, but the legal system should take some of the blame, an advocate for single fathers says.
Barry Williams, president and founder of the Lone Fathers Association, said men are treated unfairly by the legal system when it comes to Family Court disputes.
Their frustration and despair at not being able to see their children usually drives fathers to harm themselves, but some men, like Arthur Freeman, are driven to harm their children, Mr Williams said.
After five days of deliberation, a jury yesterday found Freeman, 37, guilty of murdering four-year-old Darcey by throwing her from the West Gate Bridge on the morning of January 29, 2009.
The day before Darcey’s death, orders were made in the Family Court to reduce Freeman’s custody access to his three children.
“It’s a terrible thing what happened to that poor child, in front of the other children too, but the system is to take blame for some of this,” Mr Williams said today.
“The court makes orders of access to one parent, usually the dad in most cases but the minute they walk out of that court, that can be broken and the court has admitted they can’t do anything.
“I’ve spoken to many hundreds and hundreds, thousands of men, who’ve felt despair after that and they go away and do something to themselves … in (Freeman’s) case, he went away and did it to his young daughter, which is terrible.”
The legal system is failing to enforce Family Court orders when it comes to men, creating a double standard, he said.
It also turns a blind eye to the issue of men’s suicide, he said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got nearly one million dads in Australia, many of them have court orders and yet they can’t see their children,” Mr Williams said.
“The system won’t help them, even though they’ve paid, in some cases, over $100,000 in court costs to get those orders.
“I know hundreds of men that have suicided over not being able to see their children.”
The Herald Sun revealed this morning that Freeman said his ex-wife would “regret it” if he ever lost custody of his children.
A close family source – who has asked not to be named for professional reasons – told the Herald Sun of a conversation in which Arthur Freeman issued the veiled threat.
The relative said it was uttered at an early family Christmas party at Freeman’s parents’ home at Aireys Inlet in late November 2008 – about two months before little Darcey Freeman was thrown from the bridge.
“Arthur and I were discussing things about the custody of the children,” the close relative said.
“During this conversation Arthur said that ‘she (ex-wife Peta Barnes) would regret it’ if he lost custody of the children.
“That comment has gone through my head over and over. I thought he’d go after Peta – by that I mean making her life hard through legal channels.
“He loved the kids.”
The Herald Sun believes police were made aware of the comments during the latter stages of Freeman’s murder trial.
Freeman had pleaded not guilty to Darcey’s murder on the ground of mental impairment.
The prosecution said he deliberately and consciously killed Darcey.
The day before he murdered his daughter, orders were made in the Family Court, by consent, to reduce the number of days he had custody access to his three children – Ben, 6, Jack 2, and Darcey.
Of the custody dispute, Freeman’s relative told the Herald Sun: “It was like he started to feel like he had no control over anything. It frustrated him to no end.”
On the morning of Darcey’s death, Freeman had spoken to Ms Barnes on the phone and told her to say goodbye to her children.
“You’ll never see your children again,” he said.
Chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, said those threats showed Freeman “knew the nature and quality of what he was about to do”.
“We are perhaps indeed fortunate that he didn’t throw all three children over the bridge,” Mr Silbert told the jury.
Darcey’s maternal relatives sat through the entire two-week trial.
Ms Barnes did not comment as she left the court.
Freeman’s parents, Peter and Norma, also said nothing as they left the court.
The Freeman family source said, “They are very emotional at the moment, understandably. They are quite placid people.”
Arthur Freeman was driving his children back to Melbourne from his parents’ home when he stopped in the emergency lane on the bridge, put his hazard lights on and asked Darcey to move into the front seat.
He then carried her and threw her over the railing.
It was supposed to be Darcey’s first day of school. In the car as they were driving away, young Ben told his father: “Go back and get her . . . Darcey can’t swim.”
In his closing, defence counsel David Brustman, SC, said his client’s “head was simply elsewhere” when he committed the horrific crime.
Six psychiatrists assessed Freeman. Only one supported his mental impairment defence. He believed Freeman was suffering a “major depressive disorder” and was in a “dissociative state” – like a sleep walker.
Of the five expert psychiatrists who did not support the defence, one told the jury Darcey’s death fitted a “spousal revenge” classification.
A pre-sentence plea hearing is expected on Friday and Justice Paul Coghlan plans to sentence Freeman before Easter.
Note that the LFA are effectively supporting Freeman, and trying to put the blame onto the “unfair Family Courts”. The word “frustration” comes up not only from the LFA spokesman, but also from the Freeman relative relating to Freeman’s remarks two months before he murdered Darcey. We see that not only Freeman, but other fathers also have “frustration”. “Frustration (in males) can easily lead to femicide or infantcide apparently.
The LFA spokesman tries to garner sympathy that ‘poor menz will kill themselves’ but adds “some men like Arthur Freeman are driven to harm their children”.
This is not only tacit support of Freeman and his actions, but a veiled threat as well … ‘something’ might just happen to children if you do not let fathers have access.
Clearly the Family Court in the Freeman case made the exactly right decision in reducing Freeman’s access, it must have been recognised with regards to Freeman’s abusive/vengeful tendancies. So why the fuck does this LFA idiot spokesman hold up the Freeman case as part of his cause? It can only be to issue that threat, ‘give us what we want, or you will (all) be sorry’. Because politically, tactically, it makes no fucking sense otherwise.
It is clear that the LFA have no interest whatsoever in the safety and well-being of children, it is all about fathers’ rights of access, regardless of the circumstances. This is a parallel of transjactivists insisting access to all FAB-only areas, regardless of the dangers to FABs. Men’s groups – they don’t give a fuck about anyone but themselves.
Never ever negotiate with terrorists.
This is a follow-up post on the murder of Darcey Freeman.
I wanted to reference a post of Linda Radfem’s to this one, could not find the one I was thinking of, but found a couple of other great posts at hers:
More dads winning custody
MRAs and their reactionary whining
both excellent posts related to the above.