23 April 2008

Stabbed 57 times, but no intent to kill

| lemaChet
Join the conversation
66

From the SMH article…

Glen Porrit has been found not guilty for murder (and instead found guilty of the lesser manslaughter charge) as Justice Higgins told the court that “he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Porritt inflicted any of the injuries with an intention to kill his mother or with reckless indifference to the probability of her dying.”

It is of course possible, based on the other claims made at the court, that he didn’t intend it…..

Join the conversation

66
All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments
Latest

See the CT? Seems we’re not the only ones wondering what the hell is going on. ACT gov’t is planning to shut down some of these mechanisms by which people can choose to bypass a jury trial:
http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/news/local/general/return-justice-to-the-people-govt-push-to-bring-back-juries/1231563.html

“I think the idea is that they didn’t actually go there with an ironclad definite plan to murder them. Things just escalated out of control til they did.”

OK not sure about in Aussie but in the USA that would be murder 2 instead of murder 1. Dont we have those laws in Aussie.

One would have to assume that the fella that ran over his girlfriend in the northern suburbs on New Years Day would be feeling confident about beating his murder charge. If this guy stabs 57 times and is not a murderer, well failing to swerve when driving your car is just dangerous driving.

Sorry 57 stabs is an act of pure rage and hate, not one of random violence. Try counting to 57 in your head …… Thats more than ooops. It seems that “reckless” is also forgotten in the ACT in terms of considering intent….. Stabbing someone 57 times in any persons mind, mental illness or not would mean death.

I think the idea is that they didn’t actually go there with an ironclad definite plan to murder them. Things just escalated out of control til they did.

It’s interesting. I remember many years ago, when Eastman was found guilty of murdering winchester. We held a sweepstake at work to see what penalty he’d get (he was a regular client of ours), and I cursed my luck when an ex-senior policeman drew 1st lot to cast his vote for the penalty.

Becuase in finding him guilty, the court had bought all the evidence, which was that in going to Winchester’s house with a gun, he’d planned it, and there’s only one penalty for pre-meditated murder. Well, imagine my delight when the ex-policeman chose 20 years! har! I chose “life”, and crowed at him, while he groaned in embarassment.
(I won the sweepstake when the result was announced).

So, in light of this, I am at a loss to see how they can find that the above two examples did not “intend” to kill their victims? plunging a knife into a person 57 times, or blasting away at someone with a gun, somehow is separate from the person dying?

And if the killers were somehow unable to draw that connection, then I reiterate that I am not comfortable with them walking around in society.

There is a case currently in NSW where a guy went with a gun to young guy’s house to punish him for owing 100.00 on a drug deal. He shot and killed him. He is up for manslaughter.

So it seems that in NSW as well you have to really and unmistakeably intend to kill someone to get charded with murder.

It looks like judges go by point 1a above (intention), not point 1b (reckless abandon for life). (post 20 – murder in the crimes act)

If one read the case notes, you would see that Porrit’s legal team completely left out and avoided the mental thing. His defense was simply he did not intend to kill her.

Just to clarify things here a bit (yeah, me wanting to clarify things – who’d have thunk that!) – did Glen actually stab his mother 57 times; or was it that he in fact cut, slashed and stabbed her 57 times?

Initially the media were stating that she was stabbed 57 times, but I heard on the news the other night that it was cut and stabbed 57 times.

CanberraResident – the best thing about maslaughter is that it allows a wide range of sentences, from minimal up to 26 years (which is about twice what a lot of life sentences amount to before the person is released on parole/licence). Choosing where a particular case belongs in the range will never be easy, and it’s unlikely people will agree about it. Judges tend to establish a range (based on the circumstances, particular issues relating to the defendant, protection of the community, expressing a social disapproval for most offences etc) and then find the minimum that will do the job.

Hypothetically, a fairly savage killing would drift it up. Previous record, mitigating factors, likelihood of rehabilitation, remorse would push it down. It’s not a mathematical exercise, but judges and prosecutors are aware of broad ranges. Judges are individuals like the rest of us, and some would operate at one end of the punishment/rehabilitation spectrum, and some at the other, even for the same offence.

CanberraResident8:38 am 24 Apr 08

oh, and re the Cinque case, Sepi, yeah, I know it’s a bit different to the Porritt case, I was just making the point about the “trial by judge alone” thing … seems to be unique to the ACT. Singh got away with murder … I wonder if she’s still working in a Council needle exchange program in Sydney?

CanberraResident8:35 am 24 Apr 08

I can see your point VicePope, but most people think with their heart, and not in an in-depth I-know-every-page-of-the-criminal-act kind of way. I know that’s a little unfair, and you’re right, we should wait, but I think the 57 stabs has raised a few eyebrows to say the least. It’s human nature. Sorry.

He threatened old man Porritt as well – Motivation and target are still out there. Hate to be him should he walk. My bet 18months – on par with Collins. (For those who don’t know he stabbed his mum 30+ times a couple of years ago)

Defamation litigants used to (dunno if they still do under the law change) choose for their cases to be heard in the ACT, due to the option of having judge-only trials. Because a judge would be more likely to buy all the legal crap and other mumbo-jumbo and award huge crazy damages, while a jury would say, collectively, “get real” and not be quite so generous.

I have followed the above discussion with interest. I am prepared, given the most unusual character presented by Mrs Porritt, for the Judge to consider mitigating circumstances in arriving at his sentence.

I suspect any further similar behaviour by son would be incomprehensible. The motive no longer exists.

I’m prepared for the Judge’s decision to range from a minimal incarceration to major time. May he be given the wisdom of Job on this one.

Sentencing is a different process, 123qwe. The circumstances of the offence will, no doubt, be highly relevant to whatever His Honour determines. The decision will be public and DPP will be able to appeal if it considers it too low; the defendant can appeal if he thinks it too high. Bidding for what might be the right sentence is an interesting exercise for those who know all about the case, but it’s pretty idle for the rest of us.

What a load of shit. If this guy re-enters the community before 2020, what sort of community do we live in. Higginsland.

The decision does not appear to be up on the ACT SC site. It might be wise for people to sit quietly until it is there, because it may explain His Honour’s reasoning process to satisfy at least some of the reasonable people here. I suppose anyone who sat there every minute and saw every bit of evidence that His Honour saw might be entitled to an informed opinion, but I’m not that person and I doubt anyone else here is either.

As has been said a million times, the standard of proof for a criminal conviction is very high and, if there’s an alternative that cannot be disregarded as a piece of fancy, the person is entitled to acquittal and/or conviction on some lesser charge that was available and that the evidence has established.

The Anu Singh trial was a puzzle.

How could someone get away with such an act?

I think my faith in the ACT justice system nose dived from then.

The Anu Singh trial was ridiculous. She clearly planned the murder, told people, and then failed to call an ambulance for a couple of days.

The current Porrit case is a bit different – more like a sudden mad rage – like finding your wife in bed with someone – which is usually manslaughter I think?

CanberraResident8:05 pm 23 Apr 08

Special G raised the point that Porritt was tried by Judge alone. Well there you go. Brings back memories of the Joe Cinque trial. Anu Singh got 4 years for killing her boyfriend after injecting him with heroin and rohypnol and not calling the ambulance for about 30 hours or so. She got manslaughter and was also tried by Judge alone. Helen Garner wrote a book about it – Joe Cinque’s Consolation, and the author was astounded, as were many, that the ACT has this trial by Judge alone as an option in the Supreme Court.

Does anyone know if you can be tried by Judge alone in NSW? I believe the answer is no.

This needs to change.

The ACT courts are a mockery.

And I should add that psychiatric care should also be provided.

Stabbed 57 times.

That is a seriously frightening thought. 57 times….

I wouldn’t want to push in front of him in a supermarket or cut him off in a car. obviously when he loses it, he loses it big time.

However, maximum for manslaughter in the ACT I believe is 20 years. I hope he gets it.

@JD obviously had someone disagree with you too many times therefore the site sucks. I disagree with you.

I expect a reasonable person would think that beyond a reasonable doubt that it takes some kind of intent to put a knife into something 57 times – go grab a watermelon and try it – I bet you get bored after about 15. This is why he elected to be tried by Judge alone as then one person (read one of ACT Supreme Court judges) is making the call as opposed to 12 members of the community finding him guilty and thus tying the judges hands and restricting him to sentencing. It’s no wonder crooks don’t elect to have jury trials in the ACT.

Deadmandrinking7:11 pm 23 Apr 08

Mr Evil, I’d be surprised if he killed anyone again. The relationship between parents and children can get very weird and volatile if they go down the wrong track. I’m not justifying what Glen did. It was a reprehensible act – but it did have a cause that would be hard to repeat.

Smack, you’ve brought up a very good point. I don’t think murder is the act of a rational mind. There’s different motivations that lead to it; greed, spite, misguided senses of honor from taking gangsta rap way too seriously. I don’t think Glen fits any of those categories however. His act seemed to come out of dangerously warped frustration.

I hope he gets a long sentence and is remanded to a psychiatric institution. He does need help, but it will take a long time before he can be trusted in society again.

Yeah, just make sure you don’t take his acne medication off him, eh?

FC said :

I am not exactly objective as I know Glen. But I would much prefer having someone like him who has committed one, while very serious, offence in his life and spent the rest of his life abiding by the law, contributing to taxes etc. Living in my neighbourhood that many of the drug addicted, lifetime criminals, who have nothing left to lose, and no problem doing another “stint” in the big house.

The latter is much more likely to inflict harm on the community.

Until Glen gets all pent up about something again?

The guy is a crackpot – the judge that is.

I cannot comprehend how anyone could stab any animal or person 57 times. I’d be very wary of having such people walking around.

I am not exactly objective as I know Glen. But I would much prefer having someone like him who has committed one, while very serious, offence in his life and spent the rest of his life abiding by the law, contributing to taxes etc. Living in my neighbourhood that many of the drug addicted, lifetime criminals, who have nothing left to lose, and no problem doing another “stint” in the big house.

The latter is much more likely to inflict harm on the community.

sepi – stabbing somebody 57 times, mother or not, is a random act of violence. Random being nobody saw it coming, icluding Glen Porrit himself according to his legal defense.

Did you forget to put the wink at the end of your post?

I wouldn’t actually be that scared of Glen Porrit. It was his mother he killed, not a random act of violence.

I think this case is in the borderline between the low end of murder and the high end of manslaughter.

If Martin Bryant had been tried in the ACT, he would have been found not fit to plea and would be out of rehab by now.

softheads are so sensitive

I have the very unfortunate experience of having met David Eastman back in the day. Now I think that dude is seriously crazy. In a scary, “do I really have to serve him…Isn’t it your turn” kind of a way. And that was before he shot anybody.

Thank God, he was convicted of murder.

If David Eastman had of waited until now to shoot somebody, I am quite sure that he would have had a good chance of getting off on grounds of reduced capacity due to mental illness bla bla bla….

Mental illness is a terrible thing and there is no easy answer, but if you have a history of stabbing and shooting people then society must be protected from the possibility that you might do it again.

And obviously that is not directed to everyone on this site. Just the ones that love to go on the attack all the time.

Why can’t people on this site learn to disagree without name calling or low blows.
It seems as though as soon as someone has a different view than the regulars, they get pounced on and insulted.

CanberraResident12:27 pm 23 Apr 08

faaaaaarq – “from someone who is normally such a big man?” WTF? If anything … I take the mickey out of things and try to shed light on situations – a task which is not easy on this site … Oh and I’m not a redneck and I do understand mental illness, but something tells me that the subject of mental illness is closer to your heart than I originally thought.

Porritt will get another 4 or 5 years I say.

Crikey said :

If you are going to commit murder in this country – do it in the ACT.

What was that brilliant topic heading a while back? Canberra: holiday destination of choice for Murderers (or something similar).

CanberraResident, afraid of stepping on my toes? Oh that is just soo precious coming from someone who is normally such a big man.

Why is it so hard to understand that society (minus you rednecks) don’t see a point in making the mentally ill suffer?

My bet is he will get a couple of years, minus the time spent in remand. Probably out by 2009.

@JD1114- The problem with this site is it allows the unwashed portion of society, those without sufficient nouse to see beyond their restricted redneck views, to have a say. Still, it is fun to read what the imbeciles and morons think.

Yes.. and you’ll see i DID say, “it may be possible…” etc…

I’d say it would be pretty tough to argue that someone who stabbed anyone wasn’t intending to kill them, cause GBH, or acted with reckless indifference to them. It would seem that something is at work here that we’re not privy to just yet.

Judges apply the law in conviction. They don’t just arbitrarily let people off. Conviction and sentencing are two separate considerations. Try to remember that before you call for the head of the judge in question.

CanberraResident11:29 am 23 Apr 08

Psy said :

In the sydney case did the old bloke go to Gaol for murder or manslaughter? As this is the point that seems to be causing all the controversy.

Psy, at the risk of stepping on the toes of Farq, who seems to think he can have total control over who frequents this site, I think the old bloke got manslaughter, but my point was the “going too far bit”. In any case, Porritt knew his mother (obviously), and as pointed out by someone else, he talked about killing her. Murder as far as I’m concerned.

Smack – spot on re this:

smack said :

When you are murdering someone could you mind ever be considered normal?????

Porrit is a murder – the “I’m batty” is a cop out.

I can not remember the last time that a Judge in Canberra gave a stiff sentence for murder or another serious crime. Higgins is the worst culprit.

If you are going to commit murder in this country – do it in the ACT.

There is scope for a decent sentence so hopefully the sentence will be “at the higher end of the scale”. I won’t hold my breath.

The question is, will this verdict mean this person is free to move around in society? Because that would be a serious problem to any reasonable person. Fine points of law aside, I would be extremely concerned to have someone who stabbed someone at all, let alone 57 times, driving on the roads, shopping, in the workplace… it’s a legitimate concern.

This is the straight from the Crimes Act

12 Murder
(1) A person commits murder if he or she causes the death of another
person—
(a) intending to cause the death of any person; or
(b) with reckless indifference to the probability of causing the death of any person.
(2) A person who commits murder is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for life.

14 Trial for murder—diminished responsibility
(1) A person on trial for murder shall not be convicted of murder if, when the act or omission causing death occurred, the accused was suffering from an abnormality of mind (whether arising from a condition of arrested or retarded development of mind or any inherent cause or whether it was induced by disease or injury) that substantially impaired his or her mental responsibility for the act or omission.

15 Manslaughter
(1) Except if a law expressly provides otherwise, an unlawful homicide that is not, under section 12, murder shall be taken to be manslaughter.
(2) A person who commits manslaughter is guilty of an offence punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for 20 years.
(3) However, for an aggravated offence against this section, the maximum penalty is imprisonment for 26 years.

So if you murder someone you just have suffer from an abnormality of mind, and its no longer murder. When you are murdering someone could you mind ever be considered normal?????

farq said :

And did someone just break Goodwin’s law within 15 comments? Talk about a decline in quality contributors.

I was trying to hold off until Post #17, but it got the better of me. 😉

neanderthalsis11:12 am 23 Apr 08

There is a fine line between a frenzied stabbing attack and a gentle poke in the ribs with a kitchen knife…

I personally think he had every intention of killing his mother, whether or not he had diminished mental capacity to full comprehend his actions are another story. At the end of the day, murder is murder, he stabbed someone (his dear old mum) 57 times, these are hardly the actions of someone who didn’t really mean to do it.

Our esteened judges need to take a reality check:
Call it murder, say there was diminished responsibility due to mental illness and a history of abuse as a child and whack him in a looney bin.

In the sydney case did the old bloke go to Gaol for murder or manslaughter? As this is the point that seems to be causing all the controversy.

Unless he was in a rational state of mind I can’t see him having the intent to commit murder. Not an accident, just not murder in the legal sense.

And did someone just break Goodwin’s law within 15 comments? Talk about a decline in quality contributors.

CanberraResident11:03 am 23 Apr 08

oh, and about 20 years ago, there was a case on the outskirts of Sydney, where a senior citizen was awoken by a burglar. The senior citizen took an axe and hit the burglar over the head with the sharp edge. The burglar was out cold. The senior citizen then continued to hit the burglar, with the sharp edge of the axe, SEVENTEEN TIMES. The burglar was dead and the senior citizen did time in gaol.

Not the same thing I know, but an example of someone going overboard with a weapon.

Porritt went overboard. Mentally unstable, abused or whatever – he went too far.

Hitler was crazy, and no one’s had any trouble accusing him of murder i.e. genocide. 😉

If he was crazy, how could he have had intent to murder her?

CanberraResident10:55 am 23 Apr 08

JD114, it seems outrageous to not see this as murder, given the bloke stabbed the victim 57 times.

Is the court now saying that he didn’t mean to kill her?
Or are they saying he didn’t know the 57 stabs would kill her?
Or are they saying the stab wounds were not deep enough to cause death?
Or are they saying Porrit thought it would take 58 stabs to kill her?
Or has Porritt gone down the “mentally unfit” to know what I was doing road?

What exactly are we supposed to think JD????

The guy stabs his own mother 57 times … no excuses of child abuse will make that OK – sorry – but he’s a friggin’ murderer in my eyes.

Agreed papadoc. Site has gone downhill.

This site has recently become a forum for the usual faces to critisize anyone who they believe to be below them (Everyone).

This site’s gone to shit.

JD 114 – Well said. Who needs to tune in to Jerry Springer anymore when you can get just as much red neck action on this site!!

Yeah, not black and white at all. The whole family are f#cked – they should all be in prison.

I still fail to see how cutting, slashing and stabbing another person 57 times can be considered to be manslaughter, especially when he’d previously said to his sister on a chatroom site that he wanted to kill both parents.

And all because they took his acne medication perscription away from him!

I agree with JD114 – this was case was definately not black and white.

The problem with this site is it allows the unwashed portion of society, those without sufficient nouse to see beyond their restricted redneck views, to have a say. Still, it is fun to read what the imbeciles and morons think.

Just once, twatheads and dipsticks, how about stopping and thinking about the possibility that there might be more to the story than your feeble little brains can comprehend in one sitting. Who kows, it might open up a whole new world, a world where you use more than four brain cells at any one time.

Deadmandrinking9:32 am 23 Apr 08

I didn’t know the wild west was in Australia.

Timberwolf659:08 am 23 Apr 08

This is insane, Im sick of all the red tape bullshit, bring back the old western days when you could take the law into your own hands and shoot people like this.

The Canberra Times Headline was “Judge rules Porritt didn’t murder mother”

Well based on this result the term “Judge” is very loosely used unless it is describing his ability with red wine.

What a joke.

it’s reminiscent of the scene in ‘chopper’ when he has just stabbed keith george about 30 times and then cradles him and tells him he will be OK, he’s sorry etc.

CanberraResident8:06 am 23 Apr 08

Beyond reasonable doubt, I believe that the term “beyond reasonable doubt” has become a bit of a joke.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.