weep for Darcey Freeman
February 01, 2009 12:00am
never knew little Darcey
Freeman, but that didn't
stop hundreds of people from making the pilgrimage to Melbourne's West
Gate Bridge yesterday to mourn the four-year-old's tragic death.
outpouring of grief for the girl,
who was allegedly
thrown to her death from the top of the bridge by her father on
has sparked calls for a public memorial service this week.
teddy bears and a doll were
left near a
memorial for the 35 workers who died when part of the bridge collapsed
in 1970, and more than 27,000 people have flooded social networking
Facebook with messages of support for Darcey's family.
Raffelle, his partner Patrice
Moorfoot and their
children Tahlia, 4, and Anameika, 18 months, of Werribee, west of
were among those who visited the bridge yesterday.
Moorfoot said the tragedy had hit
hard because Tahlia was the same age as Darcey.
whole world is shocked and we
share their disbelief,"
she said. "We came here to reflect on how lucky we are to have our own
accounts of the tragedy
continue to be revealed,
with police now believing the actions of one woman may have saved
woman got out of her car and ran
the girl's father, Arthur Freeman, as he allegedly dropped the child
the top of the bridge about 9am on Thursday.
boys, 6 and 2, were sitting in
car as their terrified sister was carried towards the rail, nearly 60m
above the water.
alleged Mr Freeman got back in
his white Toyota
LandCruiser and drove off after the woman ran at him.
arrested just over an hour
later when he was
found in a distressed state in the foyer of the Commonwealth Law
theory that Mr Freeman may have
to kill all three children is believed to have been strengthened by a
telephone call about the time of Darcey's fatal fall.
sources confirmed a
conversation between Mr
Freeman and his estranged wife, Peta, but would not discuss what was
funeral plans have yet been
Documents relating to
Freeman stolen from judge's car
February 07, 2009 12:01am
documents stolen from
Related to West Gate victim Darcey
Police make appeal for witnesses
documents relating to West
Darcey Freeman and her father have been stolen from a judge's car in
documents were taken from a car
Family Court Chief Justice Diana Bryant.
theft, on Thursday night,
occurred only hours
before Darcey was buried at a private funeral yesterday, the Herald Sun
4, was allegedly thrown from
the West Gate
Bridge by her father Arthur on January 29, which was to have been her
day at school.
Herald Sun believes the theft of
which contained several files, did not involve forced entry.
may have been left open in
St, about 40m west of Spring St.
have been told the theft
7pm and midnight, but have not found security footage to identify the
search of nearby lanes did not find
and police have made an urgent appeal for witnesses.
not known whether the thief
knew of the contents
of the briefcase.
documents include transcripts of
not known if the material
statement released on Thursday,
said the justice system had ignored their fears about her safety and
failed to prevent her death. Chief Justice Bryant confirmed a Family
judge's car had been broken into and personal items, including a
were no court files, but the
a transcript," she said.
Chief Justice Bryant
revealed she had reviewed
all relevant reports relating to the Darcey Freeman case.
to hand over all available
documents to the
federal Attorney-General next week, after he called for a review of the
co-operate in whatever way in
to him all of the material and events that occurred," she said on ABC
said the judicial system was
not told of
concerns that Darcey was at risk.
McClelland has asked
his department to review the family's case.
area of the law) is an
area, and if there is anything we can learn from this tragedy to
how the system is run, we will not hesitate to take the necessary
Mr McClelland said in a statement.
Premier John Brumby
welcomed the review.
who has family or friends
who dealt with
(this area of the law), you know the system isn't perfect," he
think it's very timely to review
this case and
to see the way in which it was managed.
federal responsibility and I
think the sooner
that review's undertaken, the better."
Court did not hear concerns
February 6, 2009
head of Australia's Family Court
of the young girl thrown from Melbourne's West Gate Bridge did not take
their concerns about the child's safety to the court.
chief justice of the Family Court
Diana Bryant QC, made the rare move into public debate after relatives
of Darcey Freeman accused the court system of failing their family.
4, died after plunging almost
60 metres from
the bridge in Melbourne last week. Her father Arthur Phillip Freeman is
facing a murder charge after allegedly throwing her to her death.
believed Darcey was farewelled
at a private
funeral service in Melbourne on Friday.
before her death, Darcey's
parents had reached
an agreement in the Federal Magistrates Court over the amount of time
Freeman could spend with his three children.
McClelland has asked
his department to review the family's case.
Justice Bryant said the court
orders were made
after an agreement between Darcey's parents was reached.
court obviously has to deal with
issues of risk
concerning children but it can only do so when parties raise those
of risk with the court," she told ABC Radio.
this particular case ... the
orders were made
by consent. That is, they were not made by a decision of a judicial
Justice Bryant said a judge
could refuse to
make orders by consent if they were deemed not to be in the interests
this case ... the parties did not
the judicial officer concerned, as part of their case, that this child
was at risk of harm in the father's care," she said.
issues for determination were
how much time
the father should have with the child.
parties actually reached
agreement about that
issue and the judge didn't have to make a decision."
Justice Bryant said no concerns
about the children's safety.
was not an issue," she said.
cannot blame the decision."
said both parents were in court
when the decision
between them was reached.
would have to assume that if the
mother had concerns
they would have been raised and she would not have agreed to this
this order being made."
Justice Bryant said family
breakdown was the
second most stressful event people dealt with, after death.
said court hearings added to the
surrounding family breakdowns.
uncle Tim Barnes issued a
statement on Thursday
accusing the court system of letting the family down.
the past two years, the various
have been made aware of our fear for the safety of the children and
no one would listen," he said.
feel the judicial system has
failed our family
and will continue to fail other families until someone in authority
to take action."
McClelland said he had asked his
review the "distressing" case.
law is an extremely difficult
area and if
there is anything we can learn from this tragedy to improve how the
is run we will not hesitate to take the necessary action," he said in a
family has asked The Alannah
Foundation to set up a trust fund after receiving an overwhelming
of requests from people wishing to donate money.
fund will be used to assist
Darcey's two brothers,
Ben and Jack.
foundation will also be looking
a children's day in Darcey's memory.
Family of Darcey Freeman,
death girl, speak out. Melbourne four-year-old Darcey Freeman, who
the Rolf Harris song Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport
February 5, 2009
Tedmanson in Sydney
family of Darcey Freeman, the
thrown from a bridge by her father in Melbourne, have called for a
Children’s Day in Australia “to honour all children taken from us too
in their lives”.
for the first time since the
family spoke of their “extreme sense of loss and emptiness”.
in deep mourning,” the family
said in a statement
to Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper. “We will never understand the
why … sometimes things in life are just not fair.”
touching death notice placed in
Darcey’s mother, Peta Freeman, said: "My Darling Daughter. My heart
always be with you, as you will be with me. We will miss you every day
and remember you with love and laughter."
family said that they hoped Darcey’s
not be taken in vain and would love to see an annual event “where
have the opportunity to embrace life and enjoy activities whilst having
fun with their families”.
Rudd, the Prime Minister,
embraced the idea
and described Darcey's death as “gut wrenching for the entire
have been really affected by
with a touch of humanity in them finds this just unspeakable,” he said.
"You just recoil in horror."
been suggested that the
Day could be incorporated into the already existing annual Children’s
such an appalling tragedy,
how do we turn
it to good?" Mr Rudd said. "Cause people to reflect on the protection
little ones ... I think it's a good idea."
was allegedly thrown 190ft (57
a shallow, muddy river, from the busy West Gate bridge during peak hour
traffic on January 29. She miraculously survived the fall but died four
hours later from massive internal injuries.
maternal uncles, Tim and Joe
their niece as an active girl who played Auskick (a junior version of
Rules football), tennis and would spend hours jumping on the
They spoke of Darcey’s love of dancing and her passion for music, in
the Rolf Harris classic Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, which was her
song. They also said that she adored her brothers, Ben, 7, and Jack, 2,
who are being cared for by their mother, Peta Freeman.
though she was only four, she
and strong-willed,” Tim Barnes told the Herald Sun. “She knew her own
and was prepared to always stand up for what she believed in.”
that like most young girls,
the pretty, blonde
Darcey loved clothes and liked to dress in whatever she wanted “even if
it meant wearing pink Wellington boots to play tennis”.
Barnes said that his niece had
given the family
“a lot of fun”. “She was into everything. She will never be forgotten.
She had an effect on everybody,” he said.
father, Arthur Freeman, an
who was involved in a custody dispute with his estranged wife, has been
charged with her murder. The 35-year-old is on suicide watch and has
not uttered a word since being taken into custody.
family said that they had
by the public support from around the world: “We wish to thank the
for their heartfelt sympathy."
public memorial service will be
held in honour
of Darcey. Her family will also be holding a private memorial
to Darcey's story
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