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Enngonia Road - Death and deprivation in the Australian outback - cover

Enngonia Road - Death and deprivation in the Australian outback

Richard Stanton

Publisher: Ginninderra Press

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Summary

On a lonely highway in the middle of the night, two teenage Aboriginal girls are killed in a crash. Like rag dolls, their bodies are thrown from the Toyota Hilux when it rolls at high speed. One suffers massive internal injuries. The other has her ear and scalp torn off. They bleed out in the dirt. A drunk middle-aged white man crawls out of the crashed ute. It’s after midnight. He spreads a green plastic sheet on the stony ground. He drags the dead fifteen-year-old onto the tarp and pulls her pants down. He pushes her top up, exposing her breasts. He tries to have sex with her. He stretches out with his arm across her breasts and goes to sleep. The police charge him. He hires a criminal lawyer from the big end of town. An anonymous benefactor pays his expensive legal costs. The case drags on. Two years later, he fronts court. He walks. This story is about the justice system that saw Alexander Ian Grant acquitted of killing Mona Lisa Smith and Jacinta Rose Smith and of a charge of indecently interfering with fifteen-year-old Jacinta when she was dead. It describes the sad events which led to their violent deaths. It analyses the police case, which was so fragmented that it failed to gain a conviction. It seeks to understand what caused the deaths of the girls, why the police got it so wrong and how the accused walked away from the crash without a scratch and away from the court a free man.

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