Years ago, in a house far, far away, I was undergoing a course which involved a module to do with the “Law of Evidence”, which involved learning about what types of evidence is acceptable in Courts in Victoria. We did an in-depth study of the case of Leith Ratten, a man from the very far North of Victoria who was convicted of shooting his eight-month-pregnant wife, causing her death.
Now, Leith Ratten may or may not have been guilty, because I’m certainly not convinced “beyond reasonable doubt”, and we all know what that means. Leith Ratten was apparently turning from facing left to facing right while holding a loaded rifle, and he was blind in his right eye. So yes, it could have been intentional, and it could have been an accident. And when he rang the Echuca telephone exchange (who were, and are now, in charge of connecting all phone calls) he said either “Police!” or an unheard (“Ambulance”) “Please!” Again, reasonable doubt springs up.
Add to it that Ratten was having an affair with a married woman at the time. Reasonable doubt all around, either way.
But I digress.
All through learning about this case, we watched documentaries, read the court transcript, etc, and only heard mention of a book written by a lawyer named Tom Molomby. So I googled his name, and came up with his email address, law firm, and so forth.
To which the enterprising young Ash emailed, and asked how (the book was out of print) a certain young Ash could find the book. Mr. Molomby emailed the certain young Ash back and said “Send $10 to [address] and I’ll send you a copy.” So I did.
And along came a fine, signed copy of “Ratten: The Web of Circumstance: How An Innocent Man Was Found Guilty Of Murder”. I’m a genius! I read the entire thing, and came away with a few thoughts.
Ratten certainly wasn’t guilty of the killing of his wife beyond a reasonable doubt, but there’s every chance that these days, he’d go for at least manslaughter. I will say, however, that Tom Molomby is a top lawyer, although at opposite political viewpoints to me (I’ve seen other cases he’s covered), but that on this case, he nailed it completely.
However, I’m certain that Tom Molomby did his best to fight for Ratten. And same with the next lawyer I’m about to discuss, although I won’t mention her name.
She’s my lawyer, the one who’s there and willing to fight against anyone to stop Maddy from getting in the wrong hands. She’s got a very good idea of family law, knows about the important things such as probate and administration, and is willing to go tooth and nail against anyone who tries to take Maddy away from me. She’s certainly a force to be reckoned with.
She understands that women sometimes have to leave men, she understands the dynamic of an engaged relationship, and she understands that everyone fucks up. Most importantly, she understands people with my flaws.
So Deborah, I thank you for being there, even though I have my moments where I’m a fuckup.