Justice for the Hodson dead — and the living

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by contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence

Why is Justice in Victoria treating the three children of executed police informant Terrence Hodson and his wife Christine, as low life trailer trash?

Why are they being treated as the lesser among equals?

Why is the execution of their parents – eight years ago tomorrow – still unsolved?

Why haven't Victoria Police, the Department of Public Prosecutions, the Department of Justice, the Judiciary, the various regulatory bodies and Victoria's 'B' Grade Governments – first the Brumby Government, and now the Baillieu Government, to say nothing of Attorney General Robert Clark – not been intent on finding the assassins?

Why was Carl Williams blatantly executed on April 19, 2010, whilst a prisoner under the protection of the State in the maximum security Barwon Prison?

Why was the search for Barwon Prison General Manager, David Prideaux who went missing in the Alpine National Park on June 5, 2011 called off after a mere eight days?

And why was the Law Institute of Victoria, the National Australia Bank and McKean Park permitted by the Judiciary to run rampant and remove explosive documents and files from my premises and law offices, that contained vital investigative material and statements from informants and whistleblowers concerning these very matters, as well as the NAB's financial dealings with several gangland figures — jeopardising the lives of my sources?

Terrence and Christine Hodson were each shot twice in the back of the head in their East Kew home and were reported to have been kneeling side by side.

The cowardice of the murderer(s) is replicated by the cowardice of the guardians of Justice in the State of Victoria.

Little wonder, given that the Top End of Town is well and truly mired in so many aspects of this ongoing turgid gangland saga

Ironically, Law Week started yesterday in Victoria.

But almost daily, Victorians are confronted with serious failings and flaws of the Justice, Police and political systems, as well as the broken election promises by the Baillieu Government to be open and transparent and accountable to the people.

Even the attempt to set up an Anti-Corruption Commission has been steeped in controversy, farce, inept governance and allegations of corruption.

In the eight years that Mandy, Andrew and Nicola Hodson have been trying to rise above their family's torrid reputation and personal transgressions, they have become used to the doors of Justice being slammed in their faces.

But they want to try and get on with their lives and, as Mandy said to me today, they can't do that until the execution of their parents is properly investigated.

Other people are allowed 'closure' — so why is it being denied to the Hodsons?

Justice delayed is Justice denied.

That is just one of the reasons the children delivered a plea to Chief Commissioner Ken Lay on April 24, 2012.

This is not a 'cold case' Commissioner Lay. This is a boiling hot case.

In the letter the children wrote, they asked for action and assistance:
"We are writing to you to implore you to take action in relation to the murder of our parents, Terrence and Christine Hodson. Since their murders almost eight years ago we have had conversations with lots of different members of Victoria Police, but we now feel very strongly that it is appropriate to ask you directly to implement action and to assign us a permanent contact person so that we can be regularly updated."

They further stated that their suspicions that some in Victorian Police had no interest in solving the crime:
"One might speculate that there are some people in the Victoria Police who have a vested interest in not solving the murders.

"One may further speculate that solving the murders may cause (further) embarrassment to many important people; meanwhile the community is waiting to secure finality and we are waiting to see who will be the next victim of the murderous activity.

"We are very confident, based on personal knowledge, that credible and reliable evidence is available to at least pursue Police enquiries: however Victoria Police's continued inactivity results in the silencing of witnesses.

"The OPP [Ed: Office of Public Prosecutions] indicates it has no power to investigate only to prosecute. Consequently the Director is apparently waiting for Police to provide evidence so that he may be in a position to proceed. Like us he is waiting and waiting and waiting.

“May we respectfully ask how long the community will need to wait to bring criminals to justice?

At this stage Victoria Police are yet to prepare a brief of evidence for an inquest … what could be the reason for this? One might speculate that the community may then see how little the Police have done to date."

The Hodson children asked Commissioner Lay not to do as
"…predecessors and others within the Police Hierarchy have done ... put this into the "too hard" basket and ignore our plea.

"We would like to think that you would at the very least want to live up to the promise you made to the Victorian public when you accepted your (formal) appointment as the new Chief Commissioner some six months ago, that being to resolve one of the most heinous crimes ever in the history of this State."

The despair and the pleas by the Hodson children is echoed by many of us who are experiencing, to a lesser and greater degree, the utter degradation of Justice in Victoria and the abuse of due process that takes place, at times, with complete impunity before the Courts and those who preside over them.

Speaking Truth to Power and Justice is life threatening in Victoria.

How did the Police respond to the letter? Stay tuned for Part Two.

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