Female domestic violence: Daniela Dawes murders son, walks free
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Female domestic violence: Daniela Dawes murders son, walks free

Women who kill get soft sentences from feminist-friendly judiciary

Judge lets female child killer walk free

On August 4, 2003, New South Wales woman Daniela Dawes (pictured) forced her 10-year-old autistic son Jason's mouth closed and pinched his nose until he stopped struggling. 

Daniela Dawes

Describing the killing of Jason, (pictured below), on Channel Nine's 60 Minutes program, Dawes said "He was playing. I, being in a depressed state, wasn't really up for playing. And I remember he ran off and I know I followed him into the rumpus room and then it was just something that was all happening before my eyes. I had no control over what was happening that day".  

After laying Jason's body on his bed, she phoned work to say she would not be in.

The legal system bent over backwards to accommodate this callous murderer. The public prosecutor accepted a guilty plea on the lesser charge of manslaughter.

In an incredible move when sentencing Dawes for her unspeakable crime in the Parramatta court on June 2, 2004, Judge Roy Ellis said that  she had suffered enough (never mind Jason) and let her walk free on a five-year good behaviour bond.

"I wish you all the best", said Judge Ellis as Dawes walked from the court and into a paid interview with TV host, Ray Martin.

Martin, host of A Current Affair, spoke to radio 2GB in defence of the interviews. "In the real world, people today . . . demand money for their stories. It would be fantastic if we didn't have to spend Mr Packer's money on these things," he said.

Dawes then took out an apprehended violence order against her husband, grabbed her remaining child and fled back to her home town.

When it was announced two weeks later that the Director of Public Prosecutions had appealed the sentence on the grounds that it was grossly inadequate, Martin called Dawes back for another interview.

Dawes has a make-over for Ray Martin

Gone was the frumpy woman with glasses, a look obviously cultivated for the court appearances. In her place was a glamorous woman with a stylish hair-do and no glasses. In an amazing role reversal the killer now played the victim. Here was the kind, innocent woman who could not understand why the legal system was persecuting her.

Martin, a notorious bleeding-heart, was sucked right in. He expressed concern about how this poor woman could cope with going back to court and with facing a possible jail sentence.

"So you're coming back to Sydney tomorrow" said Martin with a worried frown. "Where will you live, where will you stay, what will you do?".

Not one word of condemnation about Dawes' heinous crime from the unctuous Martin.

"Daniela, I wish you well", said Martin at the end of the interview, echoing Judge Ellis' words.

Crown appeal fails

On 5th November 2004, the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the Crown's appeal against Daniela Dawes's five-year good behaviour bond, citing the Crown's failure to ask for a custodial sentence in the first place, and her improved mental state.
 In dismissing the appeal, Justices John Dunford and Clifton Hoeben said that Judge Ellis erred in not jailing her.
 However, Justice Dunford said: "It is only in exceptional cases that the court will uphold an appeal against a non-custodial sentence and sentence the offender to imprisonment where the Crown has not pressed for a custodial sentence in the first instance."
Outside court, her now estranged husband was visibly shaken.
"I believe my wife made a deliberate and wilful manoeuvre to take my son's life," Mr Dawes said.
"The precedent this decision has brought to this country is nothing less than an atrocity for disabled Australians.
"The Crown's failure to seek a custodial sentence in the first instance - this is why my wife did not get any sentence today. I hold the DPP directly responsible."




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