I woke this morning, turned on the TV to ABC News 24, and saw a caption at bottom of screen which read ‘gunman dead’. Having, probably like most Australians, stayed up late watching events unfold before succumbing to sleep, at first I felt relief – did these mean the hostages were OK? But the full caption was obscured by an image from the scene – within seconds I saw that two others had been killed: 38-year-old barrister and mother of three Katrina Dawson and 34-year-old Lindt Chocolate Café store manager Tori Johnson.
In the wake of the tragedy and devastation of the Sydney Siege this morning, represented in an unending tribute of flowers for the loss of Dawson and Johnson, many are asking how Man Haron Monis, with a string of violent offences, including 50 sexual assault charges and being charged in November 2013 with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and mother of two Noleen Hayson Pal (who was stabbed and set alight) was out on bail.
A Change petition has been launched calling on NSW Mike Baird to toughen bail laws. Please support it.
Sydney siege gunman should have been in jail. We demand stronger bail laws
Sarah LangstonSydney, NSW
After the #sydneysiege we have learnt this man was let out on bail after facing accessory to murder charges and about 40 sexual assault charges.
Bail laws were meant to have been changed already, but “administrative bungles” have stalled them until late January. That’s not good enough. We need stronger bail laws that would have kept this dangerous man behind bars right now.
‘All these women might still be alive if their killers had not been paroled’ is a column I wrote two years ago about women who were killed at the hands of men out on parole. No, the tragedy we have just witnessed isn’t just about women of course. But the issue of bail and early parole is relevant in that Man Haron Monis was returned to society, with all its privileges, enabling him to plot his next brutal (and fatal) path.
The actions of Tori Johnson, who was fatally shot in the Martin Place siege while trying to disarm the hostage-taker, allowing others to escape, are a deeply moving antidote to the behaviour of men like Man Haron Monis and those I wrote about. Thank you Tori for reminding us of what good men look like.
Violence against women is a public safety issue: violence begets violence
Man Haron Monis was awaiting trial for the murder of his ex-wife: Why was he granted bail?
The comment made by the magistrate who granted Monis bail the first time – for the accessory to murder charge – is telling. He said Monis is not a threat to public safety because the only person he posed a threat to was his deceased ex-wife. This assumption that Monis’ violence was limited to one woman and one situation denies a proven connection between violence against women and a series of other issues of public safety. It underlines an assumption that men who are violent towards women are not necessarily violent men.
It underestimates the reality that violence against women is, itself, a public safety issue.
We have long understood that violence begets violence, but what we somehow can’t understand is that violence against women is no different. Read full article