A Hard Earned Thirst

“That’s a Shame”

Armed with Eskies, the residents of the Victorian town of Meringur danced and drank beer as they watched flames engulf the home of Terrence Allan Ellis last Sunday night.

For the town’s tiny population of 16, this was the type of justice the legal system couldn’t deliver, and they wanted to celebrate.

Ellis, a 52-year-old alcoholic and former vagrant, was convicted two weeks ago of raping a young girl.

Police have quizzed residents over the arson attack and confirmed the fire was suspicious.

While nobody in Meringur is owning up to the crime, as many as 40 people from the area celebrated at the time.

Even the victim, whom Ellis had threatened to kill if she told anyone about the assault, and who still lives nearby, came out to watch the timber cottage burn.

“You couldn’t wipe the smile off her face,” her father said yesterday.

Of course the “real” justice system also delivered its own brand:

Ellis was sentenced to a minimum 3 1/2 years jail last month in the Victorian County Court and could be out in less than 2 1/2 years with time already served.

Poor guy.

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18 Comments on “A Hard Earned Thirst”

  1. whyisitso Says:

    I’m sorry Sam but I can’t go along with lynch mob “justice”.

  2. hc Says:

    Wrong Sam. The criminal justice system may have failed here but this is an awful outcome. Agree with Whyisitso – we don’t need to encourage lynch mobs.


  3. If he’s unharmed, losing your home may be similar to the wereguild being paid.

    They shouldn’t have done this, the sentence should have been appealed.

  4. BJAS Says:

    They may also have done him a fovour. If the the house is insured he may well end being paid more than it was worth or for which it could have been sold.

  5. AD Says:

    Lynch mob, but the perpetrator was not there, how can it be a lynch mob if there is no one there to lynch, or am I being pedantic??????

  6. yobbo Says:

    No, you’re not. Not every instance of vigilatism consitutes a “lynch mob”.

  7. yobbo Says:

    They shouldn’t have to appeal the sentence ABL. No judge with all his faculties intact should dream of applying only 3.5 years as a sentence for rape and death threats.

  8. Saltation Says:

    completely off-topic (sorry: can’t see a kneemail address)

    thought you might find this of interest:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5317358.stm

    “He last sent his wool to market three years ago, when he realised it was costing him 90p to shear each sheep and he was getting 45p for the wool.
    “The wool clip used to pay my father’s rent in the 60s or 70s, but I realised that shearing sheep had become more of a welfare issue than an economic one,” he says.
    Mr Bland reckons that he will earn a profit of £4,000-£5,000 from his flock this year”

  9. yobbo Says:

    Nothing new there saltation. The tiny hill-farming business model they use is about 500 years past its used-by date.

    Even in Australia where the best wool in the world is grown, the trend is towards larger and larger farms, approaching corporate size. In 20 years time farming will be a fly-in fly-out operation like mining is now. Remember it wasn’t too long ago that mining was done by owner-operator prospectors on small claims.

  10. whyisitso Says:

    “No, you’re not. Not every instance of vigilatism consitutes a “lynch mob”. ”

    YES IT DOES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. murph Says:

    if the sentence wasn’t so utterly piss-poor people wouldn’t feel the need to indulge in this type of shit

  12. corinoco Says:

    Er, is it just me, or does anyone else have absolutely no problem with this at all? For all those whiners bleating about ‘lynch mobs’, I strongly suggest trying to be a bleeding-heart humanist while a drunk 52-year old vagrant rapes you. That ought to change your outlook. Where I work, stinking drunk vagrants rule the streets thanks to the bleeding-hearts in the SCC; it makes the ‘Clockwork Orange’ solution look pretty damn good.

    Funny ‘ole country, eh, that keeps kids in immigration detention centres, yet treats trash like this cnut with kid gloves. I hope the town residents had a bloody good night.

  13. Andjam Says:

    I suspect vigilantism will rise as faith in the legal system erodes. I feel there’s a reasonable chance that terror suspects or hate-preachers may be on the receiving end of that. I can’t shed much tears over the guilty copping it, but sooner or later, innocent people will be hurt too.

    Mark Steyn wrote about some innocent Muslims being forced off a plane by fellow passengers – not as an illustration of how Islamophobic society is, but (I think) as showing what will happen if the passengers can’t trust the authorities to do their job properly.

  14. yobbo Says:

    Innocent people get hurt by the state legal system too.

  15. Andjam Says:

    True, but I expect (this side of Indonesia) that the state has fewer false convictions than vigilantes would.


  16. Yobbo and murph are clearly right – if the judge had his head screwed on right, this would have ever happened.

    Australians choose to keep constitutional arrangements on the federal and state level that make judges very difficult to remove or replace – tenure is limited only by age and there is no election or recall voting. Our Parliamentarians need to approve the removal by both houses (except in Qld of course) and have Cabinet first request the removal from the Governor/GG.


  17. “if the judge had his head screwed on right, this would have ever happened.”

    –>

    “would have never happened”

  18. Andjam Says:

    I suspect vigilantism will rise as faith in the legal system erodes. I feel there’s a reasonable chance that terror suspects or hate-preachers may be on the receiving end of that.

    It looks like my prediction may be tested soon if things aren’t handled well. I never expected it to be about sexual assault, though.


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