Protesters demand justice for families haunted by murders

Family members wept as the crowd observed three minutes silence for each of the victims.
Family members wept as the crowd observed three minutes silence for each of the victims. Jessica Grewal

MORE than 20 years after four-year-old Evelyn Greenup's body was found tangled in bushes on the NSW mid-north coast, her mother still struggles to say her name.

Rebecca Stadham broke down as she thanked the hundreds of supporters who turned out to a rally in Sydney's Hyde Park to demand justice for the families of the three Aboriginal children murdered at Bowraville in the early 90s.

Tears flowed as relatives of Evelyn, Colleen Walker and Clinton Speedy-Duroux spoke of being haunted by the knowledge the killer remains free.

They pledged to fight the state government's decision not to allow the re-trial of the man acquitted of two of the children's murders.

There was also outrage at this week's revelations that the man, who was known as Jay Hart, is living under an assumed name in NSW and working in a job where he has access to young Aboriginal children.

The crowd heard emotional pleas from Clinton's 15-year-old nephew and his cousins but it was his aunt Helen Duroux who took on the taboo topic which had so often been avoided.

She drove all night from Tenterfield to say - "If it had of been three little white kids that were murdered by a black man- they would have had him the next bloody day and I want to know why we haven't been afforded the same luxury of justice for our babies".

Her comments were echoed by Evelyn's Bowraville aunt Barbara Greenup-Davis who said the entire nation should be enraged by the miscarriage of justice.

"What has happened here is a crime against our families, a crime against our community and a crime against our society," she said.

"Because the murder of children should be everyone's concern, not just some of us, all of us...these were children, praise God, children."

The fight for justice was then taken to the steps of NSW Parliament House where supporters held up banners and photos of the victims and demanded an audience with NSW Attorney General Greg Smith.

They presented a petition which calls for a royal commission into the murders and an inquiry into the police investigation.

Police were called in to block of parts of Macquarie St but rather than remove protestors, they simply diverted traffic around the crowd.

NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge told the crowd that if the government did not respond to the protest, he would table a motion for a parliamentary inquiry.

He then joined in observing three minutes silence out of respect to the victims.

The silence was broken by continued calls for Mr Smith to come out.Protestors quipped that "you wouldn't come to Bowraville so we brought Bowraville to you".

Family members took a seat on the footpath and road warning that if they had waited for 23 years, another few hours wasn't going to worry them.

Eventually, Mr Smith's senior advisor fronted the crowd and accepted the petition.

Last month Mr Smith announced that after reviewing the case to have Hart retried for all three murders, he would not be recommending it to the court of criminal appeal on the basis he was convinced it had "no reasonable prospect of success".

Topics:  david shoebridge editors picks greg smith murder protesters rally

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