"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."
–Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kids compensated for Mothers Murder


A TEENAGE who heard her mother's final screams as she was brutally stabbed to death by her father has been awarded $210,000 crime compensation.

Robert Baxter, 51, repeatedly stabbed his wife Linda in the face, neck and chest with a kitchen knife at their Lara home, southwest of Melbourne, in August 2006.

The couple's then 12-year-old daughter was awoken by screams.

She heard her mother's dying words and her father calling her mother a "bitch'' and "slut'', the Victorian Supreme Court heard.

Her then eight-year-old brother was also in the house at the time of the murder.

Baxter was jailed for 20 years with a non-parole period of 16 years in May.

Today, Justice Jack Forrest awarded $210,000 crimes compensation to each child.

He said while the children did not see their mother's body after the murder they knew something had gone "drastically wrong''.

"The effect of (Baxter's) actions will live with both his children forever,'' Justice Forrest said.

"They will be forced to live with both the fact of the ghastly death of their mother and the betrayal by their father of the trust that they reposed in him.

"In (the daughter's) case, there is the fact that she heard her mother's dying words, which will remain with her for the remainder of her life.''

He said the children had led a happy and nurtured childhood until the day of the murder.

After the murder the lives of the children, now aged 14 and 11 years, were "destroyed'' and they suffered psychological trauma, Justice Forrest said.

In accordance with law, the money will be kept in a court trust until the children turn 18 years old.

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