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Corrine Barraclough writes:
FAMILY COURT TRIAL: “FINALLY I CAN CLEAR MY NAME” – BARRY WILLIAMS
The Family Court of Australia attacks were a series of shootings and bombings in NSW in the 1980s.
This week, finally, Barry Williams, President of Lone Fathers Association can clear his name.
In July 1984 Pearl Watson, wife of Judge Ray Watson was killed by a bomb blast outside the family’s home.
Williams endured trial by media as a series of articles were published suggesting he was responsible.
He was not.
In 2015 Leonard John Warwick was arrested and charged. Police reopened their investigation in 2012 and used technology that had not been available at the time of the crimes.
This week, there was a long-delayed sequel in the NSW Supreme Court as Warwick stood trial for murder. The Crown alleges the attacks were a result of a custody and property dispute between Warwick and his former wife.
“Trial by media put my name in the frame for these horrendous acts,” Williams says. “Finally, I can clear my name. I’ll never forget when my mother lay on her sickbed she took my hand and said, ‘Promise me you didn’t do it?’ My children were viciously bullied at school because of the negative media exposure myself and my organisation endured. I had sole custody of my children, their mother wasn’t around, and I remember to this day having to calm my young daughter down from her panics as she asked me, ‘are we going to get into trouble because of this?’ I had to reassure her everything was going to be ok. This has been hanging over my head for over 30 years. Now I want justice.”
Williams is now looking for a barrister to take his case on.
“I’ve been running Lone Father’s organisation for 45 years,” he says. “I’ve won so many awards, 11 in total but I want this mud gone. Finally I feel at ease. If there is any justice in Australia, my name must now be cleared.”
Barry, thank you for 45 years of compassion and commitment to Lone Fathers. ‘Lone’ and ‘father’ are two words which when put together that, for many years, have led people to believe they’re entitled to jump to conclusions.
Thank you for not giving up – every person you have helped is truly grateful.