by Hannes Wessels

Following the miserable travails of Dr. Russell Pridgeon and Mr. Patrick O’Dea has been a disturbing and painful exercise and sadly, it appears there is no end in sight. My hopes, since I last wrote about this case, that those wielding the full force of the law of the land, who seek to destroy them, would relent and end their torment, have been dashed.

Posting this article is perplexing and fills me with no joy. I do so against the advice of some very well informed friends; I know pursuing this story carries risk but conscience and commitment to friends in desperate need compels me. I also know how good Australia has been to many of my former compatriots who left  Zimbabwe in search of a more secure place with a brighter future for their children and found it; that generosity is to be applauded. However no system is perfect, and this seems to have been manifested in the treatment meted out to these gentlemen. They appear to have revealed an ugly fault-line running through the judiciary, law enforcement and indeed the body-politic of the country, and they are paying dearly for it.

In short, looking at the sequence of events from afar, and as an outsider, it appears quite obvious to me, it is now a very dangerous undertaking in Australia, to protect a child from rape.

To summarise: Two years ago, Russell, Patrick and five others were arrested by the AFP (Australian Federal Police) in the course of investigations conducted under so-called ‘Operation Noetic’. The arrests were made by no less than 28 policemen and women, and the event was widely televised in a multimedia frenzy. The message sent to the world, with headlines referring to ‘Child Kidnapping Ring,’ was that Russell was the evil mastermind and financier of an international child trafficking operation involving up to 200 children. He was accused of transferring millions in profits from this criminal enterprise to off-shore accounts. Tellingly, right from the outset, only three children were identified, and the charges relating to ‘profiting from crime’ have recently been withdrawn because it is quite obvious to the investigators the alleged money transfers never took place.

However, as it stands now, they, along with five other defendants, face charges with jail time of over 40 years because they sheltered a woman who was a fugitive, having rescued her seven-year old twin girls from a home where she insists they were being horribly abused. Despite 40 mandatory reports supporting this and an active apprehended violence order against the domestically violent father, the police saw fit to inform the Family Court that the abuse was ‘unsubstantiated’ and the children were ordered back into the custody of the father. One of the lead police investigators hounding the defendants has a history of neglect in child abuse allegations, so much so that he was reprimanded by a Royal Commission that looked into his poor investigation of child abuse in institutions and why it took him five years to arrest paedophiles who raped a child and were subsequently jailed. He received a slap on the wrist.


Australia’s pre-eminent expert on child abuse, Prof Freda Briggs, had investigated the allegations, and wrote a damning report about the Police negligence but she was prevented from testifying in Court about what had happened to the children. Similarly, the 13 witnesses to the children’s disclosures of abuse were also prevented from testifying in court. The children’s disclosures were graphic, detailed and consistent, describing sex acts no four or five-year-old would be able to fabricate.


Freda was utterly horrified by the Family Court orders that gave sole custody to the father, who the children had identified as their abuser. She used her status as an ‘Order of Australia’ recipient, to appeal to every possible minister or attorney general in Queensland. She was ignored.


Against this backdrop, the defendants are being prosecuted in the most malicious and vindictive way while the welfare of the children and the conduct of the relevant authorities appears to be of little consequence.


Thus far the system seems to have failed the children and those who genuinely care for them but there is a glimmer of hope for Russell and Patrick when proceedings go to criminal trial where Family Court rules no longer apply. In this forum, it is hoped, the prosecution, by their own actions, will be forced to reveal the extensive documentary and ancillary evidence thus far withheld from scrutiny, confirming the abuse visited upon the children and view the actions of the two men and their co-defendants in the light of the unfortunate circumstances they found themselves in that compelled them to do what they did. At the same time, this indisputable evidence will lay bare and damn the actions of the AFP, the prosecuting authority and possibly other people in high places whose conduct is demanding of a cogent, fulsome explanation. Unfortunately, the trial they so anxiously await seems subject to perpetual, inexplicable delays.


In the meantime, Russell and Patrick, unable to work under onerous bail conditions restricting movement, are being forced into penury, and due to lack of funds, struggle to pay for legal assistance. Russell is using the time to apply his excellent mind to learning the law so he is able to defend himself. They live in limbo, uncertain of when they will finally have a trial-date and an opportunity to clear their good names. The Australian press seems to have been stunned into a supine silence and the publicity they so badly need, is denied. Politicians across the country ignore their pleas for intervention.


For the O’Dea family a lifetime’s search for justice and fairness remains elusive. Patrick the soldier, fought hard, and was wounded in the war to prevent Mugabe’s accession to power which ironically, was achieved with the enthusiastic support of the then Australian government led by Malcolm Fraser. Never one to give up, he, along with his sister Kathleen resumed the fight on the political front as fiercely determined members of the opposition MDC (Movement for Democratic Change). As close friends of the late Heather and Roy Bennett, and at their side through much of the turmoil, they both risked life and liberty on several occasions, but alas, their efforts were in vain. Both eventually sought sanctuary from state sponsored terror in their homeland; now it appears Patrick has found himself facing the same challenges, albeit in a different guise in Australia.  It looks more and more like he should have stayed where he was.


The open letter below penned by Patrick’s wife Christine is moving, compelling and a plea to good people everywhere for help:


I am  Patrick Finbar McGarry O’Dea ‘s wife . I would like to set the record straight .  My Husband is a loving, kind,  adoring husband and father of four children and six grandchildren .  He is  a man who is a Rhodesian War Veteran  and a man with high moral standing .  He has sustained and lived with war injuries his whole life and suffers pain every day.    The media would like you to believe and have inferred, suggested, and even said openly that my husband is a pedophile. This is ludicrous, abhorrent,and couldn’t be further from the truth.  My husband and Dr Pridgeon whom we have known for years and the Doctor’s family for decades, formed The Australian Anti Pedophile Party  and were hoping to get into the Senate to fight for their cause  to have  a Royal Commission into the Family Courts  to right  a lot of wrongs  that were related to them from many women who had been affected by the unfair rulings .  These two men are caring men and stood up and helped families  mothers with children  when they were asked .  They are not Perpetrators they are saviours  . This is such an injustice  that these good men are being treated like the scum of the earth when in fact they fought for the children to be heard . These poor children’s sufferings and their cries falling on deaf ears . Let me ask a question What would you do if you knew a child was being abused?  Ignore the Cries?  Turn your back ?  If you want Justice for these Good men  write letters  to your local MP  to the papers and letters of support  for Dr Pridgeon to Duke St Clinic Grafton.

 Thank You. 

Christine O’Dea


By Managing Editor

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9 thoughts on “Something Remains Rotten ‘Down Under’.”
  1. FYI, we have to do what we can. I passed this, plus the previous article on to a relation in Australia. They have contacts with the 60 minute programme, dealing with investigative journalism.
    They have warned me that once they start investigating this issue, these guys could end up looking like victims or foes, but knowing Patrick, albeit slightly, knowing their background I believe in them. So have asked the information to be passed on to the right journalist.

    1. Thanks Ivor. I know they would welcome any investigation; they have nothing to hide. It seems their accusers do.

  2. This is Typical Evil Injustice by the Australian government
    and stinks of the new World order,,, of which the above government is a puppet

  3. Hannes, these 2 men are good men doing the right thing without knowing the depths of the problem. According to ex-CIA Robert David Steele pedophilia is the GLUE that holds together the Deep State ie the World Order, our global secret rulers.

    He states that pedophilia is how they recruit their members (its a small Club and we ain’t in it).
    I would highly recommend that these 2 men contact Robert David Steele and share with him the full facts of their story. Here is a 9 min video in which Robert speaks which will clarify much.

    Here below he is speaking as head of the ITNJ Judicial Commission of enquiry into Human Trafficking and Child Sex Abuse.
    When I watched the full enquiry a couple of years or so ago he actually mentioned Australia having pedophiles in high places of authority:

  4. This is a very sad Situation for these two men, a first world country where the family courts have not acted appropriately to the abuse of these twin girls by their father. I pray true justice prevails and these honest men be released and the abuser and those that defend him be put away for 40 years.
    Be sure your sins will be found out Gods Word says.

  5. To place this in context: as an avid reader of national press, I had heard nothing of this case – so had to look it up in order to determine some of the facts. Grafton is a very small town in northern NSW and I am not quite sure why this has gone to the Queensland Court. However, that is a distraction.

    Bottom line in Australia – the Family Court would not be seen to be perfect by any means, but it is there to try and protect children and mostly it does so. Unfortunately taking on an existing government based organisation of this nature in Africa is par for the course to us, as there are so few checks and balances – and we are all used to ‘fighting the system’.

    I would suggest in this case that they unwittingly, had powerful forces against them . . a bunch of paedophiles for example (as they do seem to stick together) who would be only too happy to destroy the organisation Patrick and Russell had formed as it could have had the potential to severely interfere with their activities. Unfortunately these vested interest groups do exist in the decadence of our morally bereft and largely Western societies worldwide.

    It would quite likely have been to such a group, that this husband and alleged abuser of his twin girls would immediately have applied for help. It would not take much to swiftly plan a clever barrage of accusations – all of which would amount to a complex and potentially disturbing situation … and that each component of which would have to be determined, accused or cleared, by due and unfortunately lengthy legal process. 28 law enforcement officers is very very unusual here … they must have been fed a massive story. As becomes apparent. But each of those accusations has to be followed up in the Australian system. The extension of time for Patrick and Russell before they get cleared, will not have been helped by the massive involvement of all military and law enforcement officers in Australia, in getting on top of Covid-19.

    This country is over-governed and over-legalised – that is widely acknowledged . . . fortunately we have a Prime Minister who is at the moment trying, with great success, to break that down … but the bottom line is that you cannot defy the ruling of a legal entity such as the Family Court without expecting the wrath of hell to descend. There are other ways of doing things here – I have provided guidance to hundreds of families from Southern Africa as to how to work with, rather than against the system.

    If you would like to pass on my email address to Christine, I would be very happy to help if I possibly can.

    1. Thanks so much Jill, I will do that and I know she will be thrilled to hear from you.

  6. This what happens when authorities are corrupt- breaking it is very difficult.
    They need the country’s and the world’ support.
    I know Patrick very well and he’s definitely not that type of person. He’s Man’s man & would never lower himself to that standard.
    I don’t have contacts in that part of the world but wouldn’ 60 minutes Australia be a good starting point to expose these lies?

    I do hope something good comes of this.

    Kind regards

    C. de Robillard

  7. So sad.
    Although disconneted , it somehow reminds me of that pregnant woman arrested and in her pyjamas for “inciting protest” against the covid lockdown. It showed there is indeed something rotten Downunder. The authorities showed just how much they lust for power and trampling on dissent.

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