Hannes Wessels,

I am not sure if it is just me and my dystopian view of the modern world in general, but I have become a chronic pessimist. This mood has characterised my assessment of the plight of my friends Russell Pridgeon and Patrick O’Dea, mutual friends from their days growing up in Bulawayo in then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), who have been persecuted and prosecuted in Australia for going to the aid of a mother and her two children, who it is alleged, were being sexually abused.

This awful saga commences over ten years ago when Professor Freda Briggs, recipient of the ‘Order of Australia,’ awarded for her work protecting abused children, approached Dr. Pridgeon in his professional capacity and asked for his advice and assistance in a case relating to two young girls. At the same time, she handed over a report detailing their injuries compiled by some thirteen people, all professionals in the analyses and treatment of traumatised minors. Russell was shocked by what he read but at that point in time, there was nothing more asked of him.

The following year, on 4th April 2014, the mother, exasperated by the consistent failure of the courts to listen to her pleas, uplifted the children and fled with them. On the run, alone and afraid, the mother called Russell for help. Russell reacted to the distress call immediately, drove through the night to find the distraught trio, and helped them with food and lodging. Once they were settled Russell returned home.

Meanwhile Patrick was in touch with Russell during this ordeal and knowing he had more time than his friend who had a medical practice to run, he offered to help. The offer was accepted, and Patrick set off on a three-day drive to meet the runaways, comfort them and then transport them back to Grafton in New South Wales.

On the 17th of April Russell went to meet them and stayed there for six days to help them get comfortable. In the following years he was in contact with the mother and provided financial and emotional support. Patrick made several further visits taking food and presents for the children.

On the 4th of April 2018, the mother was arrested by the Australian Federal Police and the children retuned to the custody of the father. On the 30th May 2018, upon hearing that the mother had been arrested, Russell wrote the first of a series of five letters to the Queensland ministers of child safety and police as well as the Federal Attorney General identifying himself as a person who assisted the mother and her children when they were on the run from the authorities and begged them to rescue the children who were once again exposed to abuse. On the 16th of May 2018 Russell wrote a letter to the presiding magistrate to support the mother’s bail application. 

While a single phone call to either of them was all that was needed if further investigations were required, on the 17th October 2018 Russell and Patrick were arrested at their homes by no less than 28 armed policemen and women.

The press were prompted by the police, and the event was televised countrywide 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 and being responsible for shipping minors to destinations all over the world.  

After four days imprisonment in the Brisbane Watchouse he and Patrick were released on tough bail conditions including electronic ankle bracelets, regular reporting conditions, and restrictions on who they were allowed to be in contact with. Russell was stripped of his medical license and his livelihood.

The years since their arraignment have seen both reduced to penury due to loss of income and enormous legal bills paid to mostly ineffectual lawyers. One brave solicitor who came to the fore presenting a robust defence of the two men was promptly disbarred for bringing the legal fraternity into disrepute. The signal was thus sent to lawyers around the country that this case was too hot to handle and best not to get involved.

Patrick seated, Russell standing.

Russell and Patrick therefore stood alone, and almost defenceless against the might of the Australian law enforcement and judicial system. Over the years Russell wrote literally hundreds of letters, to members of parliament, state governors, welfare officers, police chiefs, and attorneys general, searching for an empathetic response; just anyone prepared to hear their side of the story. His pleas, without a solitary exception, fell on unanimously deaf ears; the Australian ‘Deep State’ was in vengeful mood.

It was clear to them, all the two had to do was relent, admit some sort of guilt, cop a plea for a reduced sentence and be done with it; this was the route followed by the vast majority of people when confronted by the might of the State. Their defiance outraged their persecutors and the pressures mounted. Most believed, me included, their situation was hopeless.

What their adversaries had not taken into account was that these two men were made of stronger stuff, they were committed, principled and very brave; they were both quite prepared to spend the rest of their lives in prison than admit to having committed a criminal offence they were innocent of.

What was also not taken into account was the fact that their plight had been noticed by two remarkable men; Pastor Paul Burton, and Mr. Graeme Bell, who came quietly, but resolutely to their side and offered support for no remuneration whatsoever. With Paul administering, and Graeme, a legal genius, (despite being unqualified) in support, they joined forces to confront the monster and in Russell’s case they have emerged victorious.

On Thursday the 8th February 2024, with the help of Mr. Robert Size appearing on behalf of Russell and Patrick, the most extensive, and most expensive police investigation in the history of Australia, hit a brick wall. The court was stunned into silence when Mr Justin Hannebery (KC) leading the prosecution team, announced a Motion of Discontinuance of the two remaining charges against Russell rendering him a free man. (Additional charges aginst Patrick remain.)

On hearing the discharge order from Justice Lourey, Russell dropped to his knees, to give thanks to the Lord, prompting a hysterical reaction from the judge who screamed ‘get out, get out, get out!’ and shrieked until the defendants had left the court. When Mr. Size rose, he too was raucously ordered out the court.

“The judge’s behaviour was extraordinary,” says Russell. “An almost demonic rage; having her prey snatched out of her slavering jaws.”

Russell is free now, but Patrick has further charges, relating mainly to alleged misuse of social media, to face. He remains unrepentant, refuses to plea bargain, and is preparing for prison. He will hear the steel doors clang shut with a clear conscience he insists; maybe those respsonsible for putting him there will not be able to say the same.


49 thoughts on “Two Brave Boys From Bulawayo.”
  1. The law is an ass….globally. We are nearing the end of a 10 year scandal involving the persecution of Post Office owners in the UK. One man, Alan Bates, had the temerity to take on the system and has won. The maligned post office owners will at long last, hopefully receive just compensation. Patrick and Russell, as good men, chose not to stand by while bad people got their way. This has always been the core of our Rhodesian principles. They should be massively compensated, their honour restored, with apologies by all the institutions involved in their mind blowing ordeal.

    1. and in the meantime, the children are back with the father, who now sees his horrid actions as being immune from prosecution. And the mother, who wont leave them alone with him, stays with them, and watches . . . . . . .Does anyone else see this side ? ANYONE?

    2. I am late in my reply. Had deaths with family and friends, a medical urgency with family and side tracked.

      I , too, agree with Koos and others. These men are unjustifiably smeared.

      Mr. Wessels, I and others, do get a pessimist mood, too, at times.
      I consider myself an optimist, realist. Yet, frustrations and/or activities, living our lives, can wear us down.

      I am privileged to hear from all of you. It is my hope to lift up your spirit and others, as at times I need the consolation, too.

      One example, looking at the photographs, in the RWW magazine, yours and Mr. Scheepers books, remind me of what I did see in the early 1970’s through the mid – 1980’s, in the rural areas of Louisiana and other states so was able to visit, being in the armed forces/USMC.

      The same of some personalities. I believe much of this existed in our Western Civilisation.
      To me the pictures were as if I look/looked at family and friends.
      I still have my RWW magazines.

      I backed off viewing the talks, too much interference from unseen/unknown viewers.

      I had sent some recommended web pages for all of us.
      Here is one just entered my thoughts:

      “The Nixon foundation”, audios/talks.

      I believe Apple podcast, ITunes, and YouTube has the talks.

      There are the Kennedy – Nixon 1960 debate.

      Last one, suggestion, for now,
      “The Dan Smoot report” by Mr. G. Edward Griffin, the channel is by Federal Expression.

      His first video, Mr. Smoot, I suggest, is “A Republic, not a Democracy”.

      There are other talks by others, you should be able to see.

      Thank you.

  2. Anyone that thinks the Australian Judicial System is good really has no idea.
    The AFP is a joke in itself and there is anecdotal evidence they were procuring children in the islands for politicians.
    Patrick and Russell stepped up to protect kids when the police lied the courts failed to properly look into things and the lawyers there to protect the interests of the kids apparently failed.What they did was LAWFUL under various statutes and under Common Law.The REAL conspiracy was between the police prosecution and courts .These men are entitled to massive damages.Russell lost his medical practice for 3 years until the NSW Court of appeal(one of the few just courts in australia) ruled that they had no power to take it and that the medical board only acted after a letter from the AFP which wasnt a complaint but a letter outlining his charges.He was threatened by the magistrate at committal for criminal defamation when that charge could never succeed and prevented from running a legitimate drefence.In my opinion that magistrate was nothing more than a rubber stamp.We saw QC’s some of who became judges ,putting forth the argument that the conspiracy to defeat justice was in breaching orders when clearly the course of justice could not have been running at the time.I for one will be DEMANDING an apology from the judges for claiming what the unrepresented were arguing was “nonsense” when the “nonsense” got rid of every charge to date while the judges acted as rubber stamps ignoring case law.All I saw was arrogance by judges pushing the myth that they were all brilliant.I for one cannot wait for the TRUE judgment when Jesus returns and burns the condemned and consigns them all to hell for eternity.That is not far off.THEN we will have true justice.

    1. Hi Fabian E Dupp. The Australian Justice System is decent, name one better? At least we have a justice system, look around the world. You say, “the REAL conspiracy was between the police prosecution and courts”, okay, show us the proof. You say, “these men are entitled to massive damages”, no they are not. Nobody is entitled to damages. This was a criminal matter and police and prosecutors have immunity. The two men had good intentions but nevertheless insinuated themselves into a Family Court legal proceedings. They are by no means INNOCENT.
      There is no greater evil than a police force that is one eyed and intent on making their case, and the police in this case did exactly that. The police exaggerated their case
      for self-serving reasons, and the prosecution took the bait. In the end they ate their own bait and caught themselves. The two men were never innocent, but they did not deserve what befell them. Charges against one of the men has been dropped, hopefully the same will happen for the other.

      1. So, were the children innocent? Why is this not about them? Appears all the adults are guilty. The kids appear to have been punished the most, yet there is no justice for them. Australian justice system cannot be as world class as you claim, if these young soles are not protected. It is disgraceful, particularly from a 1st world country. And anyone who supports it, is part of the problem.

        1. Hi Steve, you are making huge assumptions about this case. There is not a legal system in the world that can exist if ‘star chamber’ or vigilantly justice is the norm. I have no doubt that both men thought they were doing the ‘right’ thing but we all know what thought did.

      2. You want proof?That would take years as the amount of misfeasance was so great.How about the fact that police covered up the disclosures and the courts and prosecution did nothing.How about the fact that media danced to the tune of the prosecution.How about the fact that the court disregarded high court decisions?How about the fact they charged with charges they KNEW could not succeed?How about the fact they padded a brief so no one could navigate it and did that for years until forced to give a readable brief which was a fraction of the size.Prosecution never “took bait”.They aligned with the false narrative and did everything in their power to win.At committal TWO CHARGES.STAND UP MR ODEA YOU ARE CHARGED AT GRAFTON NSW then those TWO became SIX in the indictment and became QLD and ELSEWHERE.Or how about the DOCTORED audio to show as proof they were there when the indictment was presented but they WERE NOT THERE?The corruption in this case was over the top.

        1. Hi Fabian, as the Zen Master said, “we’ll see”. I agree with all concerned that this case was bungled by the police from the beginning. The prosecutors rely upon and trust the police, especially comparatively experienced police sergeants to act ethically and in good faith. In this case they didn’t. The two men undoubtedly overstepped the line by interferring in a judicial proceedings. Note: at that juncture in the proceedings it was still in the fact gathering phase and no judicial decision had been made. Criticism of the Australian Legal System based upon this case is ridiculous. I was at one time a BSAP policeman and a prosecutor, and I can tell you with obsolute certainty that the same type of human error also happened in Rhodesia. Humans are imperfect. I also have personal knowledge and experience of my own travails in the Victoria Supreme Court which took five years. It was a corporate matter and I was up against Australia’s biggest corporation. The pressures were enormous and unfair. I eventually won the case and was compsensated in full measure. Justice can be done but its not cheap, and one had better have a cast iron case.

      3. Your knowledge of law is so miniscule.So the police and prosecutors have immunity.What are you?Why are you even here?Have you never heard of the TORTS of malicious prosecution collateral abuse of process and breach of statutory duty.You state that they cannt get damages because it is criminal case and the police and prosecutors have immunity?To be frank you have a very very very poor understanding of law.

        1. Hi Fabianj, I am a retired Australian lawyer, and an ex-Rhodesian policeman and businessman. Your churlish comments expose you. A little legal knowledge and an honest legal system, the charges against Russell were dropped, has turned your head. Don’t be an IGNORAMUS.

      4. Again you dont know what you are talking about.They were always innocent of the many charges laid against them.The prosecution could never prove the charges.And the conspiracy charges against both men have been dropped not just one.Patrick still has 6 charges about publishing and carriage service charges and he will win them also.

        1. Hi Graeme, The fact that the police overcharged and bungled the case is obvious. It does not mean that the two men didn’t interfere in a juducial proceedings. By their own admission they interferred in a legal proceedings, based on their personal convictions that they had no choice. The law does not cater for one’s personal convictions. One man’s meat is anothers poison.

  3. I was involved in this case for years and I will state this.The judges IGNORED the same argument that was eventually successful when put by them as unrepresented people.The judges ignored arguments that showed the indictment was invalid.As for them breaching court orders ,if that was the case there ought to have been simply a matter before the family court dealing with the alleged breach.There is much more to this.There is anecdotal evidence that a former Prime Minister was involved and some evidence of people involved being very connected in the political system.As for their motives ,there motives at all times was to protect and they paid a terrible price.The prosecution continually pushed charges that could never succeed and TWO of the people involved are now judges.All I ever heard was that Russell Ann and Patrick was taking bad advice from people like me but ultimately that advice got all the charges dropped while the lawyers never succeeded in getting any dropped. The prosecution continually even at committal ,pushed massive electronic briefs of evidence with NO intention of relying on them at trial.This could only be for the reason to confuse and disadvantage the accused.In fact they stated at committal they did not intend to rely on most of the brief.Then why serve it?To confuse and disadvantage.The prosecution pushed points of law that could never succeed .Patrick was committed in a Qld Court on two charges that read “AT GRAFTON IN NSW” with NO EVIDENCE that Qld was involved and THEN the prosecution made them 6 charges in the indictment and changed NSW to QLD and elsewhere.Those charges remain and are being challenged.The entire case was a sham.One of the women charged had LAWFUL CUSTODY of her grandson but was charged with CHILD STEALING and for 18 months her lawyers couldnt get the charge dropped.I did it in 2 days.Then they charged her with conspiracy to defeat justice and continually changed the particulars of the charge.I have seen FACTS changed to support their case.They actually changed the “facts sheet” to fit the charge.The police admitted that they stated a boy never disclosed abuse when the video of the police interview shows massive disclosure and the police went to the family court seeking and getting orders on the basis of no disclosure of abuse and yet NOTHING has happened to the police.The people should be outraged.

  4. What is more horrifying is they arrested the mother and returned the two girls to their father who she accused of sexually abusing them. Why would the Australian police and authorities send the children back. The mother time and time again tried to make the authorities aware of this. The Australian justice system is broken. The two men helping the mother and girls are hero’s making sure that the mother and two girls are safe from their father. Why has the father not been arrested? You cannot trust the police force let alone the government.

    1. Perhaps this highlights a much bigger problem – child sex rings. And perhaps the authorities are silencing anyone who would expose these dirty deeds. If so, this is not just an ozzie problem, but worldwide.
      Question – how would you save your grand children from this abuse?

      1. Exactly right! Look up Fiona Barnet’s channel on YouTube or read her free online book Eyes Wide Open, published in 2020, it exposes them all here and OS. Anyone defending this Masonic judicial regime cult has their fingers in the pie. It’s just come out this week in the msm would you believe, about young boys being delivered to Parliament House in Canberra for MP’s pleasure/use.

        And then there’s the case of Lawyer Peter Little who had a court hearing scheduled for historical child sexual abuse with the accused being the PM Scott Morrison – ( whom I have also heard was convicted of sexual abuse back in 1989 but the whole case has been suppressed ) the current case was before the courts just days after the huge peaceful freedom Rally in Canberra early February 2022 where 1.2 million people attended against the mandatory vaccinations and sackings, but the chief of police reported on msm there were merely 10 thousand people in attendance. Complete lies as the drone footage shows the amount of people that filled the grounds of parliament.

        The government ordered the federal police to execute a microwave bioweapon on the lawful peaceful protesters, there were Mums & Dads, elderly people, babies, young children, pets who were set on by the very people who are paid by taxpayers that are meant to protect the people, they had burns & blisters under their clothes, their lips turned black and crusty for weeks, people and pets were vomiting, complaining of headaches, some people were so badly injured, and some had not recovered over a year later.

        The day after the rally the Canberra Fed police arrested Peter Little ( all caught on camera ) with no charges, he was later taken to the secure mental health unit and drugged against will.

        Then last year 2023 the police again apprehended Peter and took him to the Sydney secure mental health unit, where he somehow managed to smuggle his phone in, he knew they were planning to drug/poison him again, he was filming a live video to fb, I just happened to be online as he was filming what was going on, he was showing us around the rooms in the MH unit saying that there were 12 patients in there in the morning and now they had all been cleared out, there was no one left in there but he filmed the several staff members behind the glass window into the office that were getting organised to inject him against his will. They all came out the door together and jumped him & tackled Peter to the ground where he was very scared & upset telling them they didn’t have his permission to inject him with drugs/poisons, then the video cut out.

        The next thing we heard from people who did welfare checks on Peter, was that he had had a stroke and was in a coma in Prince Alfred hospital, he was in a coma for months, we eventually got word that he had woken up from the coma and was slowly recovering. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I heard on Fb that Peter was out of hospital and he has no memory of anything that happened before he was injected.

        I could go on and on and on about the crimes/ murders that have been committed by the government/police in the last 3 years but I will be here all night!
        I too can not wait, Jesus is returning very soon 🙏🏽 and he is going wipe all the evil from this earth and cast all these demons into the pit of fire to burn and be eternally tortured in Hell exactly where they deserve to be.

        God bless all the warriors that have put on the full armour of God and been fighting the good fight in this war against EVIL, for the children who have suffered immeasurably, keep looking up ☁️☁️☁️☁️ and be ready 🙏🏽💗💕 Our Lord is coming hold tight 🫶🏼 🙌🏼

    2. Hi John, I gather you are Russell’s brother and also a medical doctor. I can understand the subjective loyalty. What I can’t understand is your incapacity to be reasonably objective with regard to the overall original interference. There were legal arguments about technical procedure and Russell eventually was granted the benefit of the doubt. The police bungled the case and acted unethically. Russell was clever enough to exposed the police self-serving duplicity. I don’t like or admire the way Russell muddied the waters to get public sympathy and bring the Australian legal system into disrepute.

      1. Will. You don’t gather anything mate. You know very well I am Russell’s brother.

        I fail to understand how you beat around the bush and speak in these (nonsensical) riddles. I find most of your comments deeply disturbing, and devoid of any apparent understanding by you of the crazy goings on here, which in itself bothers me because I know for a fact you are intimately involved with, and know a lot more about this ghastly case than your inane commentary suggests. Why?

        I know your daughter is a prosecutor in Brisbane, and perhaps your baffling protection and support of a legal system that is FUBAR is in some misguided way to protect her positions. BTW the acronym FUBAR , if you are not familiar with it, means f*&%ed up beyond all repair. A pretty apt description methinks.

        You know, as a long-time lawyer in your new country, all about that “original interference”. YOU KNOW that there are at least 2 statutes that make it ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE SUSPECTING ONGOING CHILD MOLESTATION NOT TO ACT as these incredibly brave men did. As for my objectivity – these kids were being hurt, they should have been protected and the perpetrator punished. What else matters? And all the while, you have watched this tragedy unfold without doing anything remotely constructive, except to occasional write this very special brand of hogwash…

        This VERY FUBAR system, which you immovably and repeatedly protect, in this instance (and many, many others as this case is the proverbial tip of a massive Australian iceberg) has PROVABLY
        1. Maliciously and nonsensically persecuted and prosecuted people who have risked everything and paid an almost intolerably heavy price to try at least to protect young girls, who they had never met, from unspeakable harms (the massive sacrifice they have made, makes them heroes of the highest order, in my opinion, but again you do not see this)
        2. Given the accused father SOLE custody of the children accusing him of the worst kind of abuse possible for girls that were not even ten years of age at the time while not getting on with their case at all
        3. NOT ACTED AGAINST THE ACCUSED FATHER AT ALL (and this is the one that totally gets me)
        4. Prevented the protecting mother from anything except infrequent, limited supervised meetings with her beloved daughters
        5. Jailed the protecting mother for 3 years for trying to prevent the ongoing egregious harm to her kids
        6. Given these poor kids back to the maniacal father once they were found again

        Freda Briggs, a lady with an impeccable and unimpeachable reputation for looking out for the rights of small Australians called this the worst case she had ever seen, for very, very good reasons.

        Why would you want to speak up for such an incredibly brutal, broken and disgusting system, the very antithesis of what it should be?

        What are you doing this for, as by now you have to know that the Family Court of Australia, and all those who enable her wicked machinations are everything they shouldn’t be?

        What are you doing Will? And why?

        1. Its all about the children. Nothing else is relevant. Question – if these were your daughters / granddaughters, what would you do to protect them?

        2. Hi John, you commented “I know your daughter is a prosecutor in Brisbane, and perhaps your baffling protection and support of a legal system that is FUBAR is in some misguided way to protect her positions.” All my children are lawyers. They would be appalled by your grotesque innuendo. You ask “What are you doing Will? And why? Take my word for it I had no interest in the Russell Pridgeon / Patrick O’Dea case, and when it was brought to my attention I considered it to be sub-judice. Unfortunately, I was later tasked by someone with a ‘legitimate interest’, to make confidential enquiries and to report back. Nobody in my family was involved and my assessment was bound in confidentiuality. I have no, and will not, breach that confidentiality. I am a contributory writer to this magazine and when the article ‘Two Brave Boys from Bulawayo’ was published, I defended the Australian Legal System and Judiciary against ‘over the top’ accusations vis-a-vis the handling; preparation; presentation and adjudication of the matter. Some justice may have leeched out of the end result, however on the whole, JUSTICE has NOT been seen to be done and IGNORAMUS opinions unfortunately abound.

  5. Must admit I’ve not heard of this case (apart from reading about it from Hannes a few years ago) and I live in Australia……

    1. The media were all over the story when they were arrested but they have gone very quiet.

      1. Never heard about it but our media is very virulent. The term Kangaroo Court wasn’t invented in Australia for nothing!!!!

  6. I have doubts about the title of the article ‘Two Brave Boys From Bulawayo”. The reportage, although journalistically accurate, is presented from the perspective of the two men and paints them as entirely innocent and tragic victims of a tyrannical Australian justice system. I can assure you that this tragic story is true but has more to do with human hubris, arrogance and ignorance than anything else. The two men boldly and for their own good reasons chose to insinuate themselves into a proceedings of a family court matter that was before a judge. They gave assistance and refuge to one side, in defiance of court orders in a legal proceedings. “For fools rush in where Angels Fear to Tread” (Alexander Pope), what did these ‘Brave Boys’ think would happen? The kindness and purity of their conduct was nevertheless wrongheaded. Their example as ‘heroes’ is in my opinion problematic and flawed.

    On the other hand the Australian Police authorities who investigated the case, and again through hubris, arrogance and self-serving megalomania, bungled the case. There is no more evil power than a police force who are one-eyed and determined to have their way.

    The Australian Justice system is one of the best in the world and certainly not perfect. I disagree with the article’s sentiments, note that despite the judges personal feelings justice was still done.

    I remind you that justice is seldom perfect because human-beings are not perfect and we must never be tempted to “throw the baby out with the bath water”.

    1. Sometimes the law is not in the best interest of the victims. And those that acknowledge this, and then react to solve the problem, are truly courageous.
      Laws are not designed by victims. If they were, then this case would have been very different. The abuse of children should have the most focus. Not those that prevent it.

      1. Hi Steve, I agree that in Australia an even better job could be made to compensate victims of crime or against fivolous or vexatious litigants. The abuse of children was not the central issue in the charge against these two men. They tried to deflect from the facts. The issue was interference in a legal proceeding and they showed terrible judgement. They did not deserve to face corrupt and incompetent police investigators, that is a given. However, they are also not heroes and it is a mistake to paint them in that light.

        1. Will as I understand it there are statutes in play in Australia making it mandatory to act when there is a strong suspicion children are being abused. And they did not interfere in any legal ‘proceeding’; the proceedings were over when they responded to the mother’s distress call. They knew there were risks but they took them on behalf of two children they did not know, who they were desperately sorry for. To all intents and purposes, they put their lives on the line for those two little girls. In my book that is extremely brave behaviour.

    2. Good Grief Mr Keys!!

      It is astonishing that you now deride our “Two Brave Boys From Bulawayo” and disparage this excellent and accurate article in circumstances where you personally knew quite a lot about the situation. Whether it is the children sentenced by family court orders to be controlled by abusive fathers, or whether it is whistle-blowing child protectors, silencing and isolation act as metaphorical yeast to enable child abuse to rise without abatement.

      With respect to you as learned counsel, let’s consider the lens taken by the Chief Justice and senior judges of the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal in the Apr 2022 as they unanimously restore Russell’s right to practice, overruling The Medical Council who had indefinitely suspended him since Oct 2018 – not due to any complaint about medical competence, but apparently an AFP tap on the shoulder

      [at 58]. “It is apparent that the Tribunal recognised that Dr Pridgeon was, in the circumstances that faced him, in effect presented with a dilemma… The Tribunal considered that it was reasonable for Dr Pridgeon to believe that the twin girls had been the subject of sexual abuse and that it was probably inflicted by their father. Dr Pridgeon was therefore confronted with a choice between assisting their mother to hide the children from their father whom he reasonably believed to be abusing them or to allow them to be returned to their father”.
      [at 63] With respect to the Tribunal’s finding at [201], this is not a case in which a doctor merely says that an order of the Family Court should be disregarded or evaded because he or she considers or perceives the order to be wrong. Dr Pridgeon was not concerned with whether the order was “right” or “wrong” but was concerned only with what he feared would be the inevitable consequences of complying with the order. The Tribunal accepted that he believed that complying with the order would have resulted in the perpetuation of further abuse of the children.
      [at 66] Dr Pridgeon was “charged with offences in respect of which he would appear to have a good arguable defence”.

      Russ and Patrick tirelessly and continually asked the Authorities to do their jobs according to law: Russell’s book Everybody Knows tells the story about how everybody in this case knew and did NOTHING. You should read it sometime.

      What if the Authorities had responded to the 60 mandatory child abuse reports or reinvestigated after the QLD Crimes and Misconduct Commission disciplined police for misconduct, or what if they fessed up to Family Court whose orders were based on police misinformation?

      What does the law actually demand?

      Like two sides of the same coin: protecting a child is lawful, not protecting a child violates the law.

      The Family Law Act (Cth) 1975 allows parents to protect a child from abuse, including contravening with reasonable excuse (s70NAE(4)). s286 QLD Criminal Code 1899, makes it the duty of person who has care of child – whether or not the person has lawful custody– to provide the necessaries of life, take precautions reasonable in all the circumstances to avoid danger to the child’s life, health or safety; and take action reasonable in all the circumstances to remove the child from any such danger. Failing that, “he or she is held to have caused any consequences that result to the life and health of the child because of any omission to perform that duty, whether the child is helpless or not”.

      You of all people reading this blog, should know this.

      Despite compelling evidence from over a dozen people (and the children who kept trying to tell) corroborating that these children were being seriously abused from the age of FIVE FFS (Professor Freda Briggs said this was the worst case she had ever seen), the court gave the FATHER FULL CUSTODY, WHILE ONLY ALLOWING THE MOTHER WEEKLY SUPERVISED VISITS.

      Desperate, the mother uplifts her children from their school AND RUNS LIKE HELL. She looks around and, realising the enormity of what she has just done, asks for help. Then these two incredibly brave MEN step into the fray to spare the poor souls from the horrific abuse meted out to them.

      Going against court orders (especially based on police misinformation), is not going against the law.

      The NSW Supreme Court of Appeal summarised it thus:
      [at 64] …there are some circumstances in which a person can, without a stain on his or her honour, commit a felony: see, for example, In Re a Solicitor; ex parte the Incorporated Law Society (1889) 5 LT 486 at 486-487…
      This settles any narrative that breaching court orders to protect children, is a disregard of the law.
      Of course, we want to believe the system works. But we are not naïve or gloss that ‘the Australian Justice system is one of the best in the world and certainly not perfect’. When “justice system” sends kids to abusers, refuses to correct its mistakes, and prosecutes protectors, it is TYRANNICAL.

      What of the widely known
      – inverted statistics? Australia convicts less than 1% of pedophiles but research says 98% of children must be believed (The Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Abuse)
      – fact that after 67 federal reviews, in April 2019, the Australian Law Reform Commission, recommended abolishing the family law institution.
      What of, in this case,
      – the oxymoronic child stealing charge of the grandmother who had lawful custody,
      – the CDPP using the term “child stealing” after withdrawing all such charges – (il)legal mischief?
      – The CDPP withholding exonerating evidence for 5.5 years of public purse proceedings?
      – The CDPP never establishing there was a course of justice to allegedly pervert? One judge challenged the prosecutor for ‘pretzeling the definition to make it fit their case”. the mum contravened final family law orders with reasonable excuse – which the law allows.
      Will, you are wrong to say our Boys From Bulawayo acted “in defiance of court orders in a legal proceedings”. As a point of logic and law, there was no course of justice being decided.
      – An honest person cannot construe that feeding, sheltering, and transporting children to a safe haven from child rape, answers the legal definition of perverting justice’. It is anathematic

      This is a case that should never have been brought to trial. Protecting innocent children is not a crime.

      This case stands for the proposition that it is always (legally and morally) right to protect children.
      After 5.5 years, the prosecutor withdrew every charge, unable to sustain any in facts or law.

      Meanwhile, our two Brave Boys From Bulawayo” had sacrificed their lives, to save two children they had never met, from the ongoing unspeakable horror they had lived through for five years. I believe their actions make them both the very DEFINITION of heroes.

      Take your very unwelcome and completely inaccurate opinions, and shove ‘em where they fit nicely Mr Keys. Perhaps you should consider commenting in a forum where reality, understanding the law and compassion plays less of a role?

      1. Hi John, I read your reply with interest, you are not a disinterested party and the bias shows. I am disappointed to see that you could not resist the temptation to become rude, crude and professionally pathetic. Grow up. Justice was not done in this case. Mandatory reporting of suspicious child injuries, does not mean open ended interference in a juducial proceedings. There are many other options short of interference and the two men showed bad judgement. Admittedly the police and prosecutors over-charged and for self-serving reasons bungled the case. However, to describe these men as hereos, is to be an IGNORAMUS.

        1. Oh FFS. As Russell’s brother, and Patrick’s lifelong friend, I think anyone with 2 brain cells or more will have worked out by now that I am indeed a VERY interested party. Biased? Unashamedly guilty of that too.

          If I was a bit rough with you, please be assured I meant every word. Bad manners I agree, but under the circumstances my summary judgements would or should be admissible in any court of public opinion. Let’s chalk it up to extreme frustration shall we? So, you get no apology from me.

          By now, I also just plain don’t like you, mate, because you failed in your duty to lift a single digit to help your ex-countrymen, while siding with the very institution that habitually hangs kids out to dry. I realise that you must have lost any vestiges of whatever good Rhodesian qualities you may have once had.

          I cannot comprehend, that anyone, especially a lawyer, would write what you write, knowing that these two would break at least 2 Australia’s laws if they HADN’T done their duty as moral MEN, as fathers and as grandfathers. You, the antithesis of a hero, would have done nothing if the choice to protect children were left to you. Maybe you would have debated or blogged a bit. Your comments are just bollocks. They should never have even been charged – there was NEVER any evidence of wrongdoing in the first place!

          As for the hero part, that too is self-evident to anyone except the bloke in your mirror. To heed the distress calls of an Australian icon like Freda Briggs and a distraught mother at the end of her tether, and in doing so risk years of your life, and every cent you have to help protect defenceless girls who were so obviously and protractedly abandoned by your beloved Family Court, you have to be off your rocker Or a hero.

          In the absence of any evidence of and previous offyourrockerness, I am going with hero.

          And you didn’t answer the why part Will? Why? Read the other comments: in hierdie saak is jy mos stok alleen.

          1. Hi John, people of our mutual acquaintance have spoken well of the Pridgeon brothers, and I have listened to make up my own mind. I find the Pridgeon brothers distinctly lacking in judgement. I think Australia can do without their jaundiced influence. Please don’t bother to reply because your opinion of me is entirely reciprocated.

  7. Australia has a legal system but very little justice.
    Everyone knows their rights but very few know their responsibilities.
    We are in deep trouble and getting worse.

    1. Hi Harold, I agree with your sentiments about personal responsibility and accountabiliy, and I marginally go along with the perception that; “we are in deep trouble and gettihg worse.” If you can name a better justice system than Australia’s, I’d be interested to hear.

  8. I am horrified- and truly ashamed, to call myself an “Aussie.” These poor, poor men!!!

    1. Hi Rukomechi, please don’t be horrified and ashamed to call yourself an ‘Aussie’. The two poor men knew what they were doing, and despite their good intentions, flouted Australian law. Having said this, they certainly did not deserve to have the book thrown at them by corrupt and incompetent policeman. In the end, justice some justice has been done.

  9. Yip …… with the shocking spousal abuse in this country and long list of paedophiles, one would expect the powers that be to protect all the innocents involved in this ….. wouldn’t one?

    1. Hi Petaseel, your comment is far from the truth. Admittedly this case was and is problematic. The truth will always ‘out’. Australia has a wonderful law and order regime and a well funded justice system. Justice is not perfect. On average the superior courts serve individual justice. The lower courts do their best but I suspect that magistrate’s are more ‘administrators of the law’, where often ‘strict liability’ applies. The Australian system is world’s best practice. Compare it with others.

      1. Perhaps we are missing something. Has the law protected the innocent – the abused children, in this case? Perhaps abused children, in general, should be consulted when making laws. And if this crime happens regularly, is the “system” trying to penalize those that prevent it. And, does this mean that anyone else who finds the need to intervene in this horrific crime, would rather walk away. “I saw nuttin”.
        Question – if your grand daughter was being abused, what would you do?

  10. Goodness Hannes sounds like the Zimbabwean legal system during the land invasions. Those poor men.

  11. Why the surprise? “A leopard does not change its spots”. The increase in anti Semitism is Australia says it all. At the end of the day. “Money does not buy class”

  12. I have experience the Oz legal system and found it heavily biased towards the ozzies.
    Although not criminal related but even the guilty ozzie, who admitted to having the missing item, was not instructed to find return it. Instead I was told if I wanted it back, I must find it. Case dismissed.
    So. Justice is selective down under. .

    1. Hi Steve, I take your point but in my experience, Australians’ are fair and generous. They have their own mentality. I am extremely proud to be an Australian and we will forever be grateful to our adopted country for the generosity, decency and fairness.

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