Monday, 30 January 2017

Deaf Killers but, what do we do with them ?

Image result for Jake Fairest, Georgia Fields and her former boyfriend Warwick TooheyThe fate of three deaf people who planned and carried out a murder in Melbourne remains unclear as authorities try to figure out whether they should be locked up.

Jake Fairest, Georgia Fields and her former boyfriend Warwick Toohey appeared in the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, months after a jury found they had murdered a man by pushing him off a balcony.  Toohey, 30, has been in custody since 2015, while Fairest and Fields will remain on bail as prosecutors, defence lawyers and Justice Jane Dixon await reports about the suitability of custodial and non-custodial facilities for deaf people.

"This is a very unusual circumstance," Justice Dixon said on Monday.

"There probably hasn't ever been a case quite like it."

Prosecutor Christopher Dane QC said it was particularly concerning that Toohey has been in custody for a long period of time and believes his matter should be addressed as soon as possible "as a matter of kindness".  "It's a blight upon the state and it's our responsibility to get it resolved," he said.

All three were found unfit to stand trial for the 2015 murder of Robert Wright and were instead subject to a special hearing before a jury.  Toohey and 27-year-old Fairest are intellectually disabled while Fields, 20, suffers from atypical autism and has low intelligence.  In October the jury ultimately found they murdered Mr Wright - who was also deaf - by throwing him from the balcony of the second-floor Ringwood unit he shared with Toohey.

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