Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4915 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
attend functions. Indeed, Mr Corbell did not have to leave until 4 o'clock, and he is off to New Zealand.
MR STEFANIAK (10.34): Ms Gallagher tonight in the debate gave a heart-rending description of a young person who died on a building site. I was approached by a lady recently who sent me a similarly heart-rending story about a tragedy that struck her in relation to her 25-year-old daughter, who died three days after her 25th birthday in 1993.
She had gone to the house of her boyfriend. She had decided that she was going to change the relationship. She felt she needed to see him personally about that. Her mother wrote in the paper. She was involved in the court case, obviously, in relation to the charge of murder there. The young lady concerned, Leanne, was a very good librarian, did wonderful things in relation to children's literature especially, and was awarded a commendation from Canberra University and also an ACT government service award.
Her mother stated:
Her friends who saw her at work the day she died said they had never seen her so happy. I think she had made a few decisions that seemed right and was satisfied with that. She was a caring, a sensitive daughter who loved her family. She worried a lot about any of us dying
That's why she died. If she hadn't been worried about hurting his feelings, she wouldn't have been at his house. I am afraid of what it was like for Leanne. Did it take a long time for her to die? I hoped he had hit her hard the first time and that she died quickly. But I saw the cuts on her hands and fingers; she had tried to fight him off.
Rae Harvey, the mother, then described the trial, in an article in the paper. She said:
The trial lasted one week. It was very difficult for us. During that week, we had to relive the horror of the murder and we had to listen to Arrowsmith's lawyer trying (unsuccessfully) to blame her for her death. We felt almost as if Leanne was on trial. We heard various witnesses speak on behalf of her murderer while we were not permitted to say one word on Leanne's behalf. The jury was told about Arrowsmith's sporting abilities and his good character, they heard of his consideration to his parents in cleaning up the blood and the evidence of the murder, of him selecting the very best sleeping bag in which to wrap the body of our daughter ...
Where is the justice that allows none of us to speak of the unimaginable horror of a father finding his dead daughter? There was no opportunity for us to tell the jury about Leanne ...
She then talked about victim impact statements. She indicated that she joined the Victims of Crime Assistance League as a result of this particular matter. After the trial, she wrote to Miles J. She stated in her article:
I felt he had been careful and considerate. I told him what it had been like for us, sitting in court. Some time later, he sent me a copy of a speech he had made to an