Government backs survivor Carla Gagliardi’s fight to name and shame thugs

by Ellen Whinnett, Herald Sun, August 31, 2013:

“VIOLENT thugs who breach intervention orders face being publicly shamed after a ground-breaking court case by a family violence survivor.

Carla Gagliardi was bashed and almost killed by her former fiance, Hugh Marshall, three days after an intervention order was served banning him from going near her.

The Herald Sun this week took Ms Gagliardi’s case to court, winning an order allowing us to publish details of Marshall’s intervention order breach.

Marshall opposed this.

It is believed to be the first time in Victoria such an order has been granted, where it has been opposed.

Currently, criminals who breach intervention orders can’t be publicly named without a court order.

Attorney-General Robert Clark told the Herald Sun he would review the law to ensure that it was protecting victims appropriately.

“We will be examining family violence legislation to ensure its restrictions on publication work to protect victims and children, not those convicted of breaching family violence orders,” Mr Clark said.

The Herald Sun made the application on Ms Gagliardi’s behalf as part of its Take a Stand campaign against family violence.

The newspaper is aware of several high-profile Melbourne identities, including sportsmen, who have breached intervention orders against their wives or girlfriends and who currently enjoy anonymity.

Marshall, who is serving 10 1/2 years’ jail for his vicious sledgehammer attack on Ms Gagliardi, opposed the release of his name, citing concerns about his safety.

“I’ve been to hell and back myself,” he said, adding that he was “doing his best to move on”.

He told magistrate Catherine Lamble it was “absolutely disgusting” when she ruled that the order should be made allowing him and Ms Gagliardi to be identified.

Marshall had been assisted in his fight against the order by Legal Aid, the cash-strapped taxpayer-funded organisation.

But after unsuccessfully seeking a two-month adjournment, Legal Aid withdrew, leaving Marshall to represent himself, via video-link from Loddon Prison.

Marshall told the court he was also concerned about the breach of his and his family’s privacy, and it would cause problems for him as a mentor to other prisoners.

But the magistrate said Marshall and his family’s privacy “must be sacrificed for the greater good”.

It was important there be public debate on family violence and the effectiveness of intervention orders, she said.

Justin Quill, representing the Herald Sun and Ms Gagliardi, told Ms Lamble Ms Gagliardi was “very brave” and ought to have the right to tell her story.

Media lawyer John-Paul Cashen, who assisted on Ms Gagliardi’s case, said those who breach intervention orders should lose any right to secrecy.

Victims of family violence were vulnerable and if they wanted anonymity, they should have it, he said.

“However, it means the perpetrators – and most of them are men – get protection too,” Mr Cashen said.

“How many of these men go on to do the same thing with another partner, then another partner, then another partner?”

Police Association secretary Greg Davies agreed: “If a person has breached an intervention order, then it’s the same as committing a burglary or a robbery.”

Ms Gagliardi praised the review by Mr Clark.

“I want to thank him, and if he needs any support I’ll back him. If I have to stand on the steps of the Parliament with a banner, I will,” she said.

Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has previously said that the public needed to make abusive men “feel like they’re ostracised, they’re vilified, that their behaviour is simply unacceptable”.