In the article “Freed to kill a wife who knew he”d murder her” from The Daily Telegraph dated Thursday May 1, 2003; Anthony Bardakos killed his ex-wife, Trish van Koeverden, within 14 days of his bail; where prior he abducted, tortured and raped her. An hour after her death, Mr Bardakos” body was found due to self-inflicted gunshots. The article outlined the issue of the lenient Bail Act as the caused of death of Ms Koeverden. In a later supplementary article published on the 6th of May titled “Trish’s Law”, where a Bill was introduced to tighten the Bail Law. It was approved, as it prevented courts from granting bail to dangerous offenders when there is a risk they may commit more violent crimes.
The prime article clearly illustrates a major default in our current legal system in dealing with criminal offenders and the issuing of bail prior to sentencing.
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This is one of but many incidents where criminal offenders have been allowed bail, and during this period have re-offended, assaulted, and even murdered victims.
The grant or non-grant of bail raises a number of issues which loosly illustrate the process of punishment, including the undermining of the presumption of innocence, and the effect of bail as a deterent in specific issues. While granting bail seems to be the best way of ensuring accused offenders are given the benefit of the doubt and are deemed innocent until proven guilty, controversy surrounds accused offenders where they have a past history of criminal offences.
However, with our current legal system, the criminal past of an offender is not to be used in a “case” against an accused, as it may impact on the outcome of a case. So then, what security do victims of such criminals have prior to sentencing or court procedures? .
According to Part 2, Division 3, of The Bail Act (NSW) 1978:.
Section 9 (1A) does not apply if a grant of bail is sought for an accused person in respect of an offence to which this section applies alleged to have been committed (or to involve an act) against another person if the authorised officer or court is satisfied that the accused person: .