In 1989 Roseanne Beckett was arrested and charged with nine offences against her then husband Barry Catt by corrupt NSW detective Peter Thomas. In 1991, she was sentenced and served ten years in prison and was labelled an ‘evil and manipulative woman.’ For 25 years, she has strongly asserted her innocence and claimed she herself was a victim of domestic abuse and that her step children were abused by Barry Catt.
Beckett was released in 2001 after fresh evidence emerged that a gun found in her bedroom had been planted by police. In 2004, an inquiry headed by a Supreme Court judge found that Crown witnesses had conspired to frame her and recommended that her convictions be quashed. Nevertheless, prosecuting authorities continued to insist she was guilty of all charges. Finally, the NSW Court of criminal appeal acquitted or dismissed all but two of eight charges, Roseanne has received no compensation for spending ten years in prison.
She sued the NSW Crown for malicious prosecution. The trial began in late July, 2014 and continued until November with Justice Harrison reserving his judgement.
On 24 August 2015, 26 years to the day since Roseanne was arrested, Justice Harrison found that Peter Thomas had malicious intent in his dealings with Roseanne and that he had intimidated and bullied many people including another witnesses in this case, an accused in another case and Family and Community Services Officers who had been prosecuting her ex husband Barry Catt for child abuse at the time of her arrest. He found that in relation to two of the original charges - perjury and solicitor to murder - Thomas and fellow Detective Paget had no reasonable basis to charge Roseanne. He awarded $2.3 million, plus interest and costs to Roseanne Beckett.
Roseanne Beckett spent 10 years in prison for crimes she didn't commit. Finally, this week she won her battle for compensation.
For 25 years, the State has maintained Roseanne Beckett is guilty. So, John Maconachie's opening in the malicious prosecution trial held no surprises.
Innocent accused who lose appeals against conviction are in a very tough position in NSW
On day two of his opening, Paul Blacket SC explains how the Roseanne Beckett frame-up was aimed at helping her husband escape sexual assault charges.
Paul Blacket SC opens the case for the plaintiff in Becket v The State of NSW on July 28, 2014.
On July 27, Roseanne Beckett's malicious prosecution trial against the NSW government began. Wendy Bacon will blog during the proceedings.
Roseanne Beckett passes Channel Seven's lie detector test.
Despite questions hanging over both the Crown and NSW Police involved in the convictions of Roseanne Beckett, why has no one been held accountable?
Last week, Roseanne Beckett won her High Court appeal, but the NSW Attorney-General is resisting compensation. It's time to put a spotlight on the Crown's conduct in this case, writes Wendy Bacon.
My last post introduced readers into an investigation into the frame-up of Roseanne Beckett (previously Catt). Three days after we published Fire Trail in October 2000, we published a second feature. This one specifically focused on Roseanne's case, about which the media had been silent since she was imprisoned in 1991.
This week, Roseanne Beckett (previously Catt) unanimously won her appeal to the High Court of Australia against the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions (NSW DPP), clearing the way for her to sue NSW for malicious prosecution.
The High Court of Australia clears the way for Roseanne Beckett to sue for malicious prosecution.
NSW Victim Compensation Board orders Roseanne Catt to pay former husband, Barry Catt
A WITNESS has accused the NSW Attorney-General's Department and police of being "cowards" and covering up her confession.
A witness has revealed she gave false evidence under threat of being charged with a murder conspiracy. Wendy Bacon reports.
ROSEANNE CATT, who was convicted of attempting to poison her husband after a trial in which Patrick Power was the prosecutor, is asking the Director of Public Prosecutions to review her case.
The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the appeal of Roseanne Catt against seven of her nine convictions, leaving it to the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, Nick Cowdrey, to decide if she should be retried.
District Court judge, Tom Davidson finds evidence that Roseanne may have been falsely convicted on unreliable evidence of Peter Thomas and Barry Catt.
Even before she was released from prison in 2001, senior police reviewed the case and considered that she might have been framed.
Roseanne Catt ( Beckett) was convicted of overdosing her husband with lithium. In truth it was the chief prosecution witnesses who planted the drug.
Criminal charges will be considered against prosecution witnesses who gave evidence at the inquiry into the conviction of Roseanne Catt.
There seems to be no end to the violence, threats and witness intimidation that have marred the notorious Roseanne Catt case. Wendy Bacon reports.
A witness told the District Court yesterday that she'd found her dog hanging dead and tapes missing when she returned home after giving evidence.
A witness who is expected to give evidence at the inquiry into the convictions of Roseanne Catt heard gunshots outside her house on Saturday morning, a Sydney nun said yesterday.
Former detective, Peter Thomas risks prosecution for evidence he gave at a judicial inquiry into the conviction of Roseanne Catt, a judge warned yesterday.
Senior NSW Internal Affairs police had found that a detective should be charged with misconduct in relation to his investigation of the Roseanne Catt case, even before her 1991 trial, a Supreme Court inquiry into fresh evidence in her case was told this week.
After a decade in jail, Roseanne Catt is still waiting to have her say in court, writes Wendy Bacon.
A raft of new evidence has raised fresh doubts about the conviction of Roseanne Catt for conspiring to kill her ex-husband. Wendy Bacon reports one key witness for Catt has been bashed and handed a bullet.
The judge said she was either an evil woman or the victim of a terrible conspiracy. Wendy Bacon and Tracy Pillemer explore the truth about Roseanne Catt.
The flames were cruel enough, but the methods of a policeman turned arson investigator proved worse.