23rd Murderer:  Andrew Peter Garforth Victim: school girl, Ebony Simpson

On 19 August 1992, 9 year old Ebony Simpson disembarked from her school bus. Her mother, who usually met her at the bus stop, was busy that day and had arranged for Simpson's older brother to meet her and accompany her home, after his bus reached the bus stop. But his bus arrived later than usual and Ebony Simpson was not there. Ebony Simpson, not seeing her brother at the bus stop decided to start the walk home, which was only a short distance away, and see him at home.

Ebony Simpson

Police immediately suspected that Ebony Simpson had been kidnapped rather than running away. Suspicion fell on a man who was seen working on his car near where Simpson had gotten off the bus. Over a hundred people began searching the area for Ebony Simpson, including police, firemen, State Emergency Service members, and volunteers.

On 21 August 1992, police found Simpson's body in a dam at a wildlife sanctuary near her home. Her hands and feet were still bound. Later that day, Andrew Peter Garforth was arrested and confessed to the murder. With her house in sight, Garforth had grabbed Simpson, thrown her in the boot of his car and drove off to a remote dam. Once there, he bound her with wire, raped her, weighted her schoolbag and threw her into the dam's reservoir, where she drowned.

Garforth pleaded guilty to the abduction, sexual assault and murder of Ebony Simpson, 9, at Bargo in August 1992. The court found it was in the worst category of murder and he was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole aged 29 in July 1993. He unsuccessfully appealed his sentence to the High Court in 1994. His prisoner status was downgraded from A2 to B in July, a decision immediately reversed by Corrective Services Minister, David Elliott.

Crimes That Shook Australia - S01E01 - 9 year old, Ebony Simpson

Andrew Peter Garforth

Garforth, now 56, is highly unlikely to ever be released from jail.  He has already served 27 years.  Based on the average annual cost of Maximum Security Incarceration in 2020, should he live another 20 years to 76, his jail incarceration will have cost the NSW taxpayer $8.225 million circa ($175,000 p.a. X 47 years).

Questions re 23rd Murderer: Andrew Peter Garforth

Should the NSW state government amend its criminal codes so that where the level of proof is Beyond Any Doubt of Guilt that the death penalty may be sentenced for malicious unprovoked murder because Justice for the Innocent Victim should be a consideration amongst the Purposes of Sentencing?

Should other states and territories similarly amend their criminal codes?

Write responses to above two questions re 23rd Murderer on 'Peer Reviewer's Responses to Sentences Form' Word document