Psychiatrist dismissal called

Calls to sack Freeman trial psychiatrist

A Liberal Senator is calling for the dismissal of a psychiatrist over the testimony he gave at the trial of convicted child-killer Arthur Freeman.

The Victorian Senator, Julian McGauran, has used parliamentary privilege to criticise Professor Graham Burrows' testimony in the trial of Freeman, who threw his daughter off Melbourne's Westgate Bridge.

A jury deliberated for five days before finding Freeman guilty of murdering his four-year-old daughter Darcey. Freeman was sentenced to life in prison with a 32-year non-parole period for the crime.

Professor Burrows testified in the trial that Freeman was in a dissociative state, brought on by severe depression, when he threw his daughter off the Westgate Bridge.

But Senator McGauran has accused Professor Burrows of concocting evidence for Freeman's defence.

He says Professor Burrows' defence almost swayed the jury.

"He has been described as a psychiatrist of the last resort and one who will sing whatever song the defence wants," he said.

"The university's reputation must surely be sullied if Professor Burrows remains in that position."

Senator McGauran says Professor Burrows used his eminent position to concoct an excuse for a merciless act.

"I am only too aware how peoples' lives have been changed, ruined, hurt, affected by this case," he said.

"It would be easier to let it drift into the mist.

"However I believe I am compelled to use my position on such an occasion for such a purpose so Professor Burrows may be prevented from being used as a star or eminent witness again."

Professor Burrows has rejected Senator McGauran's allegations, saying they are completely false.

He denies being a "gun for hire" and says he has defended people on "all sides".

A spokesman from Melbourne University says the expert evidence Professor Burrows provides to a court is not a matter for the vice chancellor.

(Published by ABC News - May 11, 2011)


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4/11/11 - Bridge-throw father Arthur Freeman gets minimum 32 years jail - click here.



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