Deathscapes

Andrea Pickett 13j - Jody Gore

Deathscapes

‘Yes, the system failed her’: Jody Gore

Native flowers and leaves are laid at a vigil on a concrete stage alongside candles in small glass jars.

[imagecaption] Remembering Jessica Bairnsfather-Scott, Boorloo (Perth), Whadjuk Noongar Boodja, 2019. Photo: Marziya Mohammedali.  32 year-old Jessica was found dead at her home by a sibling just hours after she sent her family a photo of a car crash scene. Neighbours reportedly heard screaming coming from her residence before she was found. [/imagecaption]

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A telling counterpart to Andrea Pickett’s preventable death after the parole of her violent partner is the court’s treatment of Jody Gore, an Aboriginal woman from Kununurra in Western Australia, who was sentenced to 12 years after she killed her violent partner in self-defence. Despite repeated abuse by her partner, Gore attempted to protect him and continued to let him stay with her because he suffered from illness. Gore, whose body is described as ‘ridden with scars’ and  ‘a map’ of violent abuse inflicted over 20 years, was convicted in a trial that lasted less than three hours, and in which no expert witnesses were called to testify on her behalf. Although she suffers from serious health conditions, including the need for dialysis, which could have rendered her twelve-year term a death sentence, this did not deter the court, who found that she had acted in anger and not in self-defence.


‘Yes, the system failed her, mistreated and discriminated against her as an Indigenous woman subjected to severe violence for two decades … We need to ensure that there is reform so this doesn’t happen again to women in Jody’s situation.’

Hannah McGlade


Following a determined campaign by her family and supporters, Jody Gore was released after serving four years of the original twelve-year sentence, an implicit recognition by the court, legal academic Stella Tarrant notes, of its previous miscarriage of justice.


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