Jock Palfreeman : Guilty.

UPDATE OCTOBER 2019 : Almost 10 years later, Jock remains in prison, despite having won parole in September 2019.

minus two

Even moar meeja: Bulgarian court sentences Australian to 20 years, Malcolm Brown and Ari Sharp (and AAP), The Age, December 4, 2009 / Family vows appeal against Bulgarian ruling, Malcolm Brown and Ari Sharp, The Sydney Morning Herald, December 4, 2009. Note that ‘A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said the Government had ”made representations at senior levels of the Bulgarian Government”’, which is the first reference I can recall reading regarding any such ‘representation’.

minus one

Follow Jock’s case on Twitter, and help support Jock and his family stay strong for the trials ahead.

Moar meeja: Family’s anger at Bulgarian murder verdict, ABC, December 3, 2009 | Australian convicted of Bulgarian murder to appeal, David Barbeler (AAP), Herald Sun, December 3, 2009 | Life sentence for Jock Palfreeman, Boel Eriksson, The Mosman Daily, December 3, 2009 | Palfreeman trial unfair: prisoner advocate, Independent Weekly, December 3, 2009: “An Australian man sentenced to 20 years’ jail for murder in Bulgaria did not receive a fair trial, a prominent foreign prisoner advocate says…”



    The ABC has obtained Dr Simon Palfreeman’s summing up of his son Jock’s case, which is printed here in full: Father’s summing up of the case [PDF].

A verdict in Jock’s case is expected to be handed down very soon…


Family’s agonising wait for a decision on Jock Palfreeman’s future
Boel Eriksson
The Mosman Daily
December 2, 2009

THE Mosman brother of Jock Palfreeman has spoken for the first time of the “tough and emotional” two years since his brother was locked up in the notorious Sofia Central Prison in Bulgaria on murder charges.

Jock is set to give his final statement in court today. It is understood he could be facing up to 20 years in jail.

Today’s statement is Jock’s chance to tell his side of the story in court, almost two years since the day that changed his life…


Australian awaits fate after years in Bulgarian jail
Belinda Hawkins (Australian Story)
December 2, 2009

Winter in the Bulgarian capital is bitterly cold and this is the third Jock Palfreeman has spent in the notorious Sofia Central Prison.

The 23-year-old Sydneysider is charged with the worst count of murder – murder with hooliganism.

His trial has been underway since May 2008 and after a series of almost farcical delays looks set to conclude today.

The verdict is likely to be handed down late today or tomorrow…


Australian man Jock Palfreeman awaits verdict in Bulgaria trial
David Murray
Herald Sun
December 2, 2009 7:25PM

JOCK Palfreeman’s family was braced for a verdict as the Australian’s long-running trial for murder in Bulgaria resumed tonight.

The 23-year-old, from Sydney, remained silent as he was led into court, almost two years after the bloody street brawl that landed him in prison.

His father, Sydney pathologist Simon Palfreeman, flew in to Sofia to support his son in the resumed hearing and greeted him as he arrived at court.

“I’m not going to say anything until after the verdict,” Dr Palfreeman said.

“We expect a verdict either today or tomorrow.”


Verdict expected soon in Palfreeman case
Gabriel Hershman
The Sofia Echo
December 2, 2009

A verdict is expected on December 2 or December 3 in the trial of Australian Paul “Jock” Palfreeman.

Palfreeman, 22, is charged with the murder of law student Andrei Monov after a street brawl in Sofia at the end of 2007. He has also been charged with the attempted murder of a 19-year-old (with a knife) during an altercation.

Palfreeman, from Sydney, denies both charges and says he was trying to defend himself from a group of men when he intervened after seeing them attack a group of Roma…



Dad’s hero plea for son charged with murder in Bulgaria
David Murray
The Daily Telegraph
December 3, 2009

JOCK Palfreeman’s father appealed to a court in Bulgaria to free his “heroic” son last night.

Palfreeman, from Sydney, is facing trial for murder and attempted murder after a brawl in the capital Sofia almost two years ago.

His father, Sydney pathologist Simon Palfreeman, flew to Sofia to support his son and made a direct appeal to the court.

The 23-year-old had gone to the aid of a gypsy being assaulted by a group of drunk football fans, Dr Palfreeman said.

“This is an act that can only be described as heroic,” he said…


My son is innocent: father’s final plea in murder trial
Belinda Hawkins
December 3, 2009

NB. Both accounts by Belinda Hawkins are of excellent quality, and provide the most detailed summary of Jock’s case. Her latest account includes Dr Simon Palfreeman’s summing up of the case in full. Dr Palfreeman concludes his summary as follows:

…In summary, the prosecution has to establish without any doubt a motive for her accusations. The prosecution has had to resort to the motive of hooliganism to explain her versions of events in the absence of any other evidence supporting her view. I am close to my son and know him well. He comes from a large, strong and morally upright family. Combined with a good Christian education, this has encouraged Jock to grow into a young man with firm values of social justice, the worth of every human being and respect for social order. His strong belief in, and desire to defend justice and social order was behind his decision to join the British army. He is a good-natured man with a lively sense of humor. He makes friends easily. The presence of so many loyal friends and family from Sofia, Samakov, the UK and Australia in the courtroom throughout this trial is a testament to his character.

I am particularly proud of the way he has conducted himself throughout this trial, when so many witnesses were so obviously lying in an attempt to keep him in prison. My opinion of Jock is completely supported by the expert psychological report that confirms this impression of a man with a strong sense of social justice and a non violent character. The character reference presented to the court confirm this in all aspects of Jock’s life. His school wrote “He displayed a strong interest and commitment to [social] justice” and “he would go out of his way to help others”. One of his employers wrote “Mr Palfreeman does not have an inherently aggressive or threatening manner or approach to people. This is what makes the reports of the 28 December incident so incredible and seem so out of character for Mr Palfreeman”. The father of the Bulgarian family that Jock lived with (an ex-Bulgarian air force pilot) also provided a reference. He stated that Jock was reliable, not aggressive and a good friend to the family.

From the first night in the police station, throughout the investigation period and giving evidence in front of this court, Jock has not changed his story. This is because it is the truth. It is clear from Jock’s history, the expert psychological report and his conduct in court that Jock is not the homicidal hooligan the prosecutor has tried to portray.

From the evidence we are now able to attach the real motives to all the events that happened that night. The initial motive was the assault on a Roma man by this gang, initiated by Monov and Yordanov. This was a racially motivated attack. All of this gang should be held responsible for the tragic outcome and for their subsequent attempt to hide the truth with lies (they could be charged under Article 163). The motive for Jock’s involvement was initially to help the Roma man and then defend himself. This was an act that can only be described as heroic. While as a parent, I would have preferred he stayed safe, as a human being I am proud that a young man would try to help another person despite such dangerous circumstances.

There can be no doubt that when the group (initiated by Yordanov and Monov) attacked the Roma boys, someone was going to be seriously or mortally wounded. It could have been Jock, the Roma boy or as it happened 2 from the group.

I am also in no doubt that the subsequent events that led to such a tragic end were the result of the vicious attack by the gang on Jock and his justified self defense. This gang made a determined and conscious decision to assault Jock that night, using their superior numbers and large concrete tiles as weapons. They did this because he dared to confront them and prevented severe injury to the Roma man. They left him no choice but to defend himself.

What happened on that evening of 27th Dec 2007 was a tragedy. As I am also a parent I can understand and respect the grief being experienced by the Monov family and would like to express my sorrow for their loss. As a family we too have suffered with Jock being in prison for almost 2 years. It would only make this tragedy worse if the truth of what happened that night was ignored and another young life lost.

I would like the court to free my son on the basis that all his actions that night were motivated by a genuine desire to help another human being in mortal danger. There was no intention to hurt anyone. He then, in a state of severe fear, had to defend himself when he, too, became the victim of this violent gang.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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33 Responses to Jock Palfreeman : Guilty.

  1. Jane says:

    Just 20 years? More! More! More!

  2. ash says:

    an absolute joke.

    the bulgarian court has actively ignored the only independent evidence available and effectively painted themselves the laughing stock of the EU. the sentence was based on inconsistent, dishonest statements from a group of lowlife hooligans.

    congratulations to the presiding judge (GEORGY KOLEV) for proliferating the message that it’s morally and legally acceptable to get blind drunk and make racial attacks. in fact, not just acceptable – you can make 50,000 leva out of it (ANTOAN ZAHARIEV).

    on the other hand, if you have the courage to intervene and protect basic human rights and dignity, you’re labelled and charged as a hooligan murderer.

    jock is rare, in that he doesn’t have a vicious or an immoral bone in his body. his character is one of the strongest i’ve found, and it is built purely on compassion and kindness. to keep somebody like jock away from the world is unforgivable.

    what occurred that night was a tragedy. but jock said it best in his statement: if he wasn’t forced to intervene and save a life, if he wasn’t viciously attacked, nobody would have died that night. complete responsibility for the death of andrei monov rests on antoan zahariev and his hools. i hope they never forget that.

  3. @ndy says:

    I think that when the presiding magistrate, in denying Jock’s first application for bail, burst into tears and shouted that he was a hooligan, things weren’t looking all that rosy for Jock.

    Last year the Commission of European Communities came out with a scathing report condemning the former Communist country’s failure to reform its justice system.

    A recent report by the Global Corruption Barometer of Transparency International claims the judiciary system is the most corrupt sector in Bulgaria and that Bulgaria ranks along with countries such as Cambodia, Georgia and Mongolia.

    Levski Hools 1
    Those Thieving Gypsy Bastards 0

  4. @ndy says:

    Assessing ongoing progress by Bulgaria and Romania

    When they joined the EU on 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria still had progress to make in the fields of judicial reform, corruption and organised crime.

    To smooth the entry of both countries and at the same time safeguard the workings of its policies and institutions, the EU decided to establish a special “cooperation and verification mechanism” to help them address these outstanding shortcomings.

    In December 2006, the Commission set criteria (“benchmarks”) for assessing progress made on these issues. The first set of progress reports was published in June 2007, the second set on 4 February 2008, the third on 23 July 2008, the fourth on 12 February 2009 and the fifth on 22 July 2009.

    The decision to continue assessing Bulgaria and Romania shows the EU’s commitment to see the two countries develop the effective administrative and judicial systems they need to deliver on the obligations of membership as well as enjoying the benefits.

    Progress on judicial reform, corruption and organized crime will allow Bulgarians and Romanians to enjoy their full rights as EU citizens.

  5. J. Kimble says:

    This is great news! The people of the north shore can roam the streets without the fear of a knife wielding albino slashing them up! I can’t see an appeal going very far.

  6. @ndy says:


    I sense that you are a person of great courage and integrity.


  7. Reichsprotektor says:

    I’ll visit the prison every other day, to walk about in front of it, just to remind him how nice freedom is.

  8. alatea says:

    Andy we seem to have some unloved personalities on the line, but the interesting point is that according to metaphysical Law their negativity creates a positive charge of Light and Love for universal evolution. Thanks reichsprotektor, J. kimble, levski hools something. Jock we will never forget you and you have our continued support. Mothers of Australia.

  9. Pete says:

    It amazes me the nastiness on this site towards this guy. Obviously he’s made some enemies in his time, people who’d wish this shocking fate on him.

    As for what he did that night, nothing I read really clears it up. I read his father’s summary to the court, and there wasn’t too much in there that wasn’t circumstantial/opinion.

    If I had to form an opinion, I’d say he’s violent, ‘finds’ trouble and doesn’t understand the stupidity of carrying a knife AND then getting choosing to get involved in a fight (one or the other, but not both for godsake!).

    Overall though, the death sounds like an accident and he shouldn’t be put away for 20 years because of it. Maybe an accidental manslaughter charge of something would have been more appropriate. The Bulgarian justice system sounds completely suss – but that’s a separate issue from what you think he did. Here’s some advice for his dad if he’s reading: get publicly indignant about the whole thing through the media at your son’s peril! No country likes having their faults pointed out. Rather, quietly try to achieve what you want while letting people save face as much as possible – and try to shutdown the hysterical “I know him/knew him therefore, ipso facto he didn’t do it” brigade.

  10. @ndy says:


    I hope you’re right.


    The nasty comments come from several quarters. Some from people in Australia, some from people in Bulgaria, and some from elsewhere. The people in Australia seem to be from Jock’s skool daze; the people from Bulgaria Andrey’s friends and/or the far right.

    I think Dr Palfreeman’s summary is very good. But it doesn’t matter what you or I think, obviously, just the judging panel. Apparently, a more extensive account of their reasoning will be made available to the defence in a few days, at which point (as I understand it), the defence will be in a position to lodge an appeal (although whether against the verdict, or the sentence, or both, I’m unsure).

    It should be noted that there have been claims that the investigation had some failings. That is, evidence which may have been used to bolster Jock’s case of self-defence was unavailable to the court, for reasons which may require further explanation. Further, that some evidence was rendered inadmissable — again, for reasons which may require further explanation.

    With regards Jock’s sentencing, Bulgarian law — that is, its Criminal Code — makes specific allowance for, and mandates certain penalties, for murder conducted in self-defence. Thus:


    Section I. Homicide

    Art. 118.
    (Amend., SG 28/82) For homicide committed in a status of affect, which has been provoked by the victim by violence, serious offence or slander or by other illegal act, as a result of which have occurred or there was a possibility of occurrence of serious consequences for the culprit or his next of kin, the punishment is: in the cases of art. 115 – imprisonment of one to eight years, and in the cases of art. 116, item 1 – 6 – imprisonment of three to ten years.

    Art. 119.
    For homicide committed in exceeding the scope of the unavoidable defence the punishment shall be imprisonment of up to five years.

    Art. 124.
    (1) Who causes somebody else death by negligence as a result of a deliberately inflicted bodily harm shall be punished by imprisonment of three to twelve years in case of a serious bodily harm, from two to eight years in case of an average bodily harm and up to five years in case of a light bodily harm.
    (2) (New, SG 95/75; amend., SG 28/82; SG 89/86) If the act under the preceding para is committed in a state of affect, which has been caused by the victim by violence, heavy offence or slander or by other illegal act, as a result of which have occurred or would have occurred serious consequences for the culprit or his next of kin the punishment is: for serious bodily harm – imprisonment of up to five years; for average bodily harm – imprisonment of up to three years; for light bodily harm – imprisonment of up to two years.
    (3) (New, SG 89/86; Amend. SG 92/02, amend. SG 103/04) If the bodily harm, as a result of which the death has resulted, is a dangerous recidivism the punishment shall be: for serious bodily harm – imprisonment of five to fifteen years; and for average bodily harm – imprisonment of three to ten years.
    (4) (New, SG 89/86) If the act under para 1 or 3 has been committed by exceeding the scope of the unavoidable defence the punishment shall be: for serious bodily harm – imprisonment of up to five years; for average bodily harm – imprisonment of up to four years; and for light bodily harm – imprisonment of up to two years.

    The Bulgarian justice system has its failings, which is why, upon agreeing to Bulgaria’s entry into it, the EU established a special body to oversee the reform of the system (along with Romania).

    Could the E.U. Lose Bulgaria to Russia?
    Leo Cendrowicz
    July 22, 2009

    As Bulgaria’s incoming Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov can assume copious congratulations when he takes up the reins of government on July 23. Less welcome, however, is what he received on the eve of his investiture: a report effectively designating Bulgaria the most corrupt and crime-ridden member of the European Union. And for good measure, it warned that Bulgaria, already the E.U.’s poorest member state, could slip under the sway of Russia if it fails to turn itself around.

    According to the European Commission, Borisov will inherit a country where mobsters murder with impunity and where fraud and corruption have seeped deep into the political and legal establishment. “Killings linked with organized crime continue, and known criminals are not apprehended,” the commission says in its report, released on July 21.

    The report calls for a full redraft of the country’s penal code, special units to combat corruption and organized crime and constitutional amendments guaranteeing an independent judicial system. “Although indications of fraud and corruption (including collusion with organized crime) are abundant in the public domain, law-enforcement agencies seem reluctant to take the initiative to start an investigation,” it says. “What is still missing is sufficient political commitment for broader initiatives which could form a more decisive, strategic approach.”

    The political drift could have other consequences. Another report, by a panel of E.U. experts advising the Bulgarian government, says Bulgaria is spinning out of Brussels’ orbit. As yet unpublished, the report by the International Advisory Board for Bulgaria says Russia could regain its historic hold on the country if political forces and civil society fail to spell out a strong European agenda. It warns that Bulgaria, which depends on Russia for 92% of its gas supplies, is uniquely vulnerable to Moscow.

    The six-member board, chaired by former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, says that without strategic direction and clear priorities on issues like security and energy, the Bulgarian state could face populist revolts. And that instability “could undo the ties between the E.U. and Bulgaria, prompting a shift toward Russian political and economic interests.”

    The two reports paint a portrait of a country stuck at the bottom of the class just 2½ years after it joined the E.U. Bulgaria’s lack of progress is all the more glaring given the initial assumptions, in both Brussels and Sofia, that E.U. accession would lock in the reform process, pulling Bulgaria into the European mainstream. But the country is still plagued by corruption, gangland violence and feeble law enforcement. The system’s failings were all too visible earlier this month, when two men indicted for running a criminal mob involved in racketeering and extortion were freed on bail to run as candidates in the parliamentary elections.

    “We are deeply concerned,” says Jana Mittermaier, who heads the Brussels office of anti-corruption group Transparency International. She says Bulgaria has long been saddled with a non-functioning judiciary and a lack of political will to fight corruption. “We hope that the new government will be able to take the signal from Brussels to radically change the system,” she adds. “It needs to start cleaning things up so that serious sentences can be enforced against corruption and organized crime.”

    For the European Commission, Bulgaria’s languid efforts to clamp down on graft and crime are especially dispiriting. Although the commission’s report points to piecemeal progress by the authorities, it effectively acknowledges that the carrot of E.U. accession has failed to deliver the promised results: while the scent of membership prompted loud reformist rhetoric, the momentum slipped once Bulgaria joined.

    And the stick of sanctions over the past year hasn’t worked either. Last November, the commission stripped Bulgaria of $310 million in funds for failing to tackle corruption; the move had a barely discernible effect on reforms. E.U. officials have also grumbled that Bulgaria’s yawning failures have undermined the E.U.’s own credibility as an authority to lay down the law on wayward members.

    Fighting crime was Borisov’s winning campaign theme, and the Prime Minister–elect has vowed to end corruption, saying he will imprison anyone involved in embezzling funds. But as a former bodyguard with a black belt in karate, Borisov will have to use all his fighting skills if he is to defeat Bulgaria’s demons and keep the country in Europe’s fold.

    Finally, I’ve no idea if Dr Palfreeman reads this blog (I doubt it), but he seems like a highly intelligent and resourceful person, and I think that, given his firm commitment to his son, he will continue to act responsibly and intelligently to support him. If my own father were still alive, I would be very much glad if he were as supportive as Jock’s is, and to have acted with such grace and dignity — under extremely difficult circumstances.

  11. Pete says:


    Your research shows there really were a few different articles they could have convicted him on, without going for the worst. Some of those sound much more appropriate than the 20 years he got. Maybe it’s one of those ‘first trial=come down hard, appeal=issue goes away quietly and sentence is reduced’ scenarios common in 3rd world legal systems. I hope so for this guy’s sake.

    It’s weird contrasting this situation which has passed pretty much unnoticed in Australia, with the crazy hysteria surrounding Schapelle Corby – yet, for the average Australian (bogan component) the issue is the same “one of ours gets locked up in 3rd world hell-hole”.

  12. Jamie-R says:

    I don’t like this. Aussies shouldn’t have to face this sort of shit overseas. What are we supposed to do, shut ourselves off from travel in risky nations? Why aren’t we doing more to pressure the Bulgarian government? They should face consequences for jailing our citizens unjustly. I don’t think getting him into one of our jails is an answer, get him fucking out of there and get him fucking back here free.

  13. Davo says:

    Pete, he stabbed the poor Law Student in the back. He is a coward. Nuff said. Deserves everything he gets. I don’t care who it is, if you are a coward and stab someone in the back you deserve to be locked up for life.

  14. Coupe' says:

    Mr Slack Bastard, could you please tell us how you personally feel about Jock’s imprisonment: Do you think it was necessary, or are there better options – and what are those options?

  15. ash says:


    monov’s wound was not made in the back. these ideas are a result of poor reporting by the australian/bulgarian media.

    the wound was made under the armpit, while monov’s arm was raised above his head (to throw a concrete tile at Jock’s head). the forensics in court have stated without any doubt that the wound was made while the men were facing each other – NOT in the back.

    furthermore, the forensics stated that the wound was not made with any significant force. making it more likely that monov (with a 0.3% blood alcohol/3% promi) fell onto the blade while jock had it out as a warning to the gang.

    so who exactly is the coward? the australian man who puts himself in the centre of a racial attack to protect a stranger, or the man who travels with a gang of 16 men, attacking anyone who gets in the way of their violence?

  16. @ndy says:

    Mr Slack Bastard, could you please tell us how you personally feel about Jock’s imprisonment: Do you think it was necessary, or are there better options – and what are those options?

    I believe that the court’s decision was a miscarriage of justice; that there exists a good deal of evidence that supports Jock’s version of events; that the court failed to take this into account in its decision to sentence him to 20 years jail for the crime of murder; that his fate was sealed when, in January 2008, the presiding magistrate, in denying Jock’s first application for bail, burst into tears and shouted that he was a hooligan; that he faces an uphill battle for justice; and that the support of his family and friends will be crucial in the trials ahead.

    Given the verdict, Jock’s sentencing was appropriate under Bulgarian law — or at least according to my rudimentary understanding of it, based on an examination of its Criminal Code and the penalties this code entails for a murder of the sort that Jock has now been judged as having committed. A better and I think fairer outcome would have been for Jock to have been found guilty of murder in self-defence. Such an outcome may have been possible if: a) Jock were not a foreigner; b) the victim, Andrey Monov, were not the son of two prominent and respected members of Bulgarian society (his father a doctor, his mother a lawyer); c) if crucial pieces of evidence such as video footage of the assault had not gone missing; d) if the testimony originally given by parties to the assault were not later judged inadmissable by the court; e) if the two Roma men had been located by the police and/or appeared in court as witnesses to the incident and; f) if these men were not members of a despised ethnic minority.

    Beyond this, I think that you should stop spamming my blog under a variety of pseudonyms, and stick to parading your bigotry, ignorance and stoopid in a more appropriate locale such as Stormfront.

  17. Coupe' says:

    Beyond this, I think that you should stop spamming my blog under a variety of pseudonyms, and stick to parading your bigotry, ignorance and stoopid in a more appropriate locale such as Stormfront.

    What are you talking about… provide some examples?

  18. @ndy says:

    Submitted on 2009/11/22 at 4:07pm

    Excuse me, what is with the great opposition against White Nationalism by White Anarchists? Nationalism has done more to protect the working rights and well-being of White people th[a]n all other movements combined. They put [the] needs of White people foremost in such things as: wealth fare, medical treatment, employment, etc. I do not know why the White Anarchist would oppose this?

    Submitted on 2009/11/22 at 4:15pm

    What is so bad about the far-right re-emerging – when you must consider – Whites are increasingly becoming victims of Race-Hate; deprivations of civil rights that we should be entitled too [sic].

    Your commentary echoes that of the person who has posted as greg / Full-wit Mick / Tony / Mick / Timmy / WR / Mick Reyfield / Tony Whitemore / Michael J Reyfield / Exchron / Big Beautiful Man / et. al..

  19. Davo says:

    Well Ash, if what you’re saying is correct, I withdraw my initial statement.

  20. Jane says:

    Davo, it’s not correct! Both Monov and Zahariev were stabbed in the back! How bravely!

  21. ash says:

    for a run-down on what has been going on in court for the last 2 years, and the “evidence” that jock’s verdict was based on, visit

  22. ash says:


    i was in court when the forensic experts explicitly stated that neither wound was made in the back. i’m not sure where you’re getting your information from, but it’s wrong.

    further, the experts stated that zahariev’s wound was a “defensive slash”, not a stab (2cm long, less than 1cm deep). typical of a wound made while trying to escape attack. and, even after DNA testing, none of zahariev’s blood was found on the seized knife.

    i find it very strange that none of the gang members who attacked jock were searched for weapons that night (despite cctv and independent witnesses stating they initiated two violent attacks), and zahariev’s blood is nowhere to be found. i suspect another weapon was present…

  23. sm says:

    @ndy – if this had happened in Australia, what verdict and sentence would Jock have likely received?

  24. @ndy says:


    I don’t know; I’m not a criminal lawyer. What I can state is that the verdict would be arrived at by a jury of his peers, selected from the general public — not a panel. The criminal investigation would be conducted by police, and the prosecution by the state (Director of Public Prosecutions).

    Regarding sentencing, this would be determined by the presiding magistrate; Jock would not be fined however, and there is no death penalty. Generally speaking, sentencing is determined by way of precedent. That is, most decisions of this sort conform, roughly, to previous practice. This can change over time, and is meant to reflect, in some way, general community attitudes. Thus crimes that were once lightly punished, may become subject to more punitive measures, and vice versa. In the case of murder committed in self-defence, I really dunno. My impression is that 20 years would probably be considered excessive. Thus — to take one random example that springs to mind — a local bonehead called Dane Sweetman:

    In 1991, on his birthday, December 19, [Sweetman] was sentenced to 20 years with a minimum of 15 for the murder of David Noble. He expected a longer sentence. Sweetman murdered Noble with an axe at a party to celebrate Hitler’s birthday on April 20, 1990, and then cut the legs off the body before dumping the remains in the Boulevard, Kew. He stunned the court when he produced a prison ’shiv’ and slammed it into the bench, saying he had it to kill a police witness.

    He was released in 2005.

  25. Holly says:

    I have never had the pleasure of meeting Jock and nor do I pretend to have a great understanding of the Bulgarian legal system but I do feel that it is highly inappropriate for people to come onto this website and share negative opinionated views. This man has parents and friends and people that love him. Have some respect and compassion. Regardless of the situation a young Australian should not be spending 20 years in a Bulgarian jail.

    The legal system is very different to that we are accustomed to in Australia and so too are the jails. This is not the 5 star prisons we have here and just for a bit of perspective, it is in the sub zeros in Bulgaria at the moment.

    From my understanding it is a highly corrupt legal system and justice is hard to come by. It seems to me that Jock has attempted to come to the aid of someone in need and sadly the result was not as he had intended. I feel greatly for him as even the Australian media is continuing to get his name wrong and I think that says enough about the accuracy of what we read. Ash says he was there at the hearings and I do not believe for a second that he would attempt to mislead us. He and his family are simply trying to get the truth out there. I have been following the case and it seems that he has had one unjust situation after another.

    For Jock, his family and friends I hope that the appeal will be successful and Jock will be home where he belongs very soon.

  26. Susan says:

    I feel for Jock, his family & friends. Any one of us could have a child in this situation before they even realised themselves of the possibilities on ‘how things can go drastically wrong’! All educated people realise what conditions Jock would be facing & he should be brought home to do his sentence. Australians are meant to be the face of GIVE EVERYONE A FAIR GO! Jock deserves the same.

  27. Porridge says:

    Very sad story. One night of madness.
    But when you put a blade in someones back its hard to claim self defence
    Best move on and focus on cases worth saving.

  28. Tanya says:

    I,too,believe it is highly inappropriate for people to get on this website and run poor Jock down.I dont personally know Jock or his family but people, who believe Jock is in the wrong here,KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF.His friends and family dont need to read your crap.Keep it to yourselves.And to those who think íts only safe to walk the streets of North Sydney(more or less)now Jock has gone——-WAKE UP!!!!!!!ARE YOU FOR REAL???????To all Jocks family and friends,never lose hope.Truth will prevail in the end.

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