Brett Francis Redfern
The siege didn’t last long and he was arrested and charged. Because of the serious nature of the charges he was arraigned before the Cairns District Court on 7 Dec 2004,presided over by Judge Peter White.
Redfern pleaded guilty. In sentencing submissions, his Defence Council alluded to the fact that Redfern suffers from PTSD as a result of his employment with the Defence Force however because of the nature of the employment it could not be spoken of.
His Defence Council said – “Yes. And this particular man, your Honour, has seen operational conduct in a variety of countries. He’s bound – he’s not allowed to talk about it, and he had fought for his country and it is quite apparent, your Honour that he has had to do some horrific things. But your Honour he comes before this court who has suffered the scars of that”..
A Psychology report was tendered to the court as evidence, the Psychological report was not read to the court.
Having heard the defence barrister and read the Psychologists report the Judge said:
“Normally offences of this nature involve a gaol term, however I am not going to send you to gaol because of the unique circumstances. I accept the background information that has been provided by Mr Goldenberg (The Psychologist) concerning you”.
Judge White continued: “The rest of us owe gratitude to people like you as we owe to police officers who work for our protection. I suspect that police officers feel they are not wholly appreciated and probably soldiers feel the same way, but I can tell you as far as I am concerned the work you do and the work police officers do is appreciated. But that experience in the service of your country has led you to suffer severe and ongoing emotional disturbances, which you understand you have, and which before this incident you had taken steps to alleviate.
You must realise of course, that given your military training and experience the potential for you to inflict lethal harm on others was great”.
Judge White ordered that no conviction be recorded and Redfern be put on a two year good behavior bond of $1,000.
A court reporter, for the Cairns Post was present at the trial, this was Simone Knox. After sentencing, the reporter phoned the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to confirm some information about the case. She was informed by the Crown Prosecutor's clerk that Redfern had been in the SAS. Cairns Post editors created the heading "Ordeal of SAS soldier."
“Ordeal of SAS Soldier”
“Hero’s breakdown blamed on Post-traumatic stress”
Redfern said about his day in court that he had never mentioned any “Special Service” activity to anybody and the reporter was at fault for sensationalising and further traumatizing a sick soldier of good character. Redfern thought he was safe about his lies because they were contained in a confidential Psychologists report that was privileged information and only read by his legal team and the Judge. For a short time Redfern successfully shifted the blame for his dilemma on to the reporter.
Experienced veterans could see through the innuendo of exceptional service given as an excuse for his crime. Investigations then revealed he never served outside of Australia and had experiencedan ordinary career as a soldier.
It took little effort to convince the Crown Prosecutor to appeal the sentence and request a review on the basis that the Judges sentence was based on incorrect evidence given to him. The Crown Prosecutor lodged a subpoena and acquired Redfern’s real Military record.
On the 9th March 2005 Redfern again fronted the Cairns District Court to answer for the lies about his military career he put forward as mitigating circumstance at his first trial.
The Judge read details of Redfern’s real Military Record to the Court saying that he was initially a Storeman and then a Medic (Nurse) and had never set foot outside of Australia.The Judge then read excerpts from the Psychologists report submitted to him as evidence at the first trial;
The Judge said Mr Goldenberg reported about Redfern as follows:
Report by Sheldon Goldenberg, Psychologist
“He enrolled in the Australian Army in 1983 and remained in the service until he was retrenched 14 years later. Mr Redfern reported that although he does not like to talk about his achievements, he was a decorated sergeant and corporal in the military and at times was responsible for hundreds of soldiers during conflicts overseas.
He was trained in special forces and was involved in intelligence and reconnaissance activities. He achieved high ranks and promotions on a steady basis and was a highly skilled and trained special service soldier, which Mr Redfern explains taught him to react instantly and effectively in certain circumstances including sieges.
Mr Redfern provided numerous examples of his accomplishments and achievements in the military, but was aware that he was also exposed to extreme levels of violence and terror during his career, though at the time he was unable to manage the memories, visions, flashbacks and feelings that would flood into his mind as he attempted to continue his career.
He left the military and attempted to reintegrate into a civilian lifestyle but found this extremely difficult and frustrating as he continued to be plagued with his demons from the military experiences.
Mr Redfern was trained to commence a lethal response to danger and this is what he was programmed to achieve on a daily basis without exception in the most extreme and nightmarish conditions”
The Judge further stated that Redfern’s Barrister said at the first trial:
“And this particular man, your Honour, has – he has seen operational conduct in a variety of countries. He’s bound, he’s not allowed to talk about it, and he had fought for his country and it is quite apparent, your Honour, that he has had to do some horrific things.”
Redfern’s Barrister told the Judge “Your honour no one likes being duped. I don’t, nor does your honour obviously” In reference to the Psychologists report Redfern’s Barrister further said “Your Honour what was put in front of you was done in good faith”
Judge White further commented as follows;
“The prisoner did all the right things following the commission of the offence but one. He was very remorseful when spoken to by police. He pleaded guilty at an early stage. His expression of remorse were repeated on the sentence hearing. It is accepted that he had been suffering from significant emotional disturbance. He sought counselling for his problems. The one thing he did wrong was to fabricate a military history to Mr Goldenberg, the psychologist who prepared a report for the sentencing proceeding. He similarly fabricated a military history to Mr McCreanor, his counsel, who spoke of that military history to me in good faith, and I believed it”.
The Judge set aside the previous penalty and re-sentenced Redfern to 120 hours community service and ordered that a conviction be recorded.
Redfern lied to his Barrister,to his Psychologist to the Judge to his friends and he almost succeeded in blaming a reporter for his situation. After exposure of all the facts it is obvious that Redfern is a devious fraud and a liar.
Redfern was caught out by the fact that a Cairns reporter – Simone Knox was in court when his case was heard. Although she was incorrectly informed Redfern was in the SAS, the substance to her story was accurate.Had she not reported the story it would have slipped by as Redfern had planned.
Below is the follow-up news report from the Cairns Weekend Post of 12 March 2005.
Redfern would most likely have received reasonable treatment from the court had he disclosed his real military record, as it shows he was an exemplary soldier. He chose to go way over the top and claim international heroic deeds of a clandestine nature. He had no idea that he would be caught out. The question is, if he is prepared to lie to a District Court Judge about his military career how many times and where else has he lied about it?
Below is a similar case from the US. The difference between this case and Redferns??? Well look at the last paragraph below and see just how well genuine Veterans are supported in the US. We cant get our government or law enforcers to even arrest our frauds let alone fine or gaol them. Just what is wrong with our judicial system when it comes to protecting the Honour and Service of Australian Veterans. There are literally hundreds of bogus veterans across Australia, our fines have been slightly increased but obviously the maximum amount they can be fined still isn't enough to cover the morning tea for the magistrate and lawyers and while the DPP continues to consider that charging these people "Is not in the public interest" we are never going to see these people charged and removed from our ranks.
Americanman charged for lying about service record
Hess explained anyone who presents false testimony under oath is charged with perjury. Aggravated perjury is when anyone who is testifying in an official proceeding provides false information which is material to that proceeding. Under oath in his trial, Isbell reportedly testified regarding his military record and about his duties on patrol in Baghdad. He also said he earned two Bronze Stars, as well as a Purple Heart when he sustained a gunshot wound in the shoulder. He claimed to be on leave from the service because of the injury.
A check into his military records, however, revealed Isbell worked in the food service department as a cook and never served in combat. There is no record of awards or medals or verification he was injured.
According to information from the Aransas County Sheriff's Office, Isbell reportedly made a statement to Texas Ranger Oscar Rivera admitting his false testimony.
An arrest warrant for Isbell on the charge of aggravated perjury was subsequently issued Oct. 15 and he was arrested last week. He posted a $50,000 bondand was released from the Aransas County Jail. Aggravated perjury charge penalties include a prison sentence of two to 10 years and up to a $10,000 fine.
This is published in the public interest, particularly that of the Vietnam Veteran Community. All information presented here is fact and the truth. Reports from the private citizens are supported by statement of fact and statutory declarations.