Ebony Simpson (Ebony Jane Simpson)

Ebony Simpson

On 19 August 1992, Ebony Simpson disembarked from her school bus. Her mother, who usually met her at the bus stop, was busy so asked Ebony’s older brother to meet her after he got off his bus. But his bus was late and so Ebony started to walk the kilometre to her home. With the house in sight, she approached a car that appeared to have broken down. As she passed, the car’s owner, Andrew Garforth, grabbed her, threw her in the boot and drove off to a remote dam. Once there, he bound her with wire, raped her, weighted her schoolbag and threw her into a dam, where she drowned. A team of over 200 volunteers and 100 police searched for Ebony. Garforth participated in this effort. Garforth confessed to the crime after police detained him, showing no remorse for his actions during the confession and court sessions. He pleaded guilty to the murder of Ebony Simpson and was sentenced in 1993 to life imprisonment. Justice Peter Newman refused to fix a non-parole period and ordered that his papers were to be marked “never to be released”. In discussing the meaning of life imprisonment in this case when the sentence was appealed, Garforth’s judges said, “[T]he community interest in retribution, deterrence, protection of the community in such situations may so strongly outweigh any regard for rehabilitation that that’s when a life sentence becomes a real option.” In 1995, Garforth lodged several claims for victims’ compensation via his lawyers, Brezniak Neil-Smith & Co., relating to alleged assaults which occurred in prison. The claims were later withdrawn after public outrage. Garforth appealed to the High Court of Australia, but he was refused special leave. It is one of two similar cases which have been refused special leave. Ebony’s parents, Christine and Peter, would join forces with Grace and Garry Lynch, the mother and father of murder victim Anita Cobby to create the Homicide Victims Support Group.

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  • August, 06, 1983
  • Australia
  • New South Wales


  • August, 19, 1992
  • Australia
  • Bargo

Cause of Death

  • drowning

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