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PROGRAM TRANSCRIPT: Monday, 28 March , 2011

CAROLINE JONES, PRESENTER: Hello, I'm Caroline Jones. In October last year a Victorian Supreme
Court judge sentenced Robert Farquharson to a minimum of 33 years in jail. Farquharson was
convicted of murder; of deliberately driving his three sons to their death in a dam on Father's
Day. He claims that he had a coughing fit and was unconscious when his car ran off the road. He is
appealing the guilty verdict. A small and diverse group of supporters continue to insist that
Robert Farquharson is innocent. Have they been grossly deceived or is there more to it than has
emerged so far?

NEWS REPORT: He was returning his sons - 8-year-old Jai, 6-year-old Tyler and 2-year-old Bailey -
to their mother after an access visit.

NEWS REPORT 2: For some as yet unknown reason, their car veered off the Princess Highway down an
embankment. They drowned when his car drove into a dam on Father's Day 2005.

NEWS REPORT 3: The father got out of the car. Unfortunately he made efforts to get all three
children out of the car and he was unable to.

NEWS REPORT 4: So being dark, being cold, being seven metres down, they couldn't find the car.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: It was not investigated as an accident scene, it was
investigated as a murder scene.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: I couldn't defend a murderer, no.

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: This was a story about parental failure. It involved
not just one child but three children.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: We all grew up at Winchelsea, a small country town,
so we had the benefit of a country life.

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: Mum and Dad were both locals. I'm the oldest, followed by
another brother, another sister and then Rob was the youngest. We were a little bit more protective
of him than other kids because he was smaller for his age, he had poor coordination and his
eyesight, but he is a very tough, tough little guy. He did all the normal things that kids do and
he went to play football because he loved sport.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: We tended to move away from home at an early age so
he was home also with Mum and Dad more than what we were actually there so he lived with Mum and
Dad for a long time till he met Cindy.

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: Cindy and I went to high school together and we were best friends
straight away, so we were together all the time as teenagers and got up to all sorts and just like
that. I think the best way to describe Rob and Cindy's relationship is that Rob loves Cindy
unconditionally, did whatever he could to make her happy, whatever she wanted he tried to get. If
he didn't have the money to provide it he would go and earn the money somewhere else to provide it.

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: Rob started working in the shire when he left school and
then when that finished he got a job down at the Cumberland as a cleaner.

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: Cindy and Rob had Jai in 1994 and then they had Tyler in 1998, they
got married in 2000 and then at the end of 2002 Bailey was born.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: I moved here in the year 2000 and I took my son down to the
local football ground and that's how I met Robert Farquharson who was part of the coaching team at
the time. I thought Rob had a really nice soft placid nature about him - he loved his boys, he was
a great father, and I used to say to him, you know, mate you're a better father than I am. I wish I
could be just like that, you know.

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: Cindy wore the pants and Rob was happy. That worked really well for
them for 12 years. That's just how it was. I'm not saying there's anything bad about that. And then
they went to build the house so Cindy just got what Cindy wanted basically.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: Rob had a project to build a new home and he had approached me
if I would be involved in it knowing that I was a carpenter/builder and I said, yeah, no worries

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: They had a concreter, Stephen Moules, pour the concrete slab. I'm not
going to analyse why it happened or what happened there but I think Cindy developed feelings for

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: Rob did come round one night and he had said that he and
Cindy - Cindy had had a talk to him and things weren't - she wasn't happy. Rob's heart was broken
when Cindy decided to end their marriage and he did look downcast and a little downtrodden but Rob
wanted to make a home for the boys.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: Between Rob and I there's four years and we've
always been very close but more so when he separated with Cindy. Everyone that separates has big
problems but Rob and Cindy had worked out a lot of their situation, they didn't have custody
issues, they worked it out between themselves. The only reason he had the boys every second weekend
was because he worked every other weekend.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: Rob and I became really deeply even closer as a friend because
I came from a broken marriage and I said to him - I sat him down in the shed, I said, Rob I've got
to ask you this - how can you live your life with somebody and how can you love them
unconditionally knowing damn well they don't want to be with you? Let it go, you know, let it go.
And he did, he went, you know what, you're right. I said, look let's just do the right thing by the
children here.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: On Father's Day 2005 Robert Farquharson worked in the morning at
the Cumberland Hotel in Lorne.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: Because Rob was working he wasn't even meant to have
the kids. The original arrangement was that Cindy would bring the kids around and they would give
Rob his Fathers' Day presents. Cindy decided that the boys could stay there for tea. The only
problem was that he didn't have any food in the house so he had to go to Geelong. On the way to
Geelong they decided to drop in to see if Michael Hart would like to go with them.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: Rob had came into my lounge room asking me to go out to dinner
with him because it was Father's Day. I wasn't feeling too good and I looked at Rob and he was not
looking good and he'd been coughing and splattering in the shed. I said, you're not well, I said,
you probably shouldn't be driving. Why don't you have a barbecue here? Oh, he said, I've already
told them and they've got their hearts... I don't want to now tell them that we're not going to
Kentucky Fried, and I can relate to all that. There's no Kentucky Fried in Winchelsea, we've got to
go to Geelong for it.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: They went to Kmart and Robert bought the boys some gifts and then
they went to KFC for dinner and then early evening they made the drive back to Winchelsea.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: On the night of the accident Rob actually stopped
into our house on the way home to Winchelsea. Rob and Garry, my husband, were talking and they were
talking about what they were going to be doing next weekend, so it wasn't like there was no plans
for the future or there was any strange behaviour. He was normal, a little bit tired because he'd
been sick.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: The car was travelling back from Geelong to Winchelsea when it
crossed a lane. Robert Farquharson said that he had a coughing fit, he blacked out and he woke up
in the car in the dam and didn't know where he was. He said that he dived down three or four times
to try and get the children and then he managed to get out of the dam and he walked toward the road
to get help. He flagged down a car that had two local men inside and he told them that he'd killed
his kids - that was the phrase that he used - and that the kids were in the dam, and the two men
offered to call police and he asked to be taken to see Cindy. Robert gets to Cindy's doorstep and
he tells her what's happened - that the kids are in the dam and she's understandably hysterical and
so they drive toward the dam and they call Stephen Moules along the way. Robert Farquharson stopped
Stephen Moules and asks him for a cigarette as Stephen Moules is stripping off to try and dive down
to try and get his kids. Cindy Gambino said he looked like someone who'd lost his pushbike. Robert
Farquharson was taken to the Geelong Hospital and he was checked out and then he had his first
interview with police. He's told by police that, obviously you understand that the three children
haven't made it, and he uses the phrase, "I gathered that".

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: When the nurse came and got me to go in and see Rob I
don't think I'll ever forget the person I saw. He was laying on a stretcher bed covered in foil, he
was shaking uncontrollably, he didn't recognise me, he couldn't speak.

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: For the boys' funeral I was with Cindy's family helping organise the
eulogy, what was going to be written in that, and rehearsing it. I wanted to really read that on
the day, I wanted to read it for Cindy's family and make them proud, I wanted to read it for Rob's
family and make them proud, but probably most of all I wanted to read it and do the boys proud. I
remember standing there reading that and looking at Cindy and her family and looking across at Rob
and his family and in between them looking at the three little coffins. I remember walking out and
Rob with his arm around Cindy, I remember that moment vividly, the look on their faces.

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: We, I suppose, were naive. We had no idea of - certainly
knew nothing about the law and the processes of the law and it was just a nightmare. We're just
ordinary people whose... it's a whole different world out there.

CAPTION: In December 2005 Robert Farquharson was charged with three counts of murder.

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: Because it was only a few hours into the
investigation that it was handed over to the Victorian Homicide Squad, I began to be interested in
what were the features of this case and an unusual feature was that this was a case built largely
on circumstantial evidence.

(Excerpt from ABC News August 2006)

REPORTER: Cindy Gambino says the night of Fathers' Day last year was the darkest she's ever
experienced. But she told his committal hearing today she doesn't blame him for her children's

(End of excerpt)

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: The magistrate at the committal hearing said that
there was no middle ground in this case. That this was either a tragic accident on the one hand or
a deliberate premeditated act of vengeance by a father against his ex-wife.

(Excerpt continues)

REPORTER: Farquharson has consistently maintained the crash happened after he blacked out during a
violent coughing fit.

(End of excerpt)

DR CHRIS STEINFORT, DEFENCE WITNESS: When I first saw Robert in April 2006 he told me that at the
time of the accident he'd had a significant respiratory tract infection. He'd been prescribed
antibiotics; the cough was severe and persistent and very distressing and he described episodes
where he would become dizzy.

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: The defence argued that it was a tragic accident. He
had a coughing fit and the car went off into the dam and that he had no steering input whatsoever.
The prosecution argued the opposite - it was deliberately driven into the dam and that he wasn't
having a coughing fit.

DR CHRIS STEINFORT, DEFENCE WITNESS: Cough syncope is a fundamentally simple diagnosis. It is a
diagnosis based on history and the history is that of an episode of coughing or perhaps even a
single cough followed immediately by loss of consciousness followed by rapid return of
consciousness. There was good hard evidence of a problem going on which supported the hypothesis,
or my working hypothesis, that this was an episode of cough syncope.

(Excerpts from ABC News, August 2006)

REPORTER 1: Robert Farquharson showed no emotion as he was committed to stand trial over the deaths
of his three sons but his two sisters sat beside...

REPORTER 2: ...Said it was either a tragic accident or a premeditated, deliberate and wicked act of
revenge against his former wife...

REPORTER 3: ...Should be a matter for a jury to decide. Robert Farquharson pleaded not guilty. He
will remain on bail and appear in the Melbourne Supreme Court in October.

(End of excerpts)

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: Robert Farquharson was always supported by a small
group of active supporters. They wore badges to court, to and from court showing their support for
Robert Farquharson. The trial was completely divided, the evidence completely divided and experts
to prove each side gave evidence at the trial.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: Lots of people familiar with the case have heard about the infamous
fish and chip shop conversation where Farquharson spoke to his friend Greg King and said that he
was going to pay his wife back big time. Greg King's evidence was considered very integral to the
trial because it was really the only sort of statement of motive or that the prosecution could find
to support their case. It gave a reason for someone doing something that everyone found so

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: Greg King claimed that Robert Farquharson had said to
him that he was unhappy about the separation and that he was thinking of killing the children on a
special day like Father's Day as a form of payback against his ex-wife.

GREG KING, PROSECUTION WITNESS (Outside courtroom): What I heard so clearly at the fish and shop,
fish and chip shop in 2005 from Robbie continues to haunt me. I could not have lived with the
knowledge that I knew what was said to me but did nothing about it.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: In here I know that there was no plot, he wouldn't have told
Greg, he would have told me. He told me everything.

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: The defence argued from the very outset of the first
trial that the police had tunnel vision.

MICHAEL HART, FARQUHARSON'S FRIEND: Never at any stage have I been interviewed by the police. They
already had something so I'm sitting back and going, you don't want to know the bloody truth, why?

(Excerpts from ABC News, October 2007)

NEWS READER: Good evening. Melbourne Supreme Court erupted this afternoon after a jury found
Winchelsea man Robert Farquharson guilty of the murder of his three young sons.

REPORTER 1: The mother of the three dead boys had to be carried from the Supreme Court after the
guilty verdict....

PETER MORRISSEY SC, DEFENCE BARRISTER (Outside courtroom): The jury has found Robert guilty but I
can tell you he maintains his innocence of the charges...

REPORTER 2, ABC NEWS: The crown case relied heavily on the evidence of Farquharson's friend Greg

(End of excerpts)

(Excerpt from 60 Minutes, Channel 9, October 2007)

CINDY GAMBINO, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S FMR WIFE: I don't want my children to be remembered as those
three little Farquharson boys murdered by their father. I don't want that that's not honouring my
children. I wailed, I wailed because it was not the verdict I wanted.

PETER OVERTON, INTERVEIWER: In your mind did he do it?


PETER OVERTON: He is innocent?

CINDY GAMBINO: I believe he is. I believe this is a tragic accident.

(End of excerpt)

CAPTIONS: Robert Farquharson received three life sentences with no minimum term. He appealed the
guilty verdicts.

(Excerpt from ABC News, December 2009)

REPORTER: Three judges in the Court of Appeal found a number of errors in his trial caused a
miscarriage of justice. They pointed to inconsistencies in the statements of Farquharson's former
friend Greg King.

(End of excerpt)

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: Greg King was obviously a very important witness in the first trial
but he became a controversial witness in the second trial because it was revealed that police had
provided a character reference for him for charges on an unrelated assault and that information
wasn't provided to either the prosecution or the defence and that became the basis of one of the
reasons for the retrial.

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: By the retrial Cindy Gambino was no longer supportive
of Robert Farquharson

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: I don't know what happened to Cindy, how she came to think that Rob
was guilty or if that's really what she believes. You know, like she's living with Stephen;
Stephen's been on television, he's said clearly that he smelt a rat and words to that affect, and
Cindy and I aren't talking now because I won't accept Stephen. So that's where the barriers come in
there; that's why I can't explain where her head space is at the moment.

CAPTION: The second trial started in May last year.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: Robert Farquharson gave evidence in the second trial which he
didn't in the first trial and obviously that brought along a lot of scrutiny, a lot of questioning,
lots of judgement over his demeanour and his actions or otherwise on the stand.

(Excerpt from ABC News, June 2010)

REPORTER: The prosecutor put to Mr Farquharson, let me suggest this whole thing is a complete
fabrication. Farquharson replied, that's not true at all.

(End of excerpt)

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: The other body of evidence that I think was crucial
to the prosecution case was what's came to be known as Robert Farquharson's dam-side conduct and
that is the evidence that he didn't appear to act like a normal grieving father would.

(Excerpt from Sunday Night, Channel 7, August 2010)

STEPHEN MOULES, CINDY GAMBINO'S PARTNER: When I got out of the car and he said, have you got a
smoke... What a ridiculous thing to ask when you've just driven your car into a dam with your kids
in it.

(End of excerpt)

ROB GORDON, DEFENCE PSYCHOLOGIST: His behaviour at the dam on the return where he's said to be
wandering around the fence line and asks people for cigarettes on several occasions is
understandable when we think, well he's in a different state to everyone else - everyone else is in
rescue mode but he knows that rescue's impossible because he's tried it and he knows, he must know,
that the children have already drowned.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: With the second trial I thought it went a lot better
than the first one. I thought a lot more information is coming out for them to make a decision
about. We were so wrong.

(Excerpt from ABC News, July 2010):

REPORTER: Forty-one-year-old Robert Farquharson was for the second time found guilty of triple
murder. Outside court the strain of the 11 week retrial had clearly taken its toll on the boys'
mother, Cindy Gambino, and her family.

(End of excerpt)

CAPTION: Robert Farquharson received three life sentences with a minimum term of 33 years.

CINDY GAMBINO: It's never going to be enough. It's a life sentence for me; it should be a life
sentence for him.

JESSICA CRAVEN, COURT REPORTER: I don't think there was a single person who sat in the trial who
didn't have moments where they thought, well what if he is innocent? What if he's gone through
these two trials and his three boys are dead and he's been accused of murdering them and he didn't
do it? But then on the other hand he's been found guilty by two juries.

WENDY KENNEDY, FAMILY FRIEND: This whole thing has just impacted us so much you know? Like Rob's
our friend, he's in jail. Cindy was my best friend of my life, I don't have her in my life at the
moment, I'm not saying that down that down the track somewhere that won't change but for now she's
not. The three boys have gone out of our life. For anyone to think that I'm that naive that I would
just believe Rob for the sake of it, it's not, it's just wrong because honestly if I could walk
away I would but I can't because I know him and I know what I know.

KERRI HUNTINGTON, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: There's times that we've been through and especially
right now, there's moments where you think it would be easier for us just to believe he's guilty.
We know that Rob is an innocent man and we know people have other feelings about that. When we go
to visit Rob it takes about an hour from my house to get there. Everything changes going from the
country to an industrial area where the prison is.

CARMEN ROSS, ROBERT FARQUHARSON'S SISTER: The tragic part is that life is over in seconds. It's
unavoidable, there's nothing you can do and no matter how much you wish it and how much you try to
change the outcome, you never will. It may be focused about Rob but we think about the boys, we
think about the town we grew up, the family, it involves and impacts so many more people than just

DR DANIELLE TYSON, MONASH UNI. CRIMINOLOGIST: Nothing is going to bring those three children back
and I think the grief that family and parents, in particular the parents, would feel about the loss
of their children would stay with them forever. It's just something you don't get over.


Robert Farquharson is seeking leave to appeal against last year's verdict on the basis that it was

Cindy Gambino and Stephen Moules have two children together and married in October last year.