Murder of Ebony Simpson

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Ebony Simpson

The murder of Ebony Jane Simpson occurred in Bargo, New South Wales on 19 August 1992. Ebony was nine years old. Andrew Peter Garforth (born 5 August 1963) later pleaded guilty to the crime and was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Abduction and murder[edit]

On 19 August 1992, Ebony disembarked from her school bus. Her mother, who usually met her at the bus stop, was busy that day and had arranged for Ebony’s older brother to meet her and accompany her home, after his bus reached the bus stop. But his bus arrived later than usual and Ebony was not there. Ebony, not seeing her brother at the bus stop decided to start the walk home, which was only a short distance away, and see him at home.[1]

With her house in sight, she passed a parked car that appeared to be broken down. The car’s driver, 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 the dam's reservoir, 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 Garforth's Papers be marked "never to be released".

In discussing the meaning of 'life imprisonment' when Garforth appealed his sentence the Judges said, "[T]he community interest in retribution, deterrence, protection of children and the community in such situations may so strongly outweigh any regard for rehabilitation that a life sentence becomes the only option."[2]


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 The claims were later withdrawn after public outrage.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.[3] It is one of two similar cases which has been refused special leave.[2]

Ebony’s parents Christine and Peter Simpson, would join forces with Grace and Garry Lynch, the parents of New South Wales 1986 murder victim Anita Cobby, to create the Homicide Victims Support Group.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Anderson, John (17 November 1998). "The Law Report Tuesday, November 17". Radio National Transcripts. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  3. ^ Garforth v The Queen [1994] HCATrans 149.

Further reading[edit]

  • Reade, Helen (2003). Little Girls Lost: The Stories of Four of Australia's Most Horrific Child Murders, and Their Families' Fight for Justice. Rowville, Victoria: Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-937-3. 

External links[edit]