Anne lives in hell
HAUNTED by her past, Yeppoon's Anne Aboud is living in "a hell'' she is powerless to fix.
The 54-year-old, who spent nine months in jail before being acquitted in 2004 of her boyfriend's murder, has been forced to live in a fire-gutted home in Tanby Road for almost a year.
More than $300,000 out of pocket after her assets were seized to pay legal bills, Ms Aboud, with barely a cent to her name, has no way to pay for repairs.
A disability pension is just enough to put food on the table and pay bills.
Up until a few months ago, an unfinished university degree in social work was Ms Aboud's only ticket back into the workforce ? her final hope for rebuilding her shattered life and damaged home.
However, Ms Aboud's life hit rock bottom when, during her third of four years of study, the university discontinued her placement at local workplaces, which was part of the degree.
Ms Aboud said during placement she was being constantly discriminated against because of her past.
"In the end the uni just had enough and stopped it,'' she said. "I just kept getting humiliated. I had a breakdown after that. I just sat and cried, and cried and cried.''
Ms Aboud may never be able to finish the degree. With time on her hands and companions Tobi, a german shepherd, and cattle dog Rosie, by her side, Ms Aboud set about trying her best not to think.
"Thinking just reminded me of the helplessness of my position,'' Ms Aboud explained.
"I tried to pick up the pieces and start doing it (repairs) myself. I just started sanding. I said to myself 'why can't you do this Anne? God got you out of jail, with him you can do this'.
"I stopped looking at what I'd lost and started looking at what I had left.''
Ms Aboud said an outstanding conviction for a breach of bail offence during her trial had meant she was unable to get insurance for the 8ha property she had called home since 1995.
Despite her best efforts to repair it, progress was extremely slow, and not a day went by without Ms Aboud's thoughts turning to her "living hell''.
"I wake up through the night and relive what I've been through. "It never goes away. I'm fighting depression. I'm fighting giving up. But I'm always fighting to keep myself busy, to stop thinking. I try and tell myself there is a reason to keep going.''
Ms Aboud paused and went silent for a moment as tears welled in her eyes.
"A lot of people get knocked down and get up,'' she continued.
"When I was trying to get up I kept getting knocked down.
"Now I don't know how to financially survive.''
Ms Aboud said she did not know whether she would ever be accepted back into the community.
Even walking down the street, people who know her won't talk to her.
"I used to read about people being charged and assumed guilt.
"I learned through my case the importance of the word alleged.''
In June 2004, a Supreme Court jury in Rockhampton acquitted Ms Aboud of the murder of her boyfriend, Ivan Mikhail, in 2001.
It was her third trial on the charge.
The jury in the first trial was discharged.
Ms Aboud was convicted and jailed in the second trial, but granted a retrial by the Court of Appeal.
She later described her nine months in prison as "absolute hell'' and said a chance meeting with former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson had been a Godsend.
Yesterday a spokesperson for Acting Attorney General, Rod Welford, said "in normal circumstances acquitals do not give rise to any entitlements for compensation, however, if anyone believes there are exceptional circumstances, they can submit those circumstances to the attorney general for consideration.''
Anyone who can help Ms Aboud should contact Darryn Nufer on 4930 4259 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.