Button guilty of child deaths
By EVAN SCHWARTEN
THE grandfather of murdered school children Russell and Kimberley Griffin yesterday shook hands with their killer's father minutes after his son was found guilty of their murder.
"I've got sympathy for him, he's a father the same as I am,'' Clive Griffin said.
Mr Griffin spoke of his relief after Joseph Garrett Button was convicted in Rockhampton Supreme Court yesterday afternoon.
"I thought I'd be dead before that bastard ever set foot in a courtroom,'' he said.
"I've never been so relieved in my life.''
Button's mother and sisters wept openly in the court gallery as the jury found him guilty of the October 2001 murders.
Justice Peter Dutney is expected to hand down a prison sentence of at least 20 years this morning.
Mr Griffin, accompanied always by the victims' neighbour, Michael Hepburn, sat through all 11 days of the exhausting and often emotional trial waiting for the verdict.
"I had to be here for the kids, I felt somebody had to represent them,'' Mr Griffin said. But he said some of the grue- some details revealed in the trial had forced him to leave the room. "There were some things that I suspected but didn't know for sure that came up.''
He hoped Button would never be allowed to leave prison, adding his grandchildren, aged 9 and 13 at the time, would now be aged 13 and 17.
"So much has been taken away from us ... they never got to have their lives, they will never have an 18th birthday, a 21st birthday, they will never learn to drive...''
"If Annette (victims' mother) lives to be 100 she will never get over this.