FAMILY ANGUISH: Joseph Garrett Button's father Bert (centre) and sister Cynthia (right) comfort an unknown woman.
FAMILY ANGUISH: Joseph Garrett Button's father Bert (centre) and sister Cynthia (right) comfort an unknown woman.

Mother's justice took four years

By EVAN SCHWARTEN

AFTER four long years, Annette Griffin finally got justice for the murder of her children, Russell and Kimberley, yesterday.

A tearful Ms Griffin yesterday spoke publicly for the first time of the trauma her family had been put through, just minutes after convicted murderer Joseph Garrett Button was sentenced to life imprisonment.

"I'm constantly reliving it, it's been a little easier in the last two years but birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries are very hard,'' she said.

Ms Griffin said she was feeling numb after hearing the sentence but was relieved Button would spend a long time in prison.

"I have gotten some form of justice for Russell and Kimberley.''

The former Glenmore State School students were aged 13 and 9 on the afternoon of October 15, 2001, when Button led them to an isolated part of Mt Archer National Park.

There he strangled them and threw their bodies off a cliff before chucking rocks at them.

There is also evidence he sexually assaulted Kimberley.

Ms Griffin criticised the long delays in determining whether Button, who has been diagnosed by some psychiatrists as a paranoid schizophrenic, was fit to stand trial.

"I don't think it was right for me to wait four years to get justice,'' she said. "There were a lot of times I didn't think it would come to an end.'' Ms Griffin said the trial had forced her to relive the horrors of four years ago and could not return to court for most of the trial after giving evidence on day one.

But she summoned the strength to join her father Clive in court on Tuesday to hear the jury find Button guilty of both murders and again yesterday to hear the sentence.

"I needed to hear the verdict to get some sort of closure.'' Ms Griffin hoped she would be able to get her life back on track now the trial was over.

She said she was yet to decide if she wanted to stay in Rockhampton in the long term.

"I've just been focused on getting justice for my kids for the last four years, I'm going to try to get on with my life.''

Ms Griffin spoke to The Morning Bulletin on the condition none of her family was photographed.



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