Janine Mackney: Anguished aunt
Photo Courtesy of: Gold Coast Sun
LET’S GET ONE thing straight. I did not defend the text bully, Dan Shearin, after he was sentenced to jail for tormenting suicide victim Breeanna Robinson.
I wholeheartedly agreed with Magistrate John Costanzo’s accurate description of him as a ‘pig’ and a ‘coward’.
In fact, I described Shearin as the sort of person ‘you wouldn’t piss on if his teeth were on fire’.
But, on Twitter and Facebook (and in understandably emotional emails printed below) the victim’s family and friends have painted me as a champion of domestic violence.
And that hurts, when, for Sunday Night exposés, I have physically confronted abusers like Army thug Darran Porch and roid-rage gym junkie Nicholas Pribil.
The editorial was called ‘Defending the Indefensible? The question mark was intentional.
I said I wasn’t enjoying writing it and meant no disrespect to the memory of a life cut cruelly short by her own hand. I just questioned the precedent-setting sentence of imprisonment which I believed would be overturned on appeal.
raises more questions
Breeanna’s aunt, Janine Mackney, who was in court for Shearin’s sentence, sent me a passionate rebuttal which, to me, raises more questions. It read in part:
I really wish you would have educated yourself better. Firstly we have worked extremely hard to get Dan Shearin where he currently is and for you to come along and make lite of this is so disrespectful. You owe myself, my family, Bree's friends, Magistrate Costanza (sic) and the 30 victims, yes 30 and still counting, a huge apology!! Do you honestly think Dan Shearin just sent abusive text messages to his victims! You have no idea what he is like behind closed doors! Texting is only one part of this story. Bree and Dan were in their 11th story apartment together the night she APPARENTLY jumped off the balcony. How dare you say the sentence Magistrate Costanza handed down was not right! What is not right is not enough support for victims of domestic violence, not enough funding to support domestic violence. Not enough people educating themselves so that the laws are changed!
Dan Devil Shearin has a 20-year history of domestic VIOLENCE and the 2 months he was sentenced is definitely nowhere near close enough to what he should be given!
Next time you speak about my niece at least have the decency to have all the facts correct and to make sure you spell Bree's name correctly!’
(It is true, I did spell Breeanna’s name incorrectly at one point, but emails from friends and another aunt have said ‘Breeana’ and ‘ Breanna’. And it’s Costanzo, Ms. Mackney.)
Her capital letters for APPARENTLY, plus the wording of other emails, strongly suggest suspicions of foul play. If that is the case, police should be still investigating.
an abusive history
If Shearin has an abusive history going back twenty years – and if there are 30 other victims – now is the time for them to all come forward and have him charged with other crimes of violence.
The prick deserves no mercy.
One victim’s mother wrote to me saying:
‘Well, I never thought I would be in disagreement with you as I have admired and respected you for a very long time. However, your statement regarding Dan Shearin the text bully and his jail sentence has me in a flurry. You see Mr Hinch there is so much more to this than just a few text messages. My daughter and I were victims of this monster 22 years ago and through circumstances have unfortunately continued to be so. Dan didn't always use text messages and social media to terrorise women. He was and still is physically abusive. The magistrate did not make his decision lightly and saw it for what it was -- a case of domestic violence and those of us who know him and knew Bree question her suicide. I am including my police statement for you to read’.
And another friend, casting doubts on how a young woman died, said:
‘He needs to be stopped before there is another death. This man is capable of a lot more than verbal abuse’.
If all this is true, then this is a case when you should kick a man when he is
(temporarily) down. If Shearin is guilty of other crimes of violence then lay formal charges, get him convicted and get him put away for a long time. He deserves no less.