The abduction, gang rape and murder of young Sydney woman Janine Balding in 1988 really was a crime that rocked Australians. Janine’s murder was just a few years after the abduction, rape and murder of Sydney nurse Anita Cobby and an already-sickened community was again shocked by the death of another vivacious young woman.
I first read The Janine Balding story when it came out 1995 and I found a copy at a second-hand bookstore. I don’t think it is still in print but if people can get their hands on a copy it it well worth a read.
Written by Janine’s mother Bev, with the assistance of journalist Janet Fife-Yeomans, The Janine Balding Story is from the perspective of a family’s devastated at the loss of a child to a violent crime and their views on the justice system.
Janine, 20, was abducted from a railway station by a gang of five youths (including one girl), raped, hog-tied and dumped in a dam in Western Sydney.
One of the gang, Bronson Blessington (known as B during the trial) was 14 and he and two others were jailed for life in NSW – their file stamped “never to be released”. The eldest of the group, a repugnant man Stephen “shorty” Jamieson (nicknamed Shorty for his very short stature, also born with foetal alcohol syndrome) was 22.
It is hard to imagine how a family goes on after such a tragedy. Bev Balding tells her story and honours the memory of her daughter in a straightforward, yet very touching way.