Archive for June, 2013

Nazis Used Meth: Five Things to Know About One of the World’s Favourite Stimulants

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , on June 22, 2013 by drjgelb

Below you will find a complimentary article to my previous post. Both appeared on ALTERNET this week and both are important in understanding why the War on Drugs is such a failure……….because it is so dishonest! One must keep in mind that the WOD was set in motion by Richard Nixon for ideological reasons. Nixon feared that drugs would embolden American youth to rebel against the Status Quo and thus threaten the political elites.

Nazis Used Meth: 5 Things to Know About One of the World’s Favourite Stimulants

As one who writes in defense of recreational “hard” drug users, I am frequently irked by the anti-drug sensationalism presented in supposedly objective news articles. An example is the recent front-page article in the Huffington Post, “ Nazis Took ‘Meth’ Pills to Stay Alert, Boost Endurance During World War II, Letters Reveal.”

Pairing methamphetamine with the Nazis is a double-the-evil masterstroke of front-page flair. It comes from a journalistic tradition that has similarly paired crack with black welfare queens in the mythic crack-baby epidemic, and cannibals and mephedrone in the nonsensical bath-salts cannibalism phenomenon. (Both the crack-baby and the bath-salts cannibalism stories have been debunked; see here and here.)

The basis of the Huffington Post article is that the Nazis gave their troops the drug Pervitin (pharmaceutical methamphetamine), in World War II. This is true, but the rest of the article is a lesson in spin.

1. Nothing New Here

First, the letters did not reveal anything new. Nazi use of Pervitin has been widely known for over seventy years. The letters themselves were old news as well. The only thing new was someone at the Huffington Post read Der Spiegel and realized Nazis plus meth equals web gold.

2. American Kids Are Prescribed Almost the Same Thing

Methamphetamine is a type of amphetamine that has essentially the same effect on the central nervous system as dextroamphetamine. Dextroamphetamine is in Adderall. The substantial difference between street methamphetamine and Adderall is not from their pharmacology but from dosage and administration. Adderall users take small doses by the ingestion of pills. Street users inject or smoke large doses. Injecting and smoking provides a shorter, but more intense, reaction to a drug. The Nazis distributed small doses in pill form, just as American doctors do today to our nation’s youth—with negligible addiction risk.

3. Allied Forces Did and Still Do Almost the Same Thing

During World War II over 72 million “energy tablets” were dispersed to the British military, and an even larger amount went to US forces. Amphetamines assisted in stopping Erwin “Desert Fox” Rommel and the German army in Northern Africa at the Second Battle of El Alamein where the British 24th Armoured Brigade fought without sleep for four straight days while losing heavy casualties.

Ironically, the American military went with amphetamines instead of methamphetamines because the former provided a better “subjective lift in mood.” In lay terms, the US chose amphetamine because it gave a better high, and they continued to use it. Decades later the US military’s usage of amphetamines per soldier in Vietnam dwarfed the usage of both the Germans and the Allies in World War II.

The amphetamine Dexedrine is still used by Air Force pilots today. In 2003, Colonel Peter Demitry, chief of the US Air Force surgeon-general’s science and technology division, said that Dexedrine, “has never been associated with a proven adverse outcome in a military operation. This is a common, legal, ethical, moral and correct application.” If the distribution of amphetamines caused significant troop addiction, it is doubtful the military would continue to use it.

4. Everyone Already Knows That Meth Is Bad

The requisite morality message that methamphetamine is bad is delivered in the article by saying its usage leads to the symptoms exhibited by extreme cases. Most people who try methamphetamine do not continue to use it regularly, much less become horribly addicted, and as someone who has spent time with middle-class methamphetamine users I can assure you meth mouth is as foreign to them as it is to diet-soda drinkers. (See meth/diet-soda mouth here.)

5. JFK Probably Did Meth, Too

The article points out that Adolf Hitler was given shots of methamphetamine by his quack doctor. The Nazis have not been alone in this regard. America’s President John F. Kennedy had the same done by his quack doctor, Max “Dr. Feelgood” Jacobsen. Jacobsen even accompanied Kennedy to his 1961 summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is unclear what type of amphetamine Jacobsen used in Kennedy’s mood-boosting shots, but an autopsy of another one of his patients revealed organs littered with methamphetamine.

Kennedy performed well despite his use of speed, as did the Nazi soldier in the Huffington Post article who wrote home begging for methamphetamine. (To see what Huffington Post defines as begging go here.) The Nazi soldier was Heinrich Boll. After the war Boll went on to write over 50 books and win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1972. This should not be surprising because, as the drug policy historian Edward M. Brecher has written, a large portion of the population was using amphetamines with little apparent misuse in the 1940s and 1950s. It was available without prescription until 1954 and was widely used by truck drivers and students to stay awake. And as fellow meth-media critic Jack Shafer has pointed out, the abuse that did occur was usually done swallowing pills of known potency and purity … unlike the smoking and injecting of adulterated amphetamines the drug war has now engendered.

Nothing in my article should be interpreted to belittle the tragedy of methamphetamine addiction, but to focus only on anecdotal stories of those suffering from extreme addiction produces a bizarrely skewed perception. If the only drinkers portrayed in the media were severe alcoholics, alcohol would be just as appalling to those with no experience with it. (It would arguably be even more appalling than meth if it too was forced onto the black market. Alcohol prohibition’s equivalent of makeshift meth labs produced alcohol that caused blindness, paralysis and death.)

By equating methamphetamine with Nazis, the Huffington Post has added to the sinister lore surrounding meth. This non-stop demonization and sensationalizing keeps the drug war going. It encourages people to believe that the locus of addiction is in the evil substance and not the user. It encourages people to believe that incarcerating every user and everybody in the supply-chain is better than helping the addicted with their underlying afflictions.

The drug war has had no effect on addiction rates, but it has cost Mexico alone over 50,000 lives in the last six years—over 10 times as many American lives lost in the Iraq war. It has turned large sections of our cities into wastelands and resulted in the mass incarceration of America’s black men. It has eroded the Bill of Rights like nothing else in America’s history. It is high time that someone sensationalized these evils.


Everything Americans Think They Know About Drugs Is Wrong: A Scientist Explodes the Myths

Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , on June 22, 2013 by drjgelb

Today I just had to reblog the opinion pieces below that bring a new perspective to the entire issue of the War on Drugs.

Everything Americans Think They Know About Drugs Is Wrong: A Scientist Explodes the Myths

What many Americans, including many scientists, think they know about drugs is turning out to be totally wrong. For decades, drug war propaganda has brainwashed Americans into blaming drugs for problems ranging from crime to economic deprivation. In his new book High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, Dr. Carl Hart blows apart the most common myths about drugs and their impact on society, drawing in part on his personal experience growing up in an impoverished Miami neighborhood. Dr. Hart has used marijuana and cocaine, carried guns, sold drugs, and participated in other petty crime, like shoplifting. A combination of what he calls choice and chance brought him to the Air Force and college, and finally made him the first black, tenured professor of sciences at Columbia University.

Intertwined with his story about the struggles of families and communities stressed by lack of capital and power over their surroundings is striking new research on substance use. Dr. Hart uses his life and work to reveal that drugs are not nearly as harmful as many think. For example, most people who use the most “addicting” drugs do not develop a problem. Rather, Dr. Hart says, drugs are scapegoated for problems related to poverty. The policies that result from this misconception are catastrophically misguided. AlterNet spoke with Dr. Hart about his life and research.

Kristen Gynne: What are some of the false conclusions about drugs you are challenging?

Carl Hart: There are multiple false conclusions. There is a belief, for example, that crack cocaine is so addictive it only took one hit to get hooked, and that it is impossible to use heroin without becoming addicted. There was another belief that methamphetamine users are cognitively impaired. All of these are myths that have have been perpetuated primarily by law enforcement, and law enforcement deals with a limited, select group of people—people who are, in many cases, behaving badly. But to generalize that to all drug users is not only shortsighted and naive, it’s also irresponsible. The impact of that irresponsible behavior has been borne primarily by black communities. Nobody really cares about black communities, and that’s why this irresponsible behavior has been allowed to continue.

It’s also true that we’ve missed critical opportunities to challenge our basic assumptions about drugs. If drugs really were as damaging as we are led to believe, a respectable society should do something to address that problem. But the thing is, the very assumptions driving our drug policy are wrong, and must be questioned.

KG: How does the lack of people of color in academia or research affect our understanding of drugs?

CH: I’d just like to be clear, I don’t say people of color, I say black people, because people of color can mean a number of other [races]. I’m talking about black people who, like me, when we go back to our communities and we ask about people who we grew up with, the response is, “Well, they got caught up with a drug charge, they’re upstate. They’re doing some time” or, “Oh, he’s doing better now that he got out of jail. He can’t really find a good job, but he’s doing his best.”

It would be nice if we had black scientists, more black people in science, to incorporate these kinds of experiences as they think about the questions they investigate. The problem is it’s so homogenous that critical questions about our community are ignored because they’re not seen as being important.

KG: And the result is that they don’t comprehend environment, or the other variables that are affecting someone’s decisions or behavior, and miss the mark?

CH: That’s exactly right. It’s that if you don’t contextualize what is happening with drugs in the country you might get the impression that drugs are so bad they’re causing all these people to go to jail: “Let’s find out how drugs are exerting these awful effects.” Now, you have just completely disregarded context in which all of these things occur, and that is what has happened in science. If you don’t fully appreciate the context, and you think that drug users are awful, then you don’t think about how a person takes care of their kid, takes care of their family, goes to work, but they also use drugs. If you don’t think about all of those contextual factors, you limit the picture and that’s what we’ve done.

It’s not that science lies. Science doesn’t lie. But when you look at your research with a limited view, you may erroneously draw conclusions about drugs, when in fact other variables you might not understand are what’s really at play.

KG: You talk about how people are always blaming problems on drugs, when those issues really spring from the stress of poverty. What are some examples?

CH: I think crack cocaine is the easiest example In the 1980s, as I was coming of age in my teens and my early 20s, people—black people, white folks, a number of people in the country—said crack was so awful it was causing women to give up their babies and neglect their children such that grandmothers had to raise another generation of children.

Now, if you look at the history in poor communities—my community, my family—long before crack ever hit the scene, that sort of thing happened in my house. We were raised by my grandmother. My mother went away because she and my father split up. She went away in search of better jobs and left the state, but it wasn’t just her. This sort of thing, this pathology that is attributed to drugs, happened to immigrant communities like the Eastern European Jews when they came to the Lower East SIde, but people simply blamed crack in the 1980s and the 1990s.

Another example is that, since the crack era, multiple studies have found that the effects of crack cocaine use during pregnancy do not create an epidemic of doomed black “crack babies.” Instead, crack-exposed children are growing up to lead normal lives, and studies have repeatedly found that the diferences between them and babies who were not exposed cannot be isolated from the health effects of growing up poor, without a stable, safe environment or access to healthcare.

KG: What about the idea that drugs can turn people into criminals?

CH: The pharmalogical effects of drugs rarely lead to crime, but the public conflates these issues regardless. If we were going to look at how pharmalogical drugs influence crime, we should probably look at alcohol. We know sometimes people get unruly when they drink, but the vast majority of people don’t. Certainly, we have given thousands of doses of crack cocaine and methamphetamine to people in our lab, and never had any problems with violence or anything like that. That tells you it’s not the pharmacology of the drug, but some interaction with the environment or environmental conditions, that would probably happen without the drug. Sure, new markets of illegal activity are often or sometimes associated with increased violence, or some other illegal activity, but it is not specific to drugs like people try to make it out to be.

Other than crime, you have myths that drugs cause cognitive impairment, make people unable to be productive members of society, or tear families apart. If the vast majority of people are using these drugs without problems—and a smaller proportion of users do have problems—what that tells you if you’re thinking critically is it can’t be only the drug, or mainly the drug. It tells you it is something about the individual situations, environmental conditions, a wide range of factors.

There are many accepted “facts” that turn out to have been erroneous assumptions, even some produced by science, for it takes humility, self-doubt and constant vigilance for the effects of conflicts of interest, to remain objective.

All too frequently, those with the loudest, most dogmatic and least objective views hold sway (The Dunning-Kruger Effect), derailing progress and wasting scarce resources.

The article above may give you reason to pause and consider the author’s comments in light of the dismal failure that is current drug policy. If politicians fail to suspend assumption and false beliefs in lieu of an unbiased & objective examination of the evidence, necessary findings & conclusions that must underpin decisions re drug policy, will be missed and the consequences of taking dead-end detours in this arena will serve only to perpetuate the current disaster for future generations.


Posted in WAR ON DRUGS with tags , , , on June 19, 2013 by drjgelb

Round and round and round we go! Where we’ll stop, nobody knows!!

And that’s Australia’s reactive, unscientific, vote pandering response to the issue of substance use, misuse and addiction.

Every time I see the familiar bust or raid on TV, I am struck by the complacent looks on the victims’ faces – they’ve done it all before and will do so again, the bored looks of futility on the faces of law enforcement, who know they’ll also be doing it all again and the drug policy chieftains announcing breathlessly that this bust will be the one that puts the squeeze on the Mr Bigs! It never does and it simply never will.

So when I saw the latest drug figures, up again, and the prohibitionists calling for more law enforcement, I get very angry!!!

This is what I felt compelled to write:

Dear Sir or Madam,

A commentary on the latest ACC report on illicit drugs in Australia recently stated, “In the latest Illicit Drug Data Report, the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) reported over 76,000 illicit drug seizures and more than 93,000 illicit drug related arrests in the past year, the most this century,” Dr Jiggens said. “Over 23 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized. Australia’s streets have never been more awash with drugs. The ACC CEO John Lawler justified our war on drugs policy by calling this success. If this is success, what does failure look like?”

Given that the vast majority of Addiction Specialists both in Australia and Internationally, fully concur with the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s consensus definition of addiction and its call for an end to prosecution, incarceration, including without rehabilitation and cruel punishment of sick citizens, when will the National Drug Strategy cease its emphasis on Prohibition, Law Enforcement, criminalisation of non-violent users and aiding and abetting the stigmatisation and vilification of illicit drug users at the same time as increased access to alcohol continues to be facilitated. All available epidemiological evidence points to the inevitable failure of Prohibition and instead highlight its many destructive societal consequences.

The collusion of Prohibitionist governments with the rise of the vicious black market drug trade by maintaining policies that have been proven to ensure massive profits for criminal cartels, is incomprehensible and immoral. Repeating the same strategy year after year and presiding over several well reported international tragedies in which democracies are usurped by the corrupting power of the drug dollar, is simply unintelligent in the extreme, or is sanctioned for scandalous motives not revealed to the public.

My attempts to share my 32yrs experience as a doctor, 29yrs in Psychiatry, with senior politicians in my State, have been met with little or no interest, unwillingness to discuss the science involved or straight out rejection of any alternative ideas to tackle the reality of human substance use and abuse. The strength of conviction and belief expressed by some key decision makers, in the face of crystal clear evidence that they are wrong, borders on delusional.

My question really comes back to a genuine request for a rational explanation as to why Prohibition, a strategy destined to continue to fail and to lead to such pain, suffering and hardship, continues to win favour amongst political, law enforcement and community leaders who are currently my age or younger and whom I vividly recall once held quite different views, much more in line with the realities of human behaviour. Some overseas nations are abandoning these failed strategies in favour of education, regulation and rehabilitation and these new strategies are proving far more effective in decreasing the harms caused by Prohibition for the entire communities.

Is it true that politicians do not believe that the public can be educated to embrace decriminalisation of controlled quantities of currently illicit drugs? Do politicians here, unlike their Portuguese and Swiss counterparts, lack the foresight to co-operate in the bipartisan development of a groundbreaking, best practice, integrated drug education, community based, case managed rehabilitation pathway and in the dismantling of the overburdened, ineffective, criminal justice system that has devastated young lives and ambitions for no return.

I look forward to a candid response that may invite further constructive dialogue.

Kind Regards,

Jerry Gelb

Consultant Psychiatrist



Posted in GUN CONTROL, CRIMINAL JUSTICE & THE HORRORS OF THE ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM! with tags , , , , on June 18, 2013 by drjgelb

“Taking down Hamas is a necessity, not just for Israel, but for humanity” – MOSAB HASSAN YOUSSEF

Another strongly anti-Israel article supporting Stephen Hawking’s boycott of an upcoming scientific conference in Israel, was published recently in an Australian op-ed Blog. The apparently academic author demonstrated the usual breathtaking historical and cultural ignorance that underpins most leftist backing of the Palestinian “cause”. I contributed the following comment in an attempt to put the facts to the blog’s readers:

“Dear Sir,
Your praise for Mr Hawking is ill conceived, as is your support of the Palestinian cause without a sound understanding of Islamic doctrine.
Muslim clerics clearly state that Mohammed mandated extermination of the Jews from this planet as a pre-requisite for the arrival of the Messianic
Age or “End Times”. He warns that every last Jew must be found, even those hiding behind trees and rocks and mercilessly killed. 
These are not “interpretations” of Islamic scripture by academics! These are the words of God as delivered through his Messenger, Mohammed. 
The Qur’an’s early, peaceful verses have all been officially abrogated by later verses and supporters of Islam trot out the same few abrogated passages 
time and again to confuse the public. 
Recently a Muslim Cleric in Egypt explained to a large, religious audience, that even if Israel was NOT situated in the Middle East, Jews would have to be hunted down. He reiterated that the conflict between Palestinians & Israelis has been orchestrated as a distraction and that no Palestinian government will ever agree to peace with Israel because that runs counter to Islamic teaching.
The eldest son of one of the founders of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, has fled Gaza, converted to Christianity and has been telling all who will listen that Hamas will never agree to peace with Israel. He states that it is a blasphemy to even suggest that peace with Jews could be anything other than a ploy to lull them into a false sense of security as a prelude to destroying them. Islam mandates the extermination of all Infidels, particularly the Jews, who are described as the “spawn of apes & pigs”.
You wrongly believe that “Moderate Islam” exists! It does NOT! What exists are moderate Muslims, there is no reform Islamic religious group and any attempt to tamper with Islamic Scriptures is punishable by death. 
Boycotts of Israel, a tiny speck of a country surrounded by 400 million Muslims, will not advance the cause of peace one iota! Do your research and speak to people who know the facts and understand their implications!!”
 Yours Sincerely,








Posted in PSYCHIATRY with tags , , , on June 17, 2013 by drjgelb

Quetiapine is the scientific name of a commonly prescribed antipsychotic drug, better known by its trade name, SEROQUEL. Its main use in Psychiatry, is in the acute and chronic treatment of Diseases known as “Psychoses” such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder and in certain cases of Substance intoxication or withdrawal.

This week’s Medical press has witnessed the exposure of a somewhat worrying phenomenon involving this drug. In fact,I have seen at least a dozen Veterans with PTSD this year who have been commenced on Seroquel for insomnia, outbursts of anger, agitation and panic symptoms , prior to coming to see me. Dosage has varied from 25mg to 300mg daily. Not a single patient had any evidence of psychosis. No patient had been properly informed that they were being prescribed an antipsychotic drug being used off label ( for reasons not approved by Federal authorities), none were warned of the now well established association of Seroquel and Metabolic Syndrome ( aberrant Carbohydrate metabolism, leading in some cases to Diabetes ) or about the high rate of significant weight gain as a likely side-effect.

None of my Seroquel taking patients had enjoyed consistent relief from the symptom being targeted. It is primarily the well described psychological and behavioural treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that leads to reduced symptoms. Medication is of particular value for when non-pharmacological approaches fail or cannot be conducted effectively because of severe, crippling symptoms. The most useful drugs to use in PTSD, according to the evidence base, are the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants. I’ve prescribed most of these drugs but have found Escitalopram ( Brand name: Lexapro and various others) best tolerated and most effective.

Concerns regarding QT prolongation ( the graphical representation on Electrocardiodram of cardiac muscle repolarisation following a contraction ) at doses over 40mg/day have recently been queried by a much larger and more rigorous study that found no such association. For those with disabling adrenergic hyperarousal symptoms, such as insomnia, tremor, excessive sweating, palpitations, exaggerated startle response and hypervigilance, Beta-Blockers are an oft forgotten but potentially very helpful adjunct.

Leaving the best for last, I have found that the most effective & rapid relief from high levels of anxiety, panic, hyperarousal & agitation, is achieved by rapidly raising CO2 via plastic bag rebreathing using any of the large vaporiser bags now widely available in Australia. These bags are strong, last forever and have a mouthpiece that prevents escape of exhaled CO2 and minimises slobbery discomfort. Two or three minutes of rebreathing induces hours of calm that patients liken to taking diazepam. Interestingly, patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rarely detect their own hyperventilation because the most common form occurs by repeated sighing, as if tired & frustrated, rather than by a rise in baseline respiratory rate. The bag can be slipped into a back pocket or glove box for discreet use when out and several patients consider the bag the best and cheapest piece of emergency medical equipment they have ever seen.

Use of this technique has allowed Seroquel to be ceased in all the patients who arrived taking it. In my experience with thousands of War Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Insomnia is often intractable and the use of sleeping tablets rarely provides the Veteran with restorative, high value sleep. Many Veterans with PTSD complain of insomnia for years without ever receiving a solution. Relaxation training, Meditation, Self-Hypnosis and instruction in good sleep hygiene ( habits & routines that improve the chances of satisfactory sleep ) may help and for those who want to try medication to improve sleep, I have had quite good results from Vallergen Forte.

Vallergan Forte Syrup contains 30 mg trimeprazine tartrate in 5 mL and is little used nowadays. It is a Phenothiazine that has powerful antihistamine effects as well as being strongly anti-emetic and anti-itch. It was often used to control motion sickness in children. It is very similar to the better known Phenergan but is an even better sedative. It is not dependency forming.



Posted in PRACTICE with tags , , , on June 15, 2013 by drjgelb

Message from the Chief of the Australian Army, Lt General David Morrisson AO, delivered to members of the Army on Thursday 13th June 2013.

Excellent message, long overdue. ADF members are protected by Commonwealth laws guaranteeing them a working environment without discrimination & harassment and certainly without sexual assault or rape. That the chain of command reporting process has consistently failed to ensure timely and appropriate application of the law, has been acknowledged and recommendations have been made to address this issue. Women are not the only victims of cowardly bullies and the loss of highly skilled servicemen and women due to such behaviour or the failure to deal with perpetrators adequately, is impacting heavily on a Defence Force already having difficulties recruiting. The financial costs are also painful as procurement of much needed equipment has had to be delayed to meet the costs of recruiting and training replacements for service personnel who decide to leave and paying compensation. Long term effects on victims can seriously harm their prospects for future employment and can lead to further costs for the Commonwealth in compensation, rehabilitation and retraining costs. In a modern Defence Force, there is absolutely no place for juvenile, attention-seeking or destructive behaviour and a zero tolerance approach is essential. With 19,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. military last year, it is clear that fairly drastic action is required. Australia’s Army Chief is angry because he and others have repeated the message many times with little effect in recent years and he did not expect to have to be as stern as a school principal to make his orders crystal clear.



Posted in GUN CONTROL, CRIMINAL JUSTICE & THE HORRORS OF THE ADVERSARIAL SYSTEM! with tags , , on June 15, 2013 by drjgelb

The “Justice System” reflects what lawyers believe this community deserves. 85% of politicians are lawyers. They write our laws from a position of “knowing what’s best for us” and the more senior they are, the more arrogantly they hold that belief. After writing the Law, lawyers administer it, prosecute defendants, choose Juries for those appearing and grant exemptions to those who would bring the greatest rigour to the Jury System. Lawyers sit in judgement on those brought before them, demonstrating time & time again that they lack the will to persuade their colleagues in Parliament to fix broken laws. Lawyers prosecute all offenders, use Police as they wish, fix outcomes whilst denying it’s possible and withold evidence when the hurdle seems too high. If caught, prosecutors are immune from prosecution!

Then lawyers determine sentences, run the Corrections & Parole Systems and blame each other when they fuck up! AND FUCK UP THEY DO……FAR MORE FREQUENTLY THAN IS EVER REPORTED. Spend an evening with a Lawyer and listen to the tales of payola, “negotiation”, letting bad laws hurt people & gleefully celebrating the fact that their profession “controls”our society in every important way. Yes, I’ve got many a bone to pick with the Injustice System but unless you’re a lawyer, you haven’t got a hope in hell of effecting change. It’s time to begin to pry this outrageous level of power from lawyers’ hands and improve representation of all in our democracy. If we don’t, lawyers will keep releasing psychopaths back onto the street, no matter how loudly we in psychiatry warn them of the certainty of disaster! ps.Lawyers won’t like my contribution at all!!


Adrian Bayley has been found guilty of more than 20 rape and assault offences dating back to 1990 and has been imprisoned for most of his adult life.

One judge described Bayley as having a long-term need to randomly attack, sexually assault and humiliate young women. Bayley started his criminal career as an 18-year-old when he raped the 16-year-old girlfriend of his sister. In August 1990, the month after his 19th birthday, he attempted to rape and threatened to kill a 17-year-old woman whom he did not know.

Four months later, he attempted to rape a 16-year-old hitchhiker whom he abducted in his car and drove to a remote area.

In June 1991, he pleaded guilty to those offences and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with a minimum of three years.

He was released less than two years later. He later admitted he had basically “gone through the motions” of rehabilitation so that he could secure early release from prison.

Bayley made this admission during a court appearance regarding 16 counts of rape committed between September 2000 and March 2001. He pleaded guilty to the charges, all of which were committed against prostitutes working in St Kilda.

During sentencing in the County Court in 2002, Judge Tony Duckett said Bayley had driven his victims to a lane behind a group of shops in Kendall Street, Elwood, before parking against a fence so they could not open the passenger door.

“You used an array of threats and violence to force your victims to satisfy your gross sexual appetite,” Judge Duckett said.

“Your conduct went far beyond mere sexual gratification.

“You forced your victims to accept a series of sexual acts that caused them horrifying distress.”

Judge Duckett found that Bayley, who had changed his surname from Edwards about two months before the attacks, had wanted to demean his victims.

He said Bayley had a long-term need to attack, sexually assault and humiliate young women whom he did not know.

“Your response to pleading, cries of pain and tears was to force these women into further sexual acts. There are descriptions given by victims of the haunting, psychological consequences of your actions,” Judge Duckett said. “The ending of relationships; the ending of legitimate career prospects; and in one case, the relationship between a mother and her child.

“In addition to the violence offered, there is another and more disturbing aspect of your conduct: that is the deliberate humiliation of your victims.”

Judge Duckett said that on one occasion, Bayley told his victim: “I could dump you in the f—ing alley and no one will give a shit” and “Did that f—ing hurt? See, look who’s got the power. See, I can do whatever I want.”

He apologised to one victim, before driving off, laughing at her and telling her he would do it again.

Judge Duckett said that while Bayley was supported by his family and partner in court, it was not clear whether they knew the full extent of his horrific crimes.

“If you retain the support of your family in the face of their full knowledge of what you have done, then you are a very fortunate person,” he said.

“The sentences that I shall impose will cause you, your partner and children, your extended family, considerable anguish and suffering.

“My assessment of your wrongdoing is that such suffering, brought about by your calculated offending, is overshadowed by the likely suffering that you have inflicted on your five victims.

“An attempt must be made to protect society from you and others who might be disposed to offend repeatedly in a similar manner.”

Judge Duckett said he would not take into account provisions in the sentencing act that would allow him to sentence Bayley as a serious offender, as he was convicted for his previous rape offences when he was 19. The provision allows a sentence to be imposed that is more severe than the maximum penalty.

Judges overlook the provision if they consider that the sentence they will impose within the maximum penalty can provide adequate protection for the community.

Judge Duckett sentenced Bayley to 11 years in jail.

He would be eligible for parole after eight years, but Judge Duckett said he intended that should parole be granted it would be for up to three years and Bayley would be subject to supervision and restrictions.

Bayley was released from prison in 2010. He was on parole until March 17, 2013.

In August 2011, after a night out in Geelong, Bayley king-hit a 20-year-old man, breaking his jaw and leaving him unconscious.

Bayley, then aged 40, appeared in the Geelong Magistrates Court on February 28, 2012.

The Geelong Advert-iser reported that Bayley told the police who arrested him that he remembered being in an altercation but was too drunk to recall punching the man.

Prosecutor Leading Senior Constable David Vanderpol said the victim was eating outside a cafe about 1.30am when Bayley started abusing him and punched him in the face.

“The power of the blow lifted the victim off the ground and knocked him unconscious to the ground, striking his head as he fell,” Senior Constable Vanderpol said.

Defence lawyer Michael Brugman said Bayley had quit drinking on Boxing Day, 2011, was to start a new job the day he appeared in court and had no history of violence.

Magistrate Ron Saines rejected the claims about Bayley’s history. He was convicted and sentenced to three months in prison. He appealed and was released until his later court date.

Six weeks later, Bayley allegedly raped a women in Elwood. He was also charged with false imprisonment and intentionally causing injury over the alleged assault on April 5.

On July 15, Bayley allegedly raped a Dutch backpacker in Westbury Street, Balaclava.

The 27-year-old woman was walking home from the Elephant & Wheelbarrow on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda between 2.30am and 3.30am when the driver of a small red vehicle, who police allege was Bayley, told her she was being followed.

Police allege that the woman accepted Bayley’s offer to drive her home but they only travelled about 500 metres before he locked the doors and raped her.

“At some point I convinced him that the car wasn’t really the right place, and I said ‘Let’s go to my house, it’s really close by’,” the woman said at a press conference after the attack. “He was saying ‘Oh yeah, you’ll go to the police’.

“Then I convinced him that it was OK and then he bought it.”

As they approached the house, the woman ran inside screaming and police allege Bayley fled.

Police said at the time that they were not sure if the “brazen” attack was planned or opportunistic.

Bayley was charged with the sexual assaults while in custody over Jill Meagher’s rape and murder , and with the sexual assault of a woman in St Kilda in November 2000 – about the same time he raped five prostitutes in the area.

On September 22, Bayley raped and murdered Jill Meagher when he pursued her down Sydney Road on a cold Friday night.


A handcuffed Adrian Ernest Bayley arrives at court on Tuesday morning.

A handcuffed Adrian Ernest Bayley arrives at court on Tuesday morning.