George Halvagis knows pain. His daughter Mersina was murdered in 1997 and it wasn’t until 2010 that the killer, Peter Dupas, was finally convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
You’d have thought that would be enough suffering.
But this week he was contacted by some writers for the Herald Sun who were busy working on a shameless and deceptive beatup of this list of prison food procurements. And, despite knowing full well that the list revealed that prisoners were being fed meals costing on average $2.42; despite knowing that it reveals that prisoners are eating very basic meals with a disturbing lack of fresh fruit and vegetables; despite knowing all this, they decided to taunt him with this misleading rubbish:
The Herald Sun has learned murderous fiends including Peter Dupas, cop killer Bandali Debs, CBD killer Christopher Wayne Hudson and rapist John Xydias are chowing down on a smorgasbord of delicacies.
Roast turkey, porterhouse steak, prawn cutlets and smoked salmon also feature on a delectable list of items served up to inmates at Barwon Prison.
In documents obtained by the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information laws, the State Government revealed inmates gorge on mountains of cheese, delicious pastries and fresh fruit.
What a distortion of the facts. “A smorgasbord of delicacies”! “A delectable list of items”! “Inmates gorge on mountains of cheese, delicious pastries and fresh fruit”! What a twisting of the knife to a grieving father.
Well, they got their quotes:
George Halvagis – father of Mersina Halvagis, who was brutally murdered by Dupas – said if inmates got one special meal a year it was one too many.
“It makes me feel sick to hear it,” he said. “They are definitely eating better than me because I can’t afford to eat these things.”
Mr Halvagis said Barwon prisoners deserved to live off bread and water, and called on the State Government to take action.
“Some of them shouldn’t be given anything. They shouldn’t be alive,” he said. “I think it’s wrong. The Government is going to say it is not their fault, but they can fix it.”
He said he recently met Minister for Corrections Andrew McIntosh, who assured him prisoners did it tough.
“The minister was saying they were having a hard time, but they’re living like kings,” Mr Halvagis said.
It made him sick to hear it. What a pity it was so unnecessary, so pointless – that the additional pain these cynical and heartless hacks deliberately caused him was so so hollow, so wrong.
Why do Herald Sun editors and journalists enjoy torturing victims of crime? Apart from that smearing such cruelly-stoked grief all over their pages is immensely profitable, obviously.