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Belinda Hawkins on Every Parent’s Nightmare: Jock Palfreeman’s Story


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In 2009, young Australian traveller Jock Palfreeman was found guilty of the murder of Andrei Monov. Monov was the son of a family well connected in the Sofia legal fraternity. Palfreeman claimed he went to the defence of gypsies being attacked by Monov and a bunch of soccer hooligans. The prosecution claimed what Palfreeman did to Monov was cold-blooded murder.

Walkley award-winning ABC journalist Belinda Hawkins covered the harrowing true story of an Australian father’s fight to save his son from a life sentence in a Bulgarian prison – through her work on ABC’s Australian Story and subsequently in her book Every Parent’s Nightmare.

Today, she outlines this case of many twists and turns, where vital evidence was kept out of court and crucial witnesses never called, and the many futile attempts by Jock’s father, Simon, to get justice for his son. She also reminds us of the dangers we all confront when travelling into worlds very different to our own.


Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good rant. Every Thursday, the Wheeler Centre hosts an old-fashioned Speakers’ Corner in the middle of the city, where writers and thinkers can have their say on the topics that won’t let them sleep at night.

Featuring some of our most compelling voices across just about every sector of human endeavour you can imagine, the themes dominating Lunchbox/Soapbox are proudly idiosyncratic. BYO lunch. Ideas provided.


Belinda Hawkins

Belinda Hawkins has reported on national and international events for ABC TV and SBS TV for almost 30 years, filing from countries as diverse as Nigeria, Eritrea, Cuba, Germany and Russia. For the past 12 years she has been a senior journalist with ABC TV’s Australian Story program. Belinda’s do... Read more


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