Home Port Arthur Did Martin Bryant’s Attorney Make an Unintended Confession?

Did Martin Bryant’s Attorney Make an Unintended Confession?


averyJohn Avery

By Cherri Bonney

John Avery’s Confession?  Imagine the irony: the phony lawyer who forced Martin Bryant into making a false, vague, and drug-induced confession, after six months of solitary confinement — finally comes out in an interview last week and himself confesses that Martin Bryant is innocent.  Can one imagine!   No!

Avery is still spooked, haunted by his professional and personal relationship with Martin Bryant. Check out the short clip from his interview on the Sunday night show. Is it just me, or is he basically saying that he feels terribly guilty for personally betraying Martin Bryant,  throwing him under the bus as a friend, and for denying him a fair trial as a lawyer. Here is Avery in his own words —  my pretty straightforward interpretation follows each quote. It’s not conclusive but it’s his words are uncanny and highly suggestive:

“Why can’t I get him out of my mind?  (and) Why do I continue to feel guilty that I can’t feel that I hate him?”

Avery is inwardly conflicted. He can’t hate Martin Bryant because he knows well that Martin Bryant is innocent of the crimes he was charged with.  But he doesn’t  feel guilty about not hating him because he consciously acted as someone who believed he was a mass murderer.

“Why do I feel sorry for him?”

Is there any chance that it’s because Avery denied a fair trial to an innocent intellectually impaired young man who he purposely befriended in order to get a forced confession for the greatest crime in this nation’s history…?

“Why did I step away from the question of whether I was his friend, and say I was his lawyer, when indeed I know I had become his friend and the lawyer part had been little?”

Avery failed him as a lawyer and betrayed him as a friend. The most natural human response here is to feel guilty, to feel sorry for the one you betrayed, and to probably be consumed with self-hatred (which Avery also admits to later in the same interview).

“I am crying and I don’t know why.”

You don’t want to know why you carry this sadness in your heart — because it’s too traumatic to handle, but the emotional pain and guilt is palpable…

“How could someone rob me of myself?”

Avery can’t admit that he has lied to himself. But by violating his own integrity by sending an innocent man to prison for life, Avery sold his soul to the devil. He robbed himself of his very own soul.

That’s how Avery felt, twenty years ago – and it’s still how he feels today. He is still tormented by his own role in the cover-up of this crime. Just listen to his own words and think of Leonard Cohen’s song: “There’s a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.”  

But also, let’s not underestimate how much intense pressure Avery was most probably under from the higher ups.

They simply couldn’t even contemplate letting this case go to trial.  He may have not had any other choice?

Either way Martin is prisoned for life, BUT time will tell — this case is being worked on every day.

Note: The petition that I have been operating at Chang.org has now got 2,077 signatures. This is marvelous! Please go here and sign up if you haven’t already. We are asking the premier of Tassie, Will Hodgman, to hold an inquest for Martin’s sake “and all our sakes.” Thank you.

— Cherri Bonney lives in Perth and belongs to the family that owns Australia’s largest waterski business. She is a pilot and a singer. Her recently–composed song about Martin Bryant “Wish I Knew How To Be Free” is gaining popularity. You can hear it here.


  1. I’ll give you a snippet of Avery’s anguish, below is only a snippet of his huge fraud…
    41 Stealing $2,125.00 from [KRB] in or about 2005
    In or about 2005 [KRB], an inmate, gave John Avery $2,125.00 to make an application to revoke Mr [B]’s dangerous criminal declaration. John Avery did no work on the matter and stole the entire amount with depositing it in trust. He admitted this theft in interview on 15 June 2006.
    Mr [B]’s trust account was reimbursed $2,125.00 in August 2006 on Mr Blissenden’s instruction, and with John Avery’s agreement, from an account of John Avery’s which was in credit.”

    Ironic that Blissenden still trades under Avery’s company but that is really no surprise because remember Gunson the lawyer who told the police to go ahead and interview Martin and who did Gunson work with; nah go on try and guess.

    As time goes by leaving poor illiterates without answers, Avery continues to milk Martin Bryant and others, Gunson is a Barrister as is Debra Rigby. If only they had assisted Avery in defending Martin Bryant, they might not have had to wait as long for a promotion. They gave that to Bugg and all feeling very smug.

      • Terry,
        I tried the link for the Adelaide news report six time and on each occasion gumshoe fell out of site.
        Anyone else with the same problem ?

        • Nope, it still works for me –

          “John Avery felt as if he were an AFL footballer returning from a grand final to play for a country team when the case ended, his lawyer, David Gunson, SC, told the Hobart Supreme Court yesterday.”

        • Ned, i got thru OK. Maybe because i am here in the heartland??

          The article says “Avery acknowledges that he has let the legal profession down.”

          Don’t y’all be so hard on Gunson. In the end of Andrew’s Youtube talk Andrew says (from memory) “Gunson said There is more to this trial that the people are not to know.”
          Probably took guts.

    • There was an article saying Avery was a major womanizer while at any convention and parties. Many woman have recalled his carry on’s. He would constantly get drunk and make high notes of grandeur, praising himself and being verbally rude. What I gather he wasn’t to popular……
      This man is self centered and cares not for others but him self! martin didn’t stand a chance! who ever sent Avery to do the ‘job’ must also know of Avery’s conceited idea’s……Its a bad Matrix we live in

  2. What Avery says would be no where near as exposing as what he doesn’t say. As usual in the media! Just a show, just a construct, just for us.

  3. Those comments of Avery NOW are much different from his comments in the Hobart Mercury article just after the sentencing.

    He NEVER mentioned any sympathy for Bryant back then. I remember one of his statements, something like that “he had to do well by the community as well as Bryant” (that from a DEFENCE lawyer). He also didn’t befriend Bryant, but that he had to get his “CONfidence” and he indicated some frustration with having to get Bryant to see, day after day, that the only course was a plea of guilty.

    He is just a con-man, a low life that manipulates everyone around him. At least he has been struck off now so he won’t sell anyone else down the river. I’d prefer it if he had been flushed down the toilet.

  4. Seems to me that Avery accepted the charge of forcing a confession any which way, and he must have known that to not do so, or to take the high road of refusing to continue what he seems to know was a charade would be career suicide for him at best. That’s one way they work…carrot and stick. great rewards if you deliver, or even play the game to the end (think Gillard and Brookings), or great punishment if you suffer a public moment of moral clarity.

    • Paul, help us think of ways to deal with this. We can’t just go on saying “The Bozos are in charge of every aspect of our life,” can we?
      It’s like when a mafia takes over a business or a neighborhood. No one wants to be the only one to say ‘No’ and get his legs broken.
      Now that you describe John Avery’s predicament in 1996, I have to say There but for the grace of God go I.
      How can I resist if I don’t have a substantial power base?

      • Bryant’s first lawyer, Gunson, allowed Bryant to plead ‘not guilty’. Of course, Avery soon replaced him as the Crown’s go-to man. Also, remember it was Avery that wrote the letter of intimidation to Terry Hill.

        Avery went to gaol for ripping off other clients, not for anything he did in Bryant’s case. Lying and stealing from clients for years – Bryant was just one more.

        “John Avery’s predicament in 1996” – BS, the bloke was in his element.

    • Well said Paul. “Think Gillard and Brookings”. (Don’t forget the honorary doctorate recommended by the daughter of Madeleine Albright of “500,000 deaths of Iraqi children we think was worth it” fame. Who gave an address at the Brookings Institute a couple of weeks back?? None other than one Julie(r) Bishop, our Foreign Minister. What a pack of criminally in sane scumbags!! Makes me ashamed to call myself an Aussie.

  5. There was more from Mr Willisee this evening.
    And more tape of Bryant denying.
    Then OJ Simpson acting very guilty (in the new series)
    OJ got off. Bryant got 35 x life.

  6. Sorry but these TV shows are 99% scripted. Those are not John Avery’s words – I can not imagine such a hardened “criminal” lawyer nearly coming to tears about a person he helped set up for massacre they did not commit – it is highly improbable. More people need to know about this case [and stop taking mainstream media as gospel – they lie through their teeth – it’s called propaganda.]

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