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Port Arthur: Enough! Every Aussie Lawyer Needs To Attend to the Gross Injustice of This Interview


cagesDo you want Martin to do another 20 years in the cages?

by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB

Our book, Port Arthur: Enough Is Enough is a free download at Gumshoe News. Its addendum contains a printout of the police interview of Martin Bryant dated July 4, 1996. The video of this was shown on TV Channel 7 on March 6, 2016, hosted by Mike Willessee. It had “disappeared” 20 years ago. In it we see Martin clearly stating that he was not at Broad Arrow Café.

Despite that, he was not given a trial. He was pushed into a guilty plea. You will see in the interview below how his lawyer, 5 months after the massacre, used tricks in interpreting the law to his client. Put yourself in Bryant’s shoes and see how he was trying to find out how to defend himself.

The following is the second of three interviews between Martin Bryant (MB) and his lawyer John W Avery (JWA), in Risdon Prison Hospital, dated October 3, 1996. I found it in Stewart Beattie’s book, A Gunsmith’s Notebook. It had been published in The Bulletin, 4 April, 2006.

I abridged it (with “…..”) to the tune of leaving two-thirds of the original. I have bolded “the worst bits.”  Gumshoe website has introduced many reasons why Bryant should be acquitted, pardoned, given a trial, whatever. But if you peruse this document you will see that nothing else is needed. He was outrageously conned into missing a trial.

Please oh please show it to anyone you know who will have enough righteous indignation to go to town on the authorities until they open the prison gates.


MB: As long as you’re not working for the Police. I turned around and said to David  [Gunson] one day “Are you working for the Police, David” and he said “No, no, I’m working for you, Martin”.

JWA: Well there is no way we’re working for the Police, I can tell you that, right. Okay, let’s just talk about what I am here for, right. I have reviewed your case since we spoke last Tuesday and I now know as much as I need to know about it.


JWA: Now having done all that, I have formed the view that I am prepared to act for you subject to a few limits, or a few conditions, right. Now I want to go through those and see whether you’re content on that, right. First thing is that I think if you want me to act we’ve got to be frank with each other. I won’t bullshit you but equally there are no games that I want you to play, right. Understand that?

MB: Yes

JWA: I will want to get from you, not today but in the next day or so, full instructions, right.

MB: Yes

JWA: On the whole thing. And finally, I don’t want you to have any false expectations and I won’t give you any, right.

MB: Okay, yeah

JWA: Now within those broad parameters, do you want me to act for you?

MB: Yep, yeah, yeah

JWA: You’re happy about that, that we talk frankly with each other. I’ll do what I can for you but you’ve got to be frank with me, right.

MB: Okay, will there still be a case. I mean will there still be a trial?

JWA: Well, we’ll talk about a trial or what we’re going to do in a moment, right. Now for the next thing is do you understand legally why Mr. Gunson can’t act for you anymore?

MB: I think because there’s no defence (sic)

JWA: Well, it’s not really that. Let me just explain something to you in simple terms, right. If someone is charged with assaulting someone. Let’s use a simple example. There’s a fight in a pub and someone punches another person and he is charged with assault of that person. If that person goes to a Lawyer and says yes, I punched him but I’m going to go to Court and say I didn’t do it, it puts the Lawyer in a position of conflict because he can’t allow his client to go to Court and lie.

MB: Oh yes

JWA: Right, now David Gunson I gather has found himself in an ethical problem because of what you have told him and what you want to do now, right. Now I am telling you that because I am not going to ask you today what your instructions

are. We’ll go through that as length if not over the weekend then early next week and I’ll spend a couple of hours.

We’ll then decide where we go but I just want you to be aware of why if sometimes Lawyers get in an ethical problem that is how it happens. Generally it’s because the client tells them something and then wants to do something different, right. So that’s just explaining that to you. Now, having said that, if you want me to act I will do so


MB: Oh good

JWA: Now are there any parts of the evidence or anything like that that you haven’t seen or you want to see again. Let me just give you examples. There’s a video interview when you were interviewed in July that seemed to go all afternoon, remember that, it went forever.

MB: Oh yes. I was hoping my Lawyer was going to be there. The Police said that he was informed and there wasn’t any reason for him to be there.

JWA: Now, have you seen that interview?

MB: No, I haven’t.

JWA: Have you read the transcript of it?

MB: I have read the transcript, yes.

JWA: Right, well I think I should at some stage show you that interview, right, or parts of it. I am not going to spend 3 hours, it would just be like watching t.v. for 3 hours, but some parts of it I think you should see, right.

MB: I think I know the part … the part where I pointed to myself.

JWA: The part when you pointed to yourself and said “Me” right.

MB: That’s not going to help me.

JWA: Not going to help me – it is going to put you right under. But all I’m saying is if you want to, I can arrange in due course for you to see that….

JWA: Right, have you heard the negotiating tapes when you were on the phone?

MB: Yes. I couldn’t recall that that was my voice.

JWA: Well if you like I can bring them over sometime and play them on this recorder, right, and you can say yes that’s me or no, it’s not, right. Because there is a lot of information on those and a lot of indication that you wanted to go in a helicopter for a ride, all that sort of stuff, but if you want to we can play them for you. I don’t want you saying Oh, I’m not sure about that.

MB: Yeah

JWA: So okay, is there anything else that you want to see or read or look at that you think might be evidence against you?

MB: Not really, I can’t recall. I don’t really know.

JWA: Alright, okay. Let me just ask you something. One of the things that came out when I was reading the psychiatric material is what you used to do at school and what you liked doing. I think your best subject seemed to be art.

MB: Art, yes.

JWA: Do you want to do some? Do you want to do some about this? Do you want to do some drawings? How long since you’ve done any?

JWA: We can start, if nothing else, to piece this together even through some illustrations or something like that, right. I collect art so I could like you to sort of start

…. .

MB: Have you been in touch with Perpetual Trustees?

JWA: Yes, they’ve squared things off. They are content for me to act.

MB: Oh good.

JWA: So there is no problem with that. I have said to them that I will. Well, I’ve said that I will form a view on your case in the next couple of days and I will report to them and then

see where the whole thing is going. I mean let’s turn to your case. It’s pretty obvious that it all points to you being guilty, doesn’t it?

MB: Yes.

JWA: I mean let’s be frank, we can’t invent stories that you weren’t there or anything like that. If you follow the evidence through and you have read those statements, they have you at Seascape, they have you, it would appear, killing the Martins, leaving and going down to Port Arthur etc etc. Now all that seems to have come out, doesn’t it. I can’t magically say none of that happened. I can’t magically find a defence that you were in Hong Kong or somewhere else.

MB: Mm, that’s right.


JWA: And I repeat we’re going to look each other in the eye and I don’t want any stories or bullshit, right, because the time for that is over. We’ve got to look at where you’re heading with this and I want to put on the best front I can for you bit [but?] I’m not going to bullshit and say magically you’re going to be out of here in 6 months….

MB: Will it be a long, long time for someone what’s done

JWA: You’re not going to ever leave here mate I don’t think


MB: Art classes or whatever

JWA: That’s right, but all I want to confirm with you today is do you want me to act?

MB: Yes

JWA: You’re going to be frank and not bullshit me?

MB: That’s true

JWA: And we’ll talk next week about whether you’re going to go trial or whether you’re going to plead guilty.

MB: Yep

JWA: We don’t have to do that today. I’m not interested in that at the moment and I am not here to make you plead guilty, right.

MB: Uh uh

JWA: But I’m not here also to say we’re going to run a long trial just for the sake of a long trial, it doesn’t do you any good and it doesn’t do the broader community any good right. You’ve got to come out of this now with some respectability, right.

MB: Yep.

JWA: I’m probably the only friend you’ve got in the world so we’ve got to try and help each other.

MB: Is it true what David said that not many Lawyers will represent me?

JWA: Well I dunno, I don’t know about that but…..

JWA: But I repeat, I will do what I can to assist you but you’ve got to help me. Now are we clear on that? Can we strike a deal on that basis?

MB: Yes


MB: I just want to hear all the evidence and what other people have got to say about me.

JWA: Oh we’ll talk that through. You’ve got the statements and we’ll go through that and…

MB: No, I mean in Court

JWA: Well, we’ll talk about that later and but I repeat if your defence is going to be that you weren’t there, then we are not going to run a trial on that if the overwhelming weight of evidence,

MB: I did go surfing that day, I did mention to David.


MB: I think it was that night. Sunday night the 28th.** A reporter just broke in and (took my photos) what, what they’ll do!

JWA: Well, you’re a big story, mate, you’re really important now.

MB: Yeah, mm.

JWA: I mean, Ivan Milat and these fellows are chicken feed.

MB: Yes, they’re tame aren’t they compared to what I’ve alleged to have …


JWA: What do you miss most of all?

MB: I miss my girlfriend and my Mum.

JWA: Has your Mum been to see you much

MB: Yeah, she comes in about every 3 weeks. Apart from that there’s no-one. It will be good when I’m allowed to mix with the other prisoners but that will be a long time probably.

JWA: The problem is your safety, isn’t it.

MB: Hm.

JWA: See the other prisoners might want to

MB: Get to me

JWA: Slit your throat

MB: (laughter) Yes

JWA: You’re a wanted man, see

MB: Hm, Hm

JWA: We’ll have to arrange for you to have a haircut won’t we?

MB: Yes but I can’t have a haircut until after the Court case

JWA: Who said that?

MB: I mentioned that to one of the officers


JWA: Alright, well let’s leave it at that today. You want me to act. I’ll act for you right. I’ll be back in a couple of days and we’ll have a couple of hours going through what happened, what you did, why you did it. Right and then we’ll talk about trials or what.

MB: Will that actually be a statement?

JWA: Well it will just be your instructions to me, right. I’m your Lawyer. I can’t pass it on to anyone. I won’t be saying what you said. It’s what you instruct me. Right. Lawyer’s discussions with clients are privileged right. They can’t go somewhere else and tell someone.

MB: I don’t know if I can recall (indecipherable) … or recall being down there. I can’t recall a lot of what occurred but we can talk about that.

JWA: Well we’ll see where we go alright but I mean the reality is you’ve certainly made lots of admissions to lots of people that it was you, “me”.

MB: Yeah, on the video.

JWA: Yeah

MB: That was when they left the room and came back. I must have said something like that, but I don’t recall, honestly I don’t, but I don’t recall pointing at myself

JWA: Well, you did. I’ve looked at the video.

MB: Well that’s strong evidence, that’s more or less….

JWA: Admitting it. That is a total confession, that’s what that’s called.

MB: Will that go to trial?


JWA: If you have a trial, that’s the first bit of evidence they will put up and they will play that video and say here he is pointing to himself and saying “its me”.

MB: And then it would be over, would it, the trial?

JWA: Well it could be. I mean that’s the best bit of evidence they’ve got isn’t it, Martin Bryant pointing to himself and saying I’m the mass murderer. They don’t need much more do they.

MB: No.

JWA: Anyway, we don’t have to talk that through today. The purpose of today I repeat is to see whether you’re content with me as a Lawyer. To deal with it and that we are going to be frank with each other and not set any unreal expectations.


MB: No fear. If a person murders one person, I think they get about 21 years.


MB: Because Mr. B, do you know Mr. B?

JWA: I know Mr. B, yes and Mr. D.

MB: Well, they are trying to brain wash me to not having a trial.

JWA: Well, I am not going to try and brain wash you on anything. If you want to have a trial we’ll have a trial. All I am saying, we have to look at what a trial is going to be about and we’ve got to look at the inevitability at a trial that you will be found guilty.

MB: Would I be found guilty if I wasn’t on that video screen?

JWA: I would have thought there was enough evidence to convict you without that. Heaps and heaps of people saying you’re it, you were there, they’ve even got a photograph of you off the video walking round with a gun at Port Arthur shooting everyone. [There is no such video. — MM]

MB: Yes


JWA: … by pleading guilty I suppose you are going to save a lot of people a lot of heartache and a lot of trauma, make your family feel you’ve done the right thing, make the community at least think you’re not a monster.

MB: A monster! They probably think I am now, I don’t know

JWA: I’m sure they do. I … you’re sort of

MB: An evil monster

JWA: An evil monster. You’re sort of like Hannibal Lecter except you don’t eat people.


MB: Yeah, but he went round stabbing … (indecipherable)


JWA: I’ve had people who have murdered a couple, yes.

MB: What happened to them, how long did they get?

JWA: They got life

MB: And what does that mean, that is a set time?

JWA: Well that equates in Australia and Tasmania to about 12 or 14 years, that’s just for one.

MB: Well we’ll just have to see how things can work out


JWA: …today wasn’t for that purpose and I repeat to see whether you’re comfortable with me acting and I am comfortable with you and I think we’ll shake on it. I’ll shake your hand and I say I’ll do my best for you and you’ll say that you’re not going to bullshit me and we’ll work it through together

MB: Yeah … that sounds cool

Note: The next interview was on October 11, 1996

Photo credit: Dee McLachlan



  1. I wonder if Avery is all that clever or was he coached. That was a brilliant strategy – telling the prisoner he is in for life and thus dulling his appetite for strategizing.

    Not to mention telling him that any reference to innocence is going to be seen as bullshit, which will break the contract between the prisoner and his one “friend.”


    As for the famous low IQ of Martin Bryant, I don’t see it at all. His side of the conversation looks as intelligent to me as that of any average soul. And in the dark ages of 1996 who among us was onto the tricks of the powerful?

  2. Martin at times seemed to see through the questioning giving them something to think about ( like hiding the taped recordings of evidence we cant hear) Avery has proven to be criminal even to the point of harassing and bribing an in mate ( whom I’m aware off ) with money in 1996 to gather info from Martin to write a book, and of course to sell it!! Avery has been noted by females to be womanizing, party animal, drunken slob, just to mention few!

  3. Thank you for posting this. I thought the cut and paste interview they aired was bad but this literally made me sick. Avery is the monster. Poor Martin. He didn’t stand a chance. He didn’t have anyone to fight for him.

  4. Videos, photographs, audio recordings can all be edited. And with a mind control specialist like this Avery character who reaches right into Martin’s brain and tries to scramble his own thoughts and memories, Martin must have known he was being screwed over at some point — either that or he thought the whole system had gone insane. The “justice” system targeted Martin and screwed him right into their drama. We know that because they got a look-alike to play him in their “video.”

    • Speculator247, I don’t know what you are referring to, re a look-alike. If you’ve got evidence, may as well present it here at Gumshoe, as there does not seem to be a court in which it’s “admissible.”

      Note: I was surprised that Martin raised a doubt about the negotiating tapes being in his voice. Would some kind soul out there please make a comparison of the two voices — “Jamie” in the Seascape tapes, and Martin of July 4, 1996 as heard on the Mike Willessee video.

      (Might as well call it “the Mike Willesse video.” And I think I should have called the above item “The Bulletin interview.” Yes I know “interview” is not quite the right word for Avery’s prison visit, but i couldn’t bring myself to call it a consultation.

  5. I think Spectacular247 is referring to what Carl Wernerhoff thinks what happened in regards to the James Balasko video. Balasko is rumored to be an American CIA operative. Wernerhoff speculates that the video was concocted after the event happened. Balasko even says in the video “there he is”.
    Here’s the link. It’s actually a good read.


  6. “As for the famous low IQ of Martin Bryant, I don’t see it at all. ”

    It sounds like he can understand enough that they have certain “evidence” to use against him, such as him pointing to himself, and that they are out to get him, and that a guilty plea might ultimately lessen any sentence, but not clever enough to not admit guilt to a mass murder that happenned while he was was surfing?

    The concept of presumption of innocence, seems to have been turned on its head here, and it seems MB is being told he is presumed guilty and there is no way he can prove his innocence at a trial, so to just trust the only lawyer that will help him and hope for the best.

      • Well .. not that old, but I did grow up watching Bluey, I think I know what goes on, in my head anyway.

        Presumption Of Innocence, is still a law on the books, part of basic human rights, ( it’s just the vibe ) and if any lawyers cared to look into this case, well this transcript is all the evidence they’d need, to declare, by their expertise, that there indeed, has an injustice been done.. /sorry verbosity

        Every time I drive my car – I must accept the fact I am totally guilty of committing a crime unless I submit myself to an arbitrary random test to prove my innocence.. The system is arse about face, and lawyers do nothing about it.

        If Martin was ever going to be rescued by lawyers.. it wouldve happenned well before now. They dont care or theyre too scared, or too, “I’m alright Jack, up yours.”

        Another article here “Are Media’s Lies Criminal?” –
        Undoubtably. & Those that read these lies, and accept them as true, even though a simple curiosity would reveal evidence that doesnt match the official narrative, yet still choose to not speak up.. people like lawyers, how can people these days use the nurmberg defence, and say they didnt know..?

        They be guilty until proven otherwise – beyond all reasonable doubt. Hang them all.

  7. JWA: I’m probably the only friend you’ve got in the world so we’ve got to try and help each other. WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT WHO NEEDS AN ENEMY?

    JWA: An evil monster. You’re sort of like Hannibal Lecter except you don’t eat people. WTF? HAD THIS MORON BEEN THROUGH THE ENTIRE EVIDENCE AT THIS STAGE?

    JWA: …today wasn’t for that purpose and I repeat to see whether you’re comfortable with me acting and I am comfortable with you and I think we’ll shake on it. I’ll shake your hand and I say I’ll do my best for you and you’ll say that you’re not going to bullshit me and we’ll work it through together. IT SEEMS THAT THE HANDSHAKE DID NOT MEAN JWA WOULD NOT BULLSHIT TO MB!! THIS IDIOT IS A LIAR.

  8. I have just read the interview between Martin & that ” bit of human filth” that goes by the name of John Avery. I did glean that Martin was more intelligent than I was lead to believe. He
    asked some intelligent questions that Avery did not answer truthfully. I note that he asked about a trial. Avery dodged the question and went off on a tangent. Avery and Gunson , both of these disgusting evil types had evidence at their disposal that would have made it impossible to prove in court Martin’s guilt. (The Witness statements of John Godfey, James Laycock, Roger Larner and Graham Collyer were that would have been needed.) They made him feel that because he couldn’t remember what they accused him of, he must be guilty of doing those things. Very easy prey (being intellectually handicapped) for these vultures.
    Fancy John Avery mentioning ethics. What would he know about the subject?

  9. This whole thing is sickening. Why is it though that the evil and powerful usually come out on top. Is there not a single decent person within the legal system who can step in and stop these crimes perpetrated upon innocent people. Not a single legal professional spoke up when Judy Clarke, on day one of the trial ,said “it was him” as she pointed to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I really never knew that not only prosecutors, but even defense lawyers can be scum. Avery should have went to prison for what he did.

      • Cheryl, you inspired me to find out what the state law is re perverting the course of justice. So i googled and lo and behold i found a news item dated October 6, 2004:

        A former Tasmanian police officer has pleaded guilty to a charge of perverting the course of justice. Mark Nelson Butler, 26, of Moonah, appeared in the Criminal Court in Hobart yesterday. He admitted to issuing a false traffic infringement notice to a woman in May. Butler was released on bail and is due to return to court next week.

        Mein Gott, this is like the Judge Einfield case. “As long as it’s road-related we can discuss it openly.” Yipee! Thanks, Cheryl.

        • And here is one fom 2012, albeit British:

          “Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper arm, has been charged with perverting the course of justice over the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

          Brooks was charged with concealing material from detectives, conspiring to remove boxes of archive records from Mr Murdoch’s London headquarters, and hiding documents, computers and other electronic equipment from police.

          The maximum sentence for perverting the course of justice is life imprisonment.”

          Come home, Da-mi-an Bugg…. [Come home, Car-men Or-tiz] What a song!

  10. Does anyone have a theory as to how the ill-fated couple, Zoe Hall and Glen Pears, were made to appear at the General Store at just the needed moment (so gunman could take he BMW)?

    It does not seem that they were random tourists. If they had been, then when Zoe was killed wouldn’t her family have made a stink, especially as years went by and there were many sober accounts of foul play?

    And why did her partner Glen act so cooperatively with the gunman by getting in the boot? Who was he? I guess Carl Wernerhoff would say they were among the many covert operatives sent to play a role, not knowing it would be curtains that day for them.

    Stewart Beattie’s book says Sgt Fogarty threw a grenade into the BMW at Seascape, which may have had Glen Pears still in it.

    There must be many people who want to come forward. I recommend an amnesty for PAM criminals if they sing. Even if there be no amnesty they can hope for mercy.

    • Mary, I think that’s exactly what happened. They were just two pawns in the grand scheme of things. They were probably told a yellow Volvo would be arriving at the General Store and the gunmen was going to steal the BMW. Like you said, they probably didn’t know they were going to die just like the other operatives that did. Luckily, the General Store is where Jim Laycock got a good look at the gunman and said it wasn’t Martin Bryant. If there’s ever a lawyer brave enough to take this case on and fight for Martin, that piece of evidence is huge.

    • Wendy has said to me that on the night of the massacre she heard a TV report in the background that stated a man could be heard screaming burning alive in the back of the BMW at seascape. This report was never repeated again… Makes me wonder if the police did actually set the car alight to later find a body inside.

      Have prison witness statements that say Martin confessed to them that he set fire to the boot with Glen inside but immediately fired a few shots to insure he didn’t burn alive.

      • That is what Wendy also told me. Just looking at the burnt out BMW, it seems strange that the gunman would leave the drivers door open yet take the time to close the boot lid whilst trying to manhandle a hostage at the same time. Two further points, I imagine it would be next to impossible to open the boot in its burnt out state, making it necessary to force it open using a spreader or something equally powerful tool. It would be helpful if there were photos of the car taken after glen Pears body was found because my bet is that the body wasn’t found in the house; and if it wasn’t found in the house they would have had to prise the boot open to get the body out. So if the BMW still has the boot closed a few days latter I’d be pretty certain the body was found in the house, conversely, if the body was in fact in the boot I would expect to see major damage to the boot as they forced it open.
        As for Zoe and Glenn, it has always struck me as odd that the gunman would negotiate with Pear’s to be substitute for Zoe [my daughters will call me on my sexism) but a female hostage is on balance of probability going to be easier to manage in this high stakes move. Also taking the hostage seems as strange as stopping a few kilometres from the place he obviously intended to hold up to hijack a car with four people in it. Just a question, I know Andrew MacGregor states this BMW was a manual, is this so?

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