ON THIS DAY ………… 4th September 2005
On this day in 2005, Robert Farquharson was returning his children to their mother after a Father’s Day access visit, his white 1989 VN Commodore vehicle veered across the Princes Highway between Winchelsea and Geelong, crashed through a fence and came to rest in a farm dam where it filled with water and submerged. His three children, Jai (10), Tyler (7) and Bailey (2), were unable to free themselves and drowned. Farquharson managed to escape and alerted another driver who took him to nearby Winchelsea. Police divers recovered the boys’ bodies about 2 am the next day. They were still inside the vehicle and unrestrained by seatbelts. After a three-month investigation, police prepared murder charges against Farquharson and went to his Winchelsea home on 14 December 2005. He was not there at the time but presented himself at the Geelong police station in the presence of his lawyer. He was arrested and charged with three counts of murder. He had previously requested and undertook a lie detector test, the results of which are inadmissible in court. He later appeared in the Geelong Magistrates Court, where he was remanded in custody and ordered to appear before the court on 7 April 2006. Gambino told the court that she did not believe Farquharson intended to kill their children deliberately, saying “I believe with all my heart that this was just an accident and that he would not have hurt a hair on their heads. I don’t believe this is murder.” Police alleged that Farquharson was in control of the vehicle in the moments before it crashed into the dam and that he earlier told a friend, Greg King, that he had intended to kill his children to get back at his wife. He was later granted bail and released from custody to appear at his trial which was scheduled to begin in August 2007.