More than 200 volunteers were searching for Ebony Simpson. And nobody knew her killer was one of them.

For the mother of Ebony Simpson, learning the man who raped and killed her daughter had his security status downgraded was her worst fear realised.

In 1992, the death of nine-year-old Ebony Simpson struck a chord with the entire nation.

Australians were captivated and horrified by the story of the little blonde school girl who was hauled into the boot of a car during her walk home in the NSW town of Bargo.

It was later revealed that Ebony was driven to a dam where a man bound her legs and arms with wire, raped her and then threw her — still alive — in the water.

ebony simpson aca
Ebony Simpson. Image: ACA.

Yet, what disturbed people the most was that her killer later assisted in the search effort for the “missing” girl.

When police and the Simpson family were searching for for Ebony, her killer was there with them — watching over the investigation.

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Andrew Garforth (highlighted) assisting in the search for Ebony Simpson. Image: ACA.

When he was finally caught, Andrew Garforth showed no remorse.

He recounted his actions to police with no regret. No sympathy. No shame.

The Australian public was incensed and campaigned for his death.

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People campaigning for the death penalty for Andrew Garforth. Image: ACA.

Garforth was sentenced to life in prison.

However Garforth’s status was recently downgraded. And now Ebony’s mother Christine wants that decision reversed.


Christine told Channel Nine’s A Current Affair that it was always her fear people would forget the horrific crimes this man committed – a privilege she will never be awarded.

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Ebony’s mother, Christine Simpson. Image: ACA.

Downgrading Garforth’s sentence from an ‘A2’ to a ‘B’ means he will be moved out of maximum security to a prison that comes with greater luxuries — the chance to work and study and have a toaster..

To Mrs Simpson these new permissions are a slap in the face.

“To you it might be just a toaster but to us its a massive change and it hurts, it damn well hurts,” Mrs Simpson told ACA.

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Andrew Garforth. Image: ACA.

Garforth’s sentence downgrade, and other moves like it, is thanks to the work of prisoner advocate Brett Collins.

“Clearly at some stage, [the Simpson family should] move on with their lives and let him move on with his life as well,” Mr Collins said on ACA.

ebony simpson aca
Ebony Simpson. Image: ACA.

Sadly, Mr Collins fails to grasp the reality of the Simpson family’s ordeal.

“And I’m not having it. I’m not having him doing anything but thinking about what he did,” Mrs Simpson said.

“I have to think about it everyday, and so should he. I got a life sentence and so did he.”

Do you remember the Ebony Simpson case? 

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