In this tell-all book, discover how the justice system works and why, at times, the innocent are convicted and the guilty set free.

Bill Hosking looks back at his career as a criminal barrister in a candid account of his time at the bar. He tells the true story behind some of his most famous cases, including the Hilton bombings, ‘Toecutter’ Jimmy Driscoll’s attempt to avoid prison time, and the Anita Cobby trial.

At Bill’s side we also meet some larger-than-life characters, such as Carl Synnerdhal, a professional bank robber who successfully convinced everyone he was blind and hoodwinked the system, as well as adversaries such as disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson.

Bill Hosking’s clients have included, ‘…the notorious, the oppressed, the young and the old…the wise and the foolish…’. In the company of his colleagues, judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers, he reveals how the law courts give us an insight into human frailty and the dark side of human nature.

Justice in any courtroom can be elusive. Yet, as Bill Hosking explains: ‘…a calm, composed, careful and competent judicial process is to what we aspire…when it is achieved, justice is never denied.’ 

Author

John Suter Linton

Born in Sydney, John Suter Linton began his media career as an office boy with Radio Station 2GB at the age of seventeen, and went on to work as a radio journalist in Wollongong and Tamworth. He moved into television in 1984, writing for 'Sons and Daughters', 'Neighbours', 'Late Night Oz' and developing the pilot for 'Australia's Most Wanted'. He did a stint as publicist for ABC television, Marketing Manager of ABC Radio and in recent times has been media adviser on environmental issues for the NSW State Government. In 1997, his first true crime book 'The Stranger You Know' about the Kim Barry murder was published. He is currently working on three forthcoming titles.

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Bill Hosking

Born in Broken Hill, William 'Bill' Hosking became a clerk in the Petty Sessions branch of the Department of the Attorney-General and of Justice in 1954, serving in courthouses all over New South Wales. In June 1961, at the age of twenty-three, Bill embarked on a different career path when Jack Mannix, the Labor member for Liverpool and Minister of Justice, appointed him as his acting private secretary. In 1965, the new Minister of Justice, John Maddison, retained Bill on his personal staff. Soon, he became assistant private secretary to SIr Robert Askin, the Premier of New South Wales. Within months, Wal Fife, Assistant Minister for Education and soon-to-be Minister of Mines, selected Bill as his private secretary. In 1970, Bill commenced practice at the private bar in Chalfont Chambers, which Jack Mannix had once occuped. Mr Mannix had loaned Bill his wig and gown to wear when he was called to the Bar in 1968, and gave them to him when he joined Chalfont Chambers. In 1973, he became a public defender and in 1980 he was appointed Queen's Counsel and Deputy Senior Public Defender. As a leading QC appearing in a large number of notable trials, and as a District Court judge from 1987 to 2000, Bill has garnered some fascinating stories which bring to life the drama of the courtroom and lively exchanges of the participants. In 2014 Bill was appointed as a reserve judge of the County Court of Victoria, continuing his love of the law and justice.

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