How times have changed. That’s one of the first thoughts that sprang to mind when I read about the arrest of alleged murderer Gregory Keith Davies.
How absolutely devastating; that was actually my very first thought. Because the victim was a defenceless, innocent six-year-old girl, whose mum Julie had allowed her to go to the shops to buy some sugar. The journey was less than 100m.
When Kylie never returned, Julie raised the alarm. Police allege that the little girl was held overnight, abused and suffocated before being dumped in a gutter at midnight.
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In only a few moments, everything can be lost.
My daughter will be six next month. Earlier this week, we were at a strip of neighbourhood shops, eating lunch at the sushi restaurant. She wanted to walk two shops down to the bakery, where I’d promised her a cookie as a treat after her earlier doctor’s visit.
It was the very first time I’ve ever let her walk out of my sight to buy something from a shop – and even then, I stood outside the sushi restaurant, watched her walk into the bakery, and then when she didn’t walk out within 60 seconds I wandered over to catch a glimpse of her through the window.
When she saw me she rolled her eyes and shooed me away with her hands, keen as mustard to enjoy her independence and buy her bakery treat all by her own self.
Was I being overly cautious? Too protective? Maybe. But I think most parents veer this way nowadays.
In fact just a few weeks ago, I wrote a story for this website about whether 8-years-old is too young to be allowed to ride a bike without an adult companion. The story exploded on Facebook, with most commenters confirming that they wouldn’t let their children travel unaccompanied until they’re at least teenagers.
Parents are over-protective these days – because if we’re not, the risk is too tragic to bear contemplation.
Kylie’s death was horrific and tragic, though it wasn’t recent; she was killed on Melbourne Cup Day 32 years ago. For more than three decades, the police had no leads until remarkably, a break in the case last year lead detectives to Davies.
Poor parents such as Julie Maybury have paid the ultimate price and their tragedy serves as an ongoing warning to us to be ever vigilant.
Alleged murdered Gregory Keith Davies is now aged in his 70s and will face court again next year.