2010, 52 Minutes
This is the shocking inside story of a family’s fight to free their 15-year-old son after he is wrongly accused of rape.
A horrifying tale of lies, deception and the high cost of justice, Every Family’s Nightmare raises questions about systemic, procedural and cultural flaws in Australia’s criminal justice system by investigating the case of Perth schoolboy Patrick Waring.
Patrick was jailed for a year while his family battled to prove his innocence. From the time he was accused of raping a teenage girl on 30 March 2006, the Western Australian police were convinced Patrick Waring was guilty. His family knew they were wrong. Over the next year, the Waring family assembled an international team of experts to help defend their son, exposing deep flaws in the police investigation and the legal battle that followed.
Every Family’s Nightmare uses observational footage, reenactments and interviews with key participants to document the Warings‘ ordeal from the time the allegations were made to the outcome of the trial. But while Patrick is eventually acquitted, his life will never be the same. The fight to clear his name and regain his freedom has cost his family everything and Patrick has lost a year of his childhood while in jail.
Alarmingly, experts say that the same situation could arise at any time, involving any family, in any Australian state.
A Screen Australia National Documentary Program in association with Prospero Productions. Produced with the assistance of ScreenWest, Lotterywest and SBS. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, ScreenWest, Prospero Productions.
Directors: Michael Muntz, Ed Punchard, Julia Redwood
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Classification: M. Consumer Advice: Mature Themes.
Curriculum Links: English; Drama; Media Studies; SOSE/HSIE; Science; Legal Studies; Justice Studies; Forensic Studies and Law. This program will have interest and relevance for teachers and students at secondary and tertiary levels.