Watson Convicted!

The case of Allan vs Watson was heard in a pre-trial conference on the 8th of May 2006 at Clare Court.

Will Watson did the right thing, and pleaded guilty to assaulting Janet and was due to be sentenced on 29th August at the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

He then decided to change his plea to 'not guilty' and stand trial in February 2007. In hearing that Mr Watson had changed his plea, the Magistrate expressed his concern that Mr Watson was 'forum shopping' and seemed to be travelling around the courts looking for a sympathetic hearing.


Will Watson convicted of Assault!

The 4 day trial of Will Watson was held in Clare Court from February 20th-24th.
The judge found Watson's violent behaviour to be totally unacceptable and convicted him of assault and sentenced him to an 18 month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay court costs.

The judge took into account what he considered to be Mrs Allan's 'misguided zeal' but made it clear that assaulting a woman under any circumstances is a crime and will be punished.

In an interview with Today Tonight after the conclusion of the trial, Jeanie Walker made it clear that she was satisfied with the suspended sentence and does not think that anything would be gained from Will doing prison time at such a young age. She expressed relief that Janet could now move on with her life and asked that Will be allowed to move on with his.

She would also like others to realise that justice has been served and it's time for people to end any anger towards Watson from both sides of the fence and now give him a fair chance to get on with his life without harrassment. What he did was wrong but he has more than paid for it over the past 2 years, as has Janet. He is NOT responsible for all of the bad media being directed towards rodeos. The perpetrators of the cruelty as well as the cruelty inherent in rodeos is doing that. Appointing Will as the scapegoat is pointless and unfair.

During the trial it was made very clear that he was acting under instruction from his peers and made a very bad judgment. These are people with vested interests who have escaped scrutiny and punishment.

No Way to treat a lady!

Anti-rodeo campaigner, Janet Allan [Dip T] was blatantly assaulted at the 2005 Marrabel Bull Ride by Will Watson, a Victorian rodeo cowboy. Several men cheered as she was kicked, dragged and thrown into a water trough and sustained injuries.

Janet's Recollection of the Assault on March 2005
My name is Janet Allan. I have lived around horses and cattle for more than 40 years. My father in law, Doug Allan, was head stockman at the Gepps Cross Abattoir stockyards for 45 years. I have kept horses of my own for 30 years and have broken in and trained young horses in my younger days. I still keep horses and ride regularly.

On Saturday 5 th March 2005 I went to the Marrabel Bull ride. I arrived at approximately 7.30 pm with my husband and several friends who share my concern about the illegal and cruel use of the electric prodder at these events, to film the abuses and pass them on to the authorities.

I went as close as I could to the chutes, as that is where most of the animal abuse occurs. I have done this on previous occasions at other rodeos and the cowboys laughed and joked with me. Since then, however, such videos have resulted in the RSPCA attempting prosecutions against Marrabel and several other rodeos. I was not in any danger from the bulls as I was securely fenced off from both the entry and exit paths of the animals entering the chutes. The audience were in more danger than me as terrified animals often crash through the flimsy fence around the arena and into the audience. I started filming with my video camera what was going on in the chute I was closest to. Almost as soon as I started filming people started pulling at me from behind and making intimidating remarks whilst trying to steal my camera. I knew they were violent men who think nothing of torturing and abusing animals for entertainment and I knew I was in danger. I was determined to defend my camera and attempted to fight to retain it.

After that my memory of events is rather blurry. I remember being knocked to the ground several times and banging my head. After that I was dizzy and disorientated. I remember a cowboy, whom my friends later identified as Will Watson from the videos they took, throwing me around like a rag doll whilst continually uttering a stream of verbal abuse (he repeatedly called me a 'fucking whore bag slut'). Finally he dragged me over to a filthy concrete water trough that was, incidentally, the only one on the property as far as I could see and was not accessible to any of the animals. Whilst continuing the verbal abuse he threw me to my knees and plunged my head into the filthy water. Both my thighs smashed against the concrete trough causing black bruises and lumps the size of a man's hand which are still visible more than four months later. The cowboy then kneed me in the left buttock, causing bruises, which lasted for two months. It has damaged the sacrum/Ischium area and causes me severe and continuing pain. He then smashed my camera on the ground and dunked it in the water trough. As I tried to regain my feet, he kicked them out from under me so that I fell yet again. I also remember at some stage trying to escape from the yard the way I came in but being dragged back in to be assaulted further.

After being dunked in filthy water, my eyes were blurry both with the dirty water and manure from being tossed on the ground. I could no longer see clearly. I was severely traumatized and dizzy from a bang on the head. I was in excruciating pain and screaming hysterically for help. Instead of help I received further abuse from men who I later discovered were security guards. I did not recognize them at the time. They also attempted to steal my camera.

Leave aside the fact that it was the cowboy guilty of violent assault they should have been manhandling, not the victim of the assault (I needed medical attention), two burly men do not need to do more than to hold the arms of a 53 Kilo, 55 year old woman to restrain her. The video clearly shows one security guard viciously wrenching my arm up my back. The expression on his face says it all. It was obviously not necessary to control me because he lets go of it while the other security guard drags me through the gate unaided simply by a straight arm hold and then number 34 viciously attacks me again.

A bag containing a mobile phone was removed from the scene of the crime while I was in the police caravan trying to report the crime. It can be clearly seen on the video, still at the scene as I am dragged away. A week and a half later (after the Today Tonight expose) of the assault went to air I was notified that it had been handed in. This was of no use to me since I had already purchased a new mobile in order to keep in touch with my friends at a time when I needed them most. I believe that my camera bag (containing the mobile phone) was deliberately removed by rodeo officials in order to remove any evidence of the crime since they were not aware that they had been filmed by witnesses. When I asked who had returned it I was told a member of the public, which means the area I was in was freely accessible to the general public so why was I being removed?

Both feet were sprained and painful from being twisted. I was kept awake by cramps in the feet and legs for over a week and my right foot and ankle are still painful if I engage in the sports I normally enjoy (horse riding and water skiing).

My attacker twisted my feet so severely that he broke one of the boots I was wearing.

For two weeks I had to take pain-killers constantly. The pain in my arms from being twisted up my back prevented me from raising them to even brush my hair unaided. My lower back was excruciatingly painful and prevented me from sleeping. I am still unable to sleep or engage in any of the activities I previously enjoyed without the use of pain-killers and even then, I cannot do what I did before the assault.

I am a 55 year old mother of two and weigh 53 kilos. The cowboy who assaulted me was about 6 feet tall and younger than my son.

The stock contractors Noel Fraser and Ron Woodall were present during the entire duration of the crime and neither of them attempted to stop the assault or to help me, and neither did any of the judges or officials.

I am undergoing counselling for the psychological damage, which the assault caused. I am now very insecure in public places and can no longer enjoy attending any public function, such as concerts etc.

I have constant nightmares about being attacked in public places and being unable to escape or find anyone to help me. My sleep patterns are totally destroyed and I suffer from a chronic lack of sleep.

I suffered great humiliation at being thrown around like a rag doll in public and at being seen in such a hysterical, dazed and disoriented state.

My husband and the two friends who witnessed the attack suffered and continue to suffer great stress at having to stand by and watch me being injured. They had no other option but to film the attack because that was the only way they could prevent the criminals getting away with the crime. If they had attempted to help, there would have been no proof of the crime (namely the videos), I would still have been injured (perhaps even more severely), they would probably have been injured also, all the cameras would have been destroyed and the whole thing would have been passed off as a brawl.

Several politicians and Hugh Wirth of the RSPCA have been on the media several times recently pointing out that most animal abusers go on to commit violent crimes against people. We have also been bombarded with a series of television commercials saying Australia says no to violence against women. Here is the perfect example of animal abuse turning to the abuse of women. Rodeos provide a venue and breeding ground for cruelty and abuse.

Top of page


Video evidence of the assault
View video [860kb]
Prosecutor's opinion of the assault [PDF 61kb]
Domestic Violence & Animal Cruelty ... Common Links
Violence to animals .... indicator to dangerous psychopathy not confined to animals. [PDF 16kb]
Animal abuse and family violence [PDF 140kb]
Animal abuse at early age linked to interpersonal violence by K Quinn [PDF 15kb]
Animal abuse & interpersonal violence by Dr S Conboy-Hill [PDF 86kb ]



7 March, 2007