Betty Sheelah is the real star: Torbay

WHEN Betty Sheelah approached Richard Torbay to help clear her second cousin’s name, he was more than happy to oblige.

The Northern Tablelands MP met with and made representations to former Attorney General John Hatzistergos in the mid-2000s and the wheels were put in motion in parliament to have Fred McDermott’s conviction quashed.

After hearing the news of Mr McDermott’s acquittal today, Mr Torbay told Fairfax he was thrilled with the result.

While he said he was delighted to play his “small role” in the matter, the hero of the day was 74-year-old Betty Sheelah.

“She’s been really tenacious about it for such a long period of time,” Mr Torbay said. “What it does show is how important it is to clear a name and how hard it is and how long it can take to finally reach the outcome.“It obviously clears his (Fred’s) name and the family’s name.

“John (Hatzistergos) deserves credit too, he did indicate he would attempt to have the conviction quashed. Full credit to Betty and her absolutely tenacious commitment, I commend her for the outcome.” 

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