A group of women are uniting in defence of men 'falsely' accused of heinous crimes, arguing ‘nobody listens to men’ anymore.
A group of women are uniting in defence of men 'falsely' accused of heinous crimes, arguing ‘nobody listens to men’ anymore.

Mothers say ‘bias against men is getting out of control’

Jo Thompson-Jones and her family suffered the worst possible failure of the justice system when her three-year-old granddaughter was allegedly murdered by her own mother during a lengthy custody battle.

It had already been an arduous 18 months for Ms Thompson-Jones' son Nathan Katterns before a court ruling finally came down in his favour.

But just when it seemed like he was going to have custody of young Iyla, her mother Tamara Gurney allegedly killed the girl in 2019, then took her own life in prison last year.

Ms Thompson-Jones, 67, described her granddaughter's mother as a "blatant liar" who produced "one lie after another" about her son during the custody battle.

"My son went through so much … nobody listens to men," she told NCA NewsWire.

"He was made to feel guilty - that he was the guilty one.

"The bias against men is getting out of control."

Iyla with her father Nathan Katterns. Iyla was allegedly murdered by her mother. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Iyla with her father Nathan Katterns. Iyla was allegedly murdered by her mother. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire

Ms Thompson-Jones is now joining forces with other mothers and grandmothers seeking justice for their sons.

The Mothers of Sons website, which will officially launch on Monday, will provide a forum for women to access support and advice.

It will share personal stories about the unfair treatment their sons have suffered in legal systems and workplaces and the lessons learnt from those experiences.

Ms Thompson-Jones said women who made serious allegations about men should not be automatically believed.

"Women, when they make these allegations, they need to have proof and the authorities need to see that proof. They can't just go on hearsay," she said.

Ms Thompson-Jones said the women who lied were "ruining it for women who really need help".

"It's like the boy who cried wolf," she said.

"I'm not against women. We're not some big, bad bogey monster."

Ms Thompson-Jones said her son had been a good teacher but now could not return to work and described himself as "dead inside".

Nathan Katterns with his daughter Iyla.
Nathan Katterns with his daughter Iyla.

Michelle Jones' son Daniel spent five years fighting false rape allegations that finally led to his accuser and ex-partner Sarah-Jane Parkinson being jailed.

Parkinson had made the false claims about Mr Jones after he ended their tumultuous relationship when he learnt she was having an affair with a NSW police officer.

Reflecting on her son's case, Ms Jones said she believed some police were "trigger happy" to arrest rather than looking at the evidence carefully.

"It was frightening to see how they could manipulate the situation," she told NCA NewsWire.

Ms Jones said her son was initially only offered two hours of counselling after his ordeal.

"The inequality is quite profound," she said.

"He can't even tell his story in two hours.

"They've got nowhere to turn."

Ms Jones said the Mothers of Sons website evolved after she was contacted by mums on social media.

"I kind of think this is about equality for justice," she said.

"At the moment, men don't appear to be getting that."

Daniel Jones with his father Ian and his mother Michelle. Daniel spent five years fighting false rape allegations. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Daniel Jones with his father Ian and his mother Michelle. Daniel spent five years fighting false rape allegations. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire

Ms Jones agreed with Ms Thompson-Jones that women should have evidence to support their claims, saying the liars were "making a mockery" of genuine victims.

"I don't think you can go into anything blindly," Ms Jones said.

In light of the #MeToo movement, Ms Jones said she knew the website would not be popular among feminists.

"I'm hoping that people don't see this as an attack on genuine cases because that's not the aim of it," she said.

"It's basically there to assist these mothers and sons and for them to know there's support for them.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's all about equality."

Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper says is she sceptical about the website. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire
Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper says is she sceptical about the website. Picture: Supplied via NCA NewsWire

But Caitlin Roper, PhD candidate and campaigns manager for feminist activist group Collective Shout, is sceptical of the website, which she says makes baseless claims.

"This idea that men are disadvantaged in the legal system is not in line with reality," she told NCA NewsWire.

"It's a total reversal of reality.

"It perpetuates harmful myths and damages women."

Ms Roper acknowledged there were cases where men were victimised but said false reports were rare.

She said it was far more common that truthful allegations were made about men that could not be proved.

"Not guilty is not the same as innocent," she said.

Speaking generally about rape cases, Ms Roper said most men who committed sexual assaults were not held to account and most women did not get justice, noting about 85 per cent of rapes were not even reported.

Originally published as 'Bias against men is getting out of control'



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