Obituary / Former Canberra Magistrate dies

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FORMER Canberra Magistrate and rugby enthusiast Shane Godfrey Madden has died. 

He passed away on Friday, November 23, and is survived by his wife Katie and sons David, Peter and Phillip.

Shane served as a Magistrate from December 1996 until his retirement in July, 2009. He was the coroner on duty when the failed implosion of the Royal Canberra Hospital killed schoolgirl Katie Bender on Sunday, July 13, 1997. He was the ACT’s first Children’s Court Magistrate (from 1999), and also the inaugural Circle Sentencing Magistrate.

Prior to his work at the Magistrates’ Court, he worked at the director of Public Prosecutions Office when it was still a part of the Commonwealth DPP, and he was part of the senior leadership team when the ACT DPP was formed under inaugural director, Ken Crispin QC in 1991.

The ACT Law Society is saddened to hear of Shane’s death saying he was known as a thoroughly decent, fair minded magistrate who showed compassion and respect for Aboriginal offenders and their elders, and who was patient with and welcoming of younger practitioners.

As a life member of the Brumbies club, the Plus500 Brumbies, and the ACT & SNSW rugby community, were also saddened to hear of his passing.

Shane, who was granted Life Membership in 2008, was well known in in the local rugby community having officiated as an ACT Rugby referee in more than 300 games from the years 1987 to 2006 in the lower grades of the ACT senior competitions, as well as at schoolboys, juniors and women’s tournaments.

Shane was a level 1 certified referee coach with the Australian Rugby Union and was a member, and later chairman, of the ACTRU Judiciary from 1987 until 2009. Shane was also chairman of the Brumbies Disciplinary Committee from 1999 to 2009.

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