Where I can find information on South Australia court case, where a JW sued his KH and the WTS after breaking his leg in field service?

by LUKEWARM 11 Replies latest jw friends


    From memory a newspaper article reported on this some years ago - it involved the JW trespassing on private property, being knocked over by a goat, the homeowner being sued and having to pay damages to the JW.

    Initially as the JW sued his congregation, the WTS defended the KH and itself with the statement that JW's are NOT required to go out in field service and that the ministry work is purely voluntary...

    Can anyone point me to a link?

  • blondie

    Hmm, I remember a jw who was attacked by a ram and hurt his leg while he was on some non-jw's property and he sued the landowner....

  • penny2

    Hi LUKEWARM, I'm in South Australia and I haven't heard of this one.


  • Lillith26

    I cant help you, but if you can remember the name of the newspaper- writing to them and asking for a copy of the artical cant hurt, also try your local library- most libraries in Australia keep old newspapers and articals on file....

    I remember reading about two young mormon boys being feed hash cookies by a guy in Wodonga VIC about 10 years ago (I was living there at the time but it was NOT me I swear!lol)- Im still laughing about it

  • brinjen
    Hi LUKEWARM, I'm in South Australia and I haven't heard of this one.

    I grew up in SA and I never heard of it either... approximately when did this happen? Maybe check a public records office if you're in Oz... if not I may be able to help there.

  • nelly136

    it was posted at this news site but the original link is dead i dont know if they have an archive, at least it'll give you a date to search from


    Ram butts Bible man


    AFTER a day of doorknocking the last thing Jehovah's Witness Kenneth Hawthorn expected was to be attacked by one of God's creatures.

    But that is exactly what happened.
    Despite a gate marked 'private - keep out', Mr Hawthorn entered a farm only to be confronted by a four-year-old ram.

    He attempted to shoo it away with a briefcase containing Bibles but was knocked to the ground and suffered a broken shin.

    In the South Australian District Court, Mr Hawthorn and his wife Pamela, of Tea Tree Gully, reached a confidential settlement with the ram's owners for loss of earnings after the incident in July 2001.

    The Hawthorns sued Ronald and Julie Goldfinch, of Paracombe, in the Adelaide hills. They claimed they were forced to sell their hose-fitting business as a result of the injuries Mr Hawthorn suffered.

    They alleged the ram was a "dangerous and ferocious animal" and the Goldfinches were negligent for not keeping it confined and failing to warn visitors.

    The Hawthorns also sued the Adelaide Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to provide proper instructions about doorknocking in rural areas.

    In the Hawthorns' statement of claim, Mr Hawthorn, who was doorknocking with his daughter, said they opened a gate on the Goldfinch property and walked towards their house to "engage in biblical discussion".

    "As they did so a ram appeared and charged (Mr Hawthorn) to the ground and the ram continued the attack pushing him towards the fence," the court documents said.

    "At this time the defendants appeared and assisted (Mr Hawthorn) back into his car.

    Mr Hawthorn claims he now is able to walk only small distances and "his capacity to enjoy life has permanently diminished".

    In their defence, the Goldfinches said the Hawthorns entered their property "uninvited, unwanted and without notice".

    They said their hand-reared pet ram had never attacked anyone before nor had it shown a "violent disposition".

    In its own defence, The Adelaide congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses said doorknocking was voluntary and followers were not obliged to do it.

    Mr Goldfinch said yesterday he was glad the case was over but disappointed with the result.

    "We're just totally disappointed that they should have got anything," he said. "He walked into an area where he knew animals would have been, why should we pay."

    The ram, which was affectionately known as "Shit for brains", has since died.

    The Hawthorns declined to comment.

  • Beachwalker

    Hi Lukewarm, go to http://www.austlii.edu.au/

    This is the Australasian Legal Information Institute. They have case records. Type in Jehovahs, not witnesses, or you get a million records!



    That was just the article I was looking for

    Thanks all!

  • Ron G
    Ron G

    Does anyone want more information about this story? I was involved in the issue at the time.

    Was interesting that Initially as the JW sued his congregation, the WTS defended the KH and itself with the statement that JW's are NOT required to go out in field service and that the ministry work is purely voluntary...

    Does this mean anyone doing Field Services are doing so with no backing from WTS?

  • newsheep

    I remember being out in service one time and we had a call where on the back of the territory card it had read that the home owner's dog bites. Yet the idiot we were with went in anyways. It was a widow who had no kids but only her dog. When the guy turned around to go back to the car he was bitten by her dog. Later that afternoon he went to the hospital and from there someone had gone out to this poor women's home and took her dog away. It was put in quarantine for I think something like two weeks. She got the dog back but also paid for his trousers to be mended. I was pissed and got told off for telling this idiot what he did wrong. So thankful to be out and and ashamed to have ever been a joho!!!

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