‘You didn’t take your monster of a son to the police’
THE family of murder victim Jody Meyers has confronted the woman who covered up the crime - while a judge has maintained a secrecy order over aspects of the case.
On Friday, District Court Judge Paul Muscat heard emotional victim impact statements, drafted by Ms Meyers' family, against Margaret Susan Violet Rose Archer.
He dismissed defence counsel's claim that one statement - saying "justice will not be served" until Archer leaves jail because "Australia doesn't forget" - was threatening.
Judge Muscat also refused to lift a longstanding suppression order made, by the Supreme Court, when Archer's son Neil was convicted of Ms Meyers' murder.
The Supreme Court ordered the suppression, on evidence presented during Neil Archer's case be reviewed once his mother's case had concluded.
Judge Muscat ruled the suppressed information had no bearing on Archer's matter, and should remain in force.
Archer, 57, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of assisting an offender - namely her son.
She was due to stand trial for the offence, having long insisted she had no involvement in the circumstances surrounding Ms Meyers' death.
Her confession caught prosecutors off-guard, as they had yet to provide the full court file to Judge Paul Muscat.
Neil Archer is serving a life sentence for strangling Ms Meyers, 20, with a hoodie cord following "a tiff"in August 2015.
Previously, prosecutors alleged Margaret Archer helped cover up the murder by lying on her son's behalf and using Ms Meyer's bank card to access her account.
They alleged she withdrew $250 to buy the very cement used to hide Ms Meyer's body - beneath a rough slab on Margaret Archer's own property.
On Friday, the court heard impact statements from Ms Meyers' sisters, Tanya Parsons and Sarah Meyers, and mother Lucyann Saler.
Ms Parsons said she "could not understand" Archer's actions.
"You didn't do the right thing, you didn't take your monster of a son to the police ... it's something that cannot be forgiven or forgotten," she said.
"You had coffee with mum, you looked us in the eye and told us you knew nothing, all along knowing damn well Jody was not coming back.
"You thought you had fooled us - well, who's the fool now?"
She said Archer had intensified their grief by filling them with false hope, and had only pleaded guilty to benefit herself.
"You are someone who doesn't deserve to have a life outside prison ... however long you spend inside, justice will not be served until you walk out those gates," she said.
"Like us, Australia will not forget ... I hope your time on earth is done soon."
Sarah Meyers said that, as a mother herself, Archer's actions were inexplicable.
"What kind of a mother are you to think it's okay to murder someone?" she said.
"I would have personally taken my child to the police and handed them in - and then I would have stood by them."
Ms Saler said Archer had sent the family messages from her daughter's phone, pretending to be her, in "words Jody wouldn't use".
"You deceived us in the most cruel way ... you are no better than he (Neil) is ... you are lower than low, you are an evil person," she said.
"Put yourself in my shoes: how would you feel if it was your daughter?
"Then again, after doing what you did, you probably wouldn't care ... you are a liar, deceitful and inhuman."
She said her grandson, Elijah, would now grow up without both a mother and a father - but that he spoke only of Ms Meyers, and never the Archers.
"You say that this (the murder) was because Jody was tearing your family apart? Wow. What have you done?"
Judge Muscat will hear further sentencing submissions next week.