Save Archie -Keep Free Speech Alive

$12,850 of $40,000 goal

Raised by 110 people in 6 months
My name is Archie Butterfly, and I live in Brisbane, Queensland.

On the 24th of January 2018 five plain clothes Queensland Police officers with guns on one hip and tasers on the other arrived unexpectedly at my home and - with a warrant in hand - walked uninvited through my door.

As my elderly father, my wife, her sister, and my baby  grandson watched on these plain clothes officers first seized my computer, and then placed me under arrest in relation to a series of stories they alleged I had written and published on the website itsnotnormalisit.com. 

Quite incredibly, I was charged with stalking.

I have never stalked anyone in my life.

I'm just a writer. A bloke who loves his family, and tries to do good wherever he can. 

I admit that I stuff things up from time to time - the Lani Fancourt (jockey) story I recently wrote and greatly regret is a prime example - but I always put my hand up for my mistakes and try to set them straight, and when I stuff things up it's a matter of principle for me to acknowledge that I've done wrong, apologise and try to make amends as best I can.

I'm human and often stupid, and like all of us sometimes without meaning to I just balls it up.

Lani Fancourt you are a gutsy and talented individual, and I unjustly did you wrong, and from the depths of my heart I apologise.

I'm an idiot for sure. But I'm not a criminal. Never have been and never will be.

The police that day - for reasons of their own - disagreed. They advised me in front of my terminally ill father that they would be opposing my release on bail, although they refused to tell me or him why.

It was weird, really weird. Sort of absurd really. 

I have no criminal history.

None. Nil zip nada nothing. A blank sheet.

I have never been questioned about the matter that I was arrested for, and have never been given a formal opportunity to answer any questions about the matter for which I have been charged.

Never. Never, ever, ever.

I wouldn't say anything to the police anyway, because my Mum and Dad brought me up well and taught me not to lag, but that's not the point. I should have been asked to talk and given the opportunity to say nothing on tape in a formal police interview, but I wasn't.

Even murderers get asked to tell their side of the story before they are cuffed and carted away. Not me though. I was simply chucked in the back of an unmarked car and hauled me off to the watchouse like a common thug.

And they call this democracy?

After my arrest at 10.30am and removal to Roma Street, I spent more than 5 hours in a jail cell - well several cells actually, I was transferred from one vacant pen to the next, and each was considerably colder than the one before - and it wasn't until after 3 o'clock in the afternoon that I was fingerprinted, photographed, DNA swabbed and formally charged, and I was not released from custody until after 4pm.

All this just for writing a few stories.

The police who pinched me knew that I was diabetic and hadn't eaten, and that if I wasn't given something to eat I was at risk of falling into a diabetic coma - I had told them this on the way in - yet still I was denied food and drink the whole time that I was kept in the cells.

Human rights?  What are they?

I'm just a writer.

What the hell did I do to deserve this?

My arrest didn't make sense then, and it still doesn't now. The only conclusion that I can draw is that there is a much bigger picture being played in the background, and that perhaps one or more of the stories I have written have cut too close to the bone.

In the months prior to my arrest three sets of stories of particular note had been published on the website www.itsnotnormalisit.com.

The first set raised various questions about the dealings and practices of the Victorian and Queensland Racing Integrity Commissions, both headed by former high-ranking police officers, and in the case of Queensland by a man whose contract allows him to return to the senior levels of the police service at his election and by merit appointment to a role such as - for example - Commissioner of Police.

The second set of stories were about the dealings on Queensland race tracks by members of the world's biggest gambling syndicate, including accredited members of the media.

The third group of stories questioned the admission of dubious evidence into the McCulkin triple murder trial, and cast doubt on the convictions of the two men found guilty were also published on the site.

I'm not for a moment saying that my arrest was related in any way to these matters, but I can say the chief of the Racing Integrity Commission police squad was the lead investigator in the McCulkin murders, and that one of the officers who arrested me was a leading police witness in the case. 

Back to my charge, and while a number of factors including my bail conditions prevent  me from discussing the specifics of the matter or in any way identifying those involved, I can assure you that I am innocent and my trial to be held at some stage in the future will be interesting to say the least.

I want to continue to write articles that entertain and inform readers about subjects including racing, gambling, crime, politics, corruption andpedophilia, but in order to do so I urgently need to raise funds for my legal defence.

That's where you come in.

Its Not Normal is self-funded and has operated on a not-for-profit basis since it started, and has been openly and freely available at no cost to readers. The site has never featured advertising, and does not receive funding from any person or company.

The publisher doesn't intend to change that, but things are crook out here in Tullarook and we need to be able to raise the funds to pay for a quality legal defence. If we can't the website will be forced to close forever. 

This is our hour of need and only way that I can raise the funds required for my defence is to pass around the hat in the time honoured Aussie way, so I am asking for your support by way of a donation or donations to my legal defence fund,

If you want to throw a few coins and you can afford to without leaving yourself short it would be most appreciated

To be clear:

I (Archie Butterfly) am the person raising the funds.

The funds will be spent on my legal defence.

All money raised through this GoFundMe appeal will be deposited by me into the trust fund of my solicitors and receipts for these deposits will be published as updates on this campaign page.

Should there be any excess donated funds remaining in the solicitors trust fund at the conclusion of these legal matters the full sum will be donated to charity.

Thank you for your support, now, then and into the future.

Love your families and kiss your kids. They're the most important things in the whole wide world.

Archie Butterfly.
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A huge thanks to those who have kindly donated money toward my legal defense to date.

Attached are the receipts for payments into my lawyer's trust fund of the moneys donated. A further $1470.14 received has been transferred electronically to my lawyers trust fund and a receipt or statement will be posted when received.

Contrary to assertions made on social media by a person who has no knowledge of such things, I have not received any legal advice whatsoever regarding a plea on the charges. This would be simply impossible and highly improper as the police brief of evidence has not yet been received.

I have neither 'sacked' my legal team - the original solicitors were engaged by my wife while I was in custody, and solely for the purpose of securing m,y release - nor have I conferred with, or received advice from, any barrister or QC regarding the matters that I have been charged with. Again this would not be possible in the absence of the provision of a full police brief of evidence.

The original campaign story posted on the campaign site was edited at the request and recommendation of my lawyers. None of the changes altered the reason for establishment of the fund or the manner in which the funds would be expended. They were, as stated, simply made on legal advice. Any suggestion to the contrary is both demonstrably false and wildly incorrect.

Unfortunately there are people who - for unfathomable reasons of their own - are seemingly motivated to spread baseless lies in an attempt to damage my defense and stain my character , but given that professional mental health practitioners have repeatedly tried and failed there is very little that I as a layperson can due to cure their strange and hate-filled obsessions.

I just hope that the senseless attacks do not prejudice my right to a fair trial or result in the discontinuance of the proceedings, as this would have far-reaching and obviously unforeseen consequences for those publishing and disseminating the false information.

As stated previously and consistently it is my intention to vigorously defend the charges that I face, and I continue to strongly assert that the charges are misconceived and lack any proper foundation.

I am not a stalker and have not breached my bail.

I am innocent of the charges.

Once more thank you for your generosity and kind support. It is greatly appreciated by my family and I.

Receipt 1 - Deposit to Lawyer Trust Fund
Receipt 2 - Deposit to Lawyer Trust Fund
Receipt 3 - Transfer between trust funds
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Legal Update

Yesterday I appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on both the charge of stalking and a charge of breach of bail. Both matters have been remanded to a future court date on 26 February and will be defended vigorously.

Thank you to all who have donated money to assist my legal defense to date. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Please spread the word and encourage your contacts to throw a few dollars in the hat if they can afford to do so. It looks like this may be a long and expensive battle, and the more I can raise the better resourced my defense team will be.

Keep free speech alive!

And get Archie back on the air!
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On monday I was again visited by police at my home. I have been charged with breaching my bail on the evening of my release by posting a story identifying the complainant in the alleged stalking matter.

Of course I did not - what I did after my release from custody was immediately ensure it's not normal was closed down - and this charge is simply harassment and a means to further increase my legal expenses and deplete the resources that so many have kindly donated to help me defend these charges.

I am required to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow - 8 February, my daughter's 18th birthday - on the breach of bail charge and it will be vigorously defended.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. It means the world to my family and I.
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Just an update because a couple of people have asked - All funds raised will be deposited directly into the trust fund of my solicitors Mulcahy Ryan Lawyers, and any money left over at the end of my legal battle will be donated in full to the National Jockeys Trust
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Raised by 110 people in 6 months
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