Gordon Wood, former chauffeur of Australian entrepreneur and stockbroker, Rene Rivkin, is seeking damages for having been falsely imprisoned for the murder of his girlfriend, Caroline Byrne, according to ABC.
Wood, who was making over half a million U.S. dollars a year, is suing the state of New South Wales on the grounds the the imprisonment tarnished his name, caused him anguish and deprived him of millions of dollars through lost career opportunities. In 2012, Wood’s conviction was overturned. He had been accused of throwing his 24 year old girlfriend off a cliff in Sydney, an infamous suicide spot popularly known as The Gap. He now insists that the death was clearly a suicide, and despite evidence, officials aggressively maintained he was guilty. He felt the prosecution was convinced Wood killed Byrne because he feared she wanted to end the relationship and to prevent her from revealing private information he had allegedly confided in her about his employer, Rene Rivkin. Wood says important information was witheld from him, including an inquest from a coroner. New South Wales denies the prosecution acted maliciously and unfairly against Mr. Wood.
Rene Rivkin, Wood’s former employer, was voted Stockbroker of the Year by Business Review Weekly in 1985. He was born to a Russian Jewish family in Japanese occupied Shanghai in 1944, and the family emigrated to Australia after the war.