State law first for mur­derer

Kalgoorlie Miner - - FRONT PAGE -

A violent mur­derer re­spon­si­ble for the deaths of two women in Esper­ance in the 1970s will be the first se­rial killer to have his pa­role re­view de­layed by At­tor­ney Gen­eral John Quigley un­der new pow­ers that passed State Par­lia­ment this week.

The McGowan Gov­ern­ment’s re­forms to the Sen­tence Ad­min­is­tra­tion Act will al­low an At­tor­ney Gen­eral to de­lay the pa­role re­view for mur­der­ers con­victed for two mur­ders on sep­a­rate days or three or more mur­ders on the same day by six years. They are de­signed to re­duce the emo­tional strain on vic­tims’ fam­i­lies of wait­ing on the out­come of reg­u­lar pa­role re­views ev­ery three years.

The re­forms are set to come into force next week ahead of the De­cem­ber 15 statu­tory re­view date for Peter John Maloney, who killed Caroline Fountain, 16, with a car­jack in De­cem­ber 1978 be­fore bash­ing pen­sioner Catherine Bur­den in an Esper­ance mo­tel room 11 months later.

Maloney orig­i­nally re­ceived the death penalty in 1980 be­fore his sen­tence was com­muted to life im­pris­on­ment with a min­i­mum 20year jail term. With the At­tor­ney­Gen­eral’s in­ter­ven­tion, it will be 2024 be­fore Maloney can be con­sid­ered for pa­role.

“These laws are in­tended to go some way to al­le­vi­at­ing the trauma and suf­fer­ing that sur­vivors and re­lated and sec­ondary vic­tims of mass and se­rial killers en­dure ev­ery three years un­der the State’s pa­role regime,” a spokes­woman for Mr Quigley said. “Maloney’s crimes fall within the def­i­ni­tion of a se­rial killer, be­ing some­one who has mur­dered two or more peo­ple on dif­fer­ent days. The At­tor­ney Gen­eral in­tends to di­rect the Pris­on­ers Re­view Board to sus­pend Maloney’s pa­role con­sid­er­a­tion for six years.”

A rel­a­tive of one of Maloney’s vic­tims con­tacted the At­tor­ney Gen­eral ahead of the Bill’s pas­sage, the spokes­woman said.

Shadow At­tor­ney Gen­eral Michael Mischin said he re­mained con­cerned the re­forms, which ap­ply to six con­victed mur­der­ers, in­clud­ing Maloney and Catherine Birnie, cast their net too nar­rowly and cre­ates two classes of vic­tim.

Josh Chiat It will be 2024 be­fore mur­derer Peter John Maloney will be con­sid­ered for pa­role.

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