State law first for murderer
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.