Tuesday, 20 December 2022


Parole eligibility

Parole eligibility

David LIMBRICK (South-Eastern Metropolitan) (19:03): (2) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Corrections. Throughout the winter of 1993 the suburb of Frankston suffered under a dark cloud of terror as it became clear that a serial killer was on the loose and targeting young women in the area. By the time the perpetrator was arrested on 31 July 1993 three young women were dead. After many hours of questioning, he eventually confessed to the murders of Elizabeth Stevens, Debbie Fream and Natalie Russell. The details of these murders were so horrific that a forensic psychologist submitting evidence in his trial described a person that:

… found intentional maltreatment of victims intensely gratifying, taking pleasure in torment, anguish, distress, hopelessness and suffering of the victim.

In sentencing, Justice Vincent expressed the opinion that the perpetrator showed no remorse for his behaviour and that his only regret appeared to be that he was caught. Justice Vincent stated that there seemed no real prospect for rehabilitation and that the community needed to be protected from him, sentencing him to three life sentences, never to be released. The next year the Court of Appeal determined that it was the responsibility of the court to determine an appropriate non-parole period and granted him a 30-year period of non-parole.

That period expires early next year, and for the friends and families of the victims this is a source of tremendous grief, anxiety and anguish. For true crime readers of Vikki Petraitis’s book The Frankston Murders or viewers of the recent documentary No Mercy, No Remorse, this may be a feeling that they can empathise with. For me it does not require any imagination to understand this feeling. As members who were present in the previous term of Parliament would know, in 1993 Natalie Russell was a dear friend of mine.

When I was elected in 2018 I never expected that this was an issue that I would be raising in Parliament. Whilst the perpetrator of these horrific crimes may be eligible for a parole hearing, for families and friends and victims, their sentence is lifelong. Over the past several months these families have been reaching out to the government, trying to set up a meeting with the Minister for Corrections or the Attorney-General so that someone could explain the parole process to them and help them navigate this traumatic time. I would like to congratulate Mr Erdogan on his appointment as the new Minister for Corrections. My request for the minister is to meet with the families and friends of the victims to help explain the parole process to them and what opportunities they might have to participate in that process.