Bevan Meninga, Mal Meninga's brother, has been released from jail where he served time for the murder and rape of a Queensland woman. Photo: Nine News
Convicted murderer Bevan Meninga has been granted release nearly 22 years after he was jailed for the murder and rape of a 19-year-old woman on the Sunshine Coast.
Meninga, the brother of Queensland State of Origin coach Mal Meninga, was given a life sentence for the killing of Cheree Richardson, who he bashed with a tree branch in 1991.
He was 20 at the time of the attack, and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Ms Richardson’s body was found in parkland at Alexandra Headland, and it later emerged that Bevan Meninga had carried out the attack while on parole for bashing another woman with a stake in her home.
A Department of Justice spokesman said the 42-year-old was released early on Wednesday morning. He had been housed at a low-security prison farm at Rathdowney, about 100km south of Brisbane.
Ms Richardson’s parents still live on the Sunshine Coast and according to media reports, Bevan Meninga’s parole conditions include that he not live in the area.
Fairfax Media understands he will live with his mother and will undergo regular drug and alcohol tests.
Speaking to media on Wednesday, Premier Campbell Newman said Mr Meninga had "certainly certainly done the crime and he's done the time", and the court had made its independent decision.
"The courts have made a decision and let's hope that with the support of family and friends that he can be rehabilitated properly and back into society," he said.
Bevan Meninga will not live with his brother, Mal, who had earlier offered to house Bevan if his parole was granted.
While Meninga was eligible for parole in 2005, it was only approved in February this year after he went to the Supreme Court.