Serial killer's murders Victoria's worst
A prosecutor has described the crimes of Victoria's worst serial killer as among the most shocking combination of murders committed in the state, as part of the Crown's submission that he should never be released from jail.
Killer Paul Steven Haigh, 54, is applying for a non-parole period to be imposed on six of the seven life sentences he is serving for murdering six people in a killing spree in the late 1970s, and a life term with a minimum for a 1991 murder in jail.
In his Supreme Court application on Wednesday, Haigh listed for consideration his many self-harm attempts, which since his apprehension in 1979 have included ingesting poisons, slashing open his stomach, attempting to hang himself, cutting off the top of his ear, slashing his veins and sewing his lips together.
Under cross examination by prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, Haigh said his views on a number of issues, including incest, murder and drug use were different to society at large.
About incest, he said: "That's a matter for consenting adults."
Regarding murder, he continued to blame some of his victims for their deaths and said that his last victim wanted to die. "He'd had enough and I can understand that. It's his choice if he wants to live or die."
When asked about his views on drugs, having admitted in court to being a long-term user who knew it was illegal to take drugs – especially while in jail – Haigh said: "That's the way I cope."
Mr Rose told the court that the gravity of Haigh's offences meant he should never be released.
He added that Haigh's past history and conduct, as well as several prior convictions, meant the public must be protected from him, therefore the court should ensure he remain in custody.
His crimes were among the worst combination of murders ever committed in Victoria, Mr Rose said. They were "vicious, horrific, pre-meditated and violent".
Haigh fatally shot TattsLotto agency worker Evelyn Adams, 58, and 45-year-old pizza shop operator and father-of-two Bruno Cingolani in 1978, in separate armed robberies, two weeks after being paroled for a string of armed hold-ups.
Then in 1979, he killed people he believed knew too much about his crimes, including his associate Wayne Keith Smith, 27, and his associate's former girlfriend Sheryle Gardner, 31.
He also shot dead Ms Gardner's son Danny Mitchell, 10, who was a witness to his mother's death, sitting beside her in her car when she was shot.
Haigh killed his girlfriend Lisa Brearley, 19, by stabbing her 157 times after allowing another man to rape and sodomise her at knifepoint, because he believed she was sleeping with other men.
The court heard that after Ms Brearley's murder, Haigh said: "I only intended to do 20 [stab wounds], but I lost count so then I started counting out another 20. I kept making sure she was dead."
In 1991 he killed sex offender Donald George Hatherley in a jail cell at Pentridge Prison and was convicted by a jury of Hatherley's murder.
Haigh claimed he helped Hatherley commit suicide by placing a noose around his neck, kicking a cupboard out from under him then pushing down on Hatherley's shoulders.
The application, before Justice David Beach, continues.