Serial killer's parole bid refused
Serial killer Paul Steven Haigh has lost his bid for a minimum term on his life-without-parole sentence for the murders of six people, including a 10-year-old boy.
Haigh, now 55, had argued he deserved a mitigated sentence because, among other reasons, he was the "victim" of borderline personality disorder when he committed the murders in the 1970s.
But his application was dismissed by Justice David Beach in the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday.
The judge described the murders as "unjustifiable and merited condign punishment".
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.
He received a life sentence with a minimum for Hatherley's murder.
In contesting the application, prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, told the court Haigh should never be released. He said 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.
Mr Rose also described his crimes as among the worst combination of murders ever committed in Victoria.
In his reasons for dismissing Haigh's application, Justice Beach said the six murders that were the subject of Haigh's application were "dreadful crimes".
He said while he accepted that Haigh's conduct in prison over the past several years had been considerably better than it was in the early years of his sentences, "the applicant's continued willingness to attribute blame to others; his continued use of illicit drugs in prison; the murder of Donald Hatherley; his lack of any remorse in respect of the murder of Donald Hatherley; the significant episodes of bad behaviour in prison up until the last several years and the future risk of him committing further offences of violence (as disclosed in the evidence) are matters that do not tell in favour of the granting of a non-parole period.
"While the applicant's behaviour now (and in the last several years) is significantly different from his behaviour when he was a younger man, a consideration of all of the material in this case suggests to me that he remains a person who will say and do whatever he thinks will suit the course he is currently pursuing," the judge said.
"I accept the evidence that, notwithstanding the elapse of time and significant changes in behaviour, the applicant remains (and will remain) a moderate to high risk of committing further offences of violence."
Justice Beach said after carefully considered the application, in which Haigh was self-represented, "None of it leads me to the conclusion that it is appropriate to fix a non-parole period.
"On all of the material, I am of the view that it is, in fact, inappropriate to fix a non-parole period," he said.
"The application for the fixing of a non-parole period in respect of the life sentences imposed upon him for the murders of Evelyn Abraham, Bruno Cingolani, Wayne Keith Smith, Sheryle Ann Gardner, Danny William Mitchell and Lisa Maude Brearley is refused."