Rick Thorburn being escorted by police from the Logan Central Police Station in 2016. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt
Rick Thorburn being escorted by police from the Logan Central Police Station in 2016. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt

Push to jail child killers indefinitely

CHILD murderers like Rick Thorburn should be jailed ­indefinitely under laws designed to keep dangerous sex offenders from the community, Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston says.

Thorburn was on Friday jailed for the murder of foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

He is eligible for to apply for parole in 2036.

Rick Thorburn was sentenced to life for the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer on Friday.
Rick Thorburn was sentenced to life for the murder of Tiahleigh Palmer on Friday.

 

While the parole board can already refuse parole for murderers, Ms Johnston said laws should be tightened to lock away child murderers and serious sex offenders indefinitely.

She said the Dangerous Prisoners Sexual Offenders Act (DPSOA), which under judicial review can indefinitely lock predators away, should be further strengthened to make it more difficult for them to be released.

Ms Johnston said child murderers should fit under similar legislation.

"The only way he should come out of there (jail) is in a box," Ms Johnston said.

"We need to strengthen the DPSOA legislation such that, unless there is a low-risk unanimously agreed by three independent psychologists, that person shouldn't be ­released."

Bravehearts’ Hetty Johnson believes law reform is needed to ensure child killers aren’t released back into the community. Picture: Jono Searle
Bravehearts’ Hetty Johnson believes law reform is needed to ensure child killers aren’t released back into the community. Picture: Jono Searle

 

High-profile lawyer Bill Potts said: "Why involve the court system when you have a properly constituted parole board, what extra value apart from expense does an extra layer of judicial oversight provide?"

Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty said foster care was an unknown area of the domestic violence sphere and many at-risk youths felt safer sleeping on the streets than in foster homes.

"If you are taking a child out of an unsafe situation it should be to place them in an environment that is completely safe, but often they are ending up in places that are far more dangerous," she said.


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