Thursday, April 25, 2024

NSW to introduce ‘no body, no parole’ law

Killers who refuse to provide the location of their victim’s remains will be refused parole under new “no body no parole” laws set to be introduced by the NSW Government.

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet said the government’s proposed Bill would mean offenders must co-operate with investigators and disclose the location of remains for any chance of release on parole.

“We will make it impossible for offenders who willfully and deliberately refuse to disclose information about their victim’s remains, to be granted parole,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Being unable to locate a loved one’s body is extremely distressing and traumatic for the families and friends of victims and it denies a victim the dignity of being laid to rest appropriately.

“These laws are to stop inmates convicted of murder or homicide offences from getting parole unless they co-operate with police to end the torment of families and return to them the remains of their loved ones.”

Members of murder victim, Lynette Dawson’s family outside the NSW Supreme Court following the conviction of Chris Dawson.

Today’s announcement from the government follows last month’s conviction of former Sydney teacher, Chris Dawson, 74, for his wife’s murder in 1982.

The body of Lynette Dawson, who was 33 when she disappeared from the couple’s Sydney home has never been found.

Mr Dawson is set to appeal against the conviction.

The proposed reform will mean the State Parole Authority (SPA) must not grant parole unless it concludes the offender has cooperated satisfactorily in identifying the victim’s location.

Under the reforms, the SPA must rely on written advice from the Commissioner of NSW Police Force and other relevant information to determine whether the offender has co-operated satisfactorily to identify a victim’s location.

Corrections Minister, Geoff Lee said the reforms are modelled on laws in other jurisdictions and would apply to all current and future inmates in NSW to capture convicted offenders who have not yet been considered for parole.

“Any offender in prison coming up for parole should really think hard about maintaining their refusal to cooperate with police if they want to retain their prospects of getting parole,” Dr Lee said.

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