Wine cask murderer out of prison

THE Cape Barren cask wine killer has been released on parole after serving half of his 18-year-sentence.

Galvin Gordon Riley, then 37, shot and killed James Walley on January 10, 2005, on Cape Barren Island while drunk and on drugs.

The alcoholic murdered the father of one, who had only recently settled on the island, after he refused to give Riley his cask of wine.

An apparently infuriated Riley had left the victim's home returning with a gun, which he fired into Mr Walley's house.

Mr Walley went outside to reason with Riley, however, the gunman shot him with his .22 rifle from less than a metre away.

The bullet hit Mr Walley's arm and entered his head just below the ear, causing massive bleeding. He died in the Royal Hobart Hospital the following day.

Riley was found guilty by a jury and jailed for a maximum of 18 years by then Justice Ewan Crawford in 2006.

A subsequent appeal failed.

In his application for parole in March, Riley stated he wanted to live on Flinders Island, however, this was deemed unsuitable because of the lack of supervision available.

At the time Riley was a minimum security prisoner and had been on supervised release several times without incident.

He had committed no prison offences in the previous year.

In a decision published last week the Parole Board granted him parole, warning that if he began to abuse alcohol "he would pose some risk both to himself and to the community".

Riley was paroled to a property near New Norfolk.

The Police Association of Tasmania said the board had a tough job.

"The national spotlight is on all parole decisions involving violent offenders," union president Pat Allen said.

"The majority of offenders, serving long sentences, will face the Parole Board - that is the system.

"The Police Association supports the parole system, because inmates must have something to aim for.

"However, we are concerned at the lack of rehabilitation programs available for long-term prisoners and would support a review of the current system."

pbillings@examiner.com.au

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