Freedom for murderer possible

A MURDERER who received a life sentence for gunning down a man outside an East Devonport hotel 32 years ago could be released from prison in two weeks.

Leigh David Jeffrey shot 40-year-old Graham Allan Ivory four times to the chest outside the Edgewater Motor Inn on August 15, 1980.

Jeffrey had quibbled with Mr Ivory over 60 change before leaving the bar and returning, wearing a mask and carrying a .22 semi-automatic rifle.

Mr Ivory was found alive by his brother, Brian, but died on the way to hospital.

Jeffrey turned himself into police after six days on the run and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981.

At the Supreme Court in Hobart this week, Justice Evans changed that sentence to 24 years.

That means that once the 14-day appeal period has passed, if no appeal is lodged, he will be free to go.

Jeffrey is now 67. 

He was paroled in 1991, but that was revoked.

He applied to be resentenced under Tasmania's life prisoners and dangerous criminals laws.

In resentencing, Justice Evans said there was little that could be said to explain Jeffrey's actions on the night of the murder.

``Fuelled by alcohol, the applicant committed an utterly mindless and appalling crime,'' Justice Evans said.