One of Tasmania's most notorious killers is reportedly set to be freed after already having breached parole previously, sparking outrage from a victims of crime support group.
Before being paroled in 2018, Jamie John Curtis, now in his 60s, had been serving a life sentence with a non-parole period of 30 years following a 1986 murder conviction.
Together with an accomplice, Curtis broke into the home of a young Glenorchy couple in February that year, raping the woman and torturing both she and her partner. Curtis and his accomplice then abducted the pair, driving them to Gretna in the Derwent Valley, where they murdered the man.
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Curtis was also convicted of abduction, aggravated burglary, four counts of causing grievous bodily harm, nine counts of Criminal Code assault, three counts of indecent assault, six counts of rape, one count of escape and two counts of burglary.
The ABC reported on Friday that Curtis had been granted parole, despite the fact he was promptly sent back to jail after being paroled two-and-a-half years ago.
Victim of Crime Support Group president Jim Franke questioned why the state's Parole Board - an independent statutory body - had chosen to release Curtis again.
"I, along with a lot of people, thought that if there was a dangerous repeat offender and he reoffended on parole, he would actually serve the remainder of his time for that crime plus whatever else he's done," Mr Franke said. "But that's simply not the case."
"There needs to be a consistent way the Parole Board works.
"Do they believe that if a person commits a violent crime as this [man] did, does he have the right to then be paroled again? I think if he's been paroled once and he hasn't learnt his lesson, then why should he be given a second chance?
"I thought that was what the parole system was all about."
When sentencing Curtis, former chief justice William Cox said his conduct "beggars description" and involved a "sustained course of brutal abduction, assault, sexual abuse and ultimately murder in the vain hope of escaping detection".
"[In] the scale of seriousness of criminal conduct culminating in murder, this case ranks amongst the worst one is likely to encounter," he said.
Prisoners Legal Service chair Greg Barns, SC, said on Saturday that the decision to release Curtis took into account all factors concerning his risk of reoffending, as well as the nature of the crimes he committed.
"While he was released earlier and breached parole, the breaches were not of such a nature that he ought to be prohibited from being granted parole again," Mr Barns said.
[In] the scale of seriousness of criminal conduct culminating in murder, this case ranks amongst the worst one is likely to encounter.William Cox, former Tasmanian chief justice
"You are much better off with reintegrating individuals into the community subject to supervision - that is, parole - than allowing them to simply serve out their full term and, of course, then be released into the community without any supervision.
"Criticism of the Parole Board is misplaced because, if anything, our view is that the Parole Board is often too conservative in assessing risk."
A state government spokesperson said it was "a longstanding practice" for the government not to comment on "individual cases".
"The government will always stand up for the rights of victims of crime, and we are committed to keeping our communities safe and protecting victims and survivors of crime," the spokesperson said.
The Parole Board has been contacted for comment.
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