Serial killer Paul Denyer will never be eligible to apply for parole under proposed government-backed Victorian law changes.
Denyer pleaded guilty to stabbing and strangling Elizabeth Stevens, 18, Debbie Fream, 22, and Natalie Russell, 17, over a seven-week period in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Frankston in 1993.
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He was sentenced to life in jail with no parole, but that was reduced on appeal in 1994 to a non-parole period of 30 years.
The state government has been drafting changes to parole laws despite Denyer’s parole application being knocked back by the Adult Parole Board in May.
Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes on Tuesday announced a reform package would ban serial killers and child murderers from applying for parole for up to 10 years after serving their non-parole period.
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Under the legislation, murderers, child killers and serious sexual offenders could be classified as restricted prisoners by the parole board.
It would effectively block those prisoners from making a parole application for five years after their non-parole period.
Other restricted prisoners could be stopped from applying for parole for 10 years if it is deemed in the public interest.
The bill specifically states Denyer cannot be released from prison unless he is physically incapacitated or terminally ill, as previously done for Hoddle St shooter Julian Knight and Russell Street bomber Craig Minogue.
“The family and friends of Natalie Russell, Debbie Fream and Elizabeth Stevens continue to suffer and grieve,” Symes said.
“These changes can’t heal their pain, but they can provide the certainty he won’t hurt another woman again.”
Paul Denyer will never be eligible to apply for parole under proposed government-backed Victorian law changes. Credit: 7NEWS
The changes come after new advice from the solicitor-general, she said.
A coalition-backed bill with similar language was put to an upper house vote in June but Labor, the Greens and Legalise Cannabis MPs teamed up to defeat it.
Opposition corrections spokesman Brad Battin welcomed the change of heart in naming Denyer but said the government could have spared the families months of pain and anguish.
“They’ve had enough,” he said.
At the time, Symes said the government’s proposed reforms were preferable to “one-man legislation”, avoiding the possibility of Denyer following the lead of Knight and Minogue in launching a High Court challenge.
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