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Notorious killer Kevin Crump to die behind bars
One of the country's most notorious killers, Kevin Crump, will die behind
bars after the High Court this morning rejected his latest bid to seek parole.
Crump, 63, was jailed for life with the recommendation he never be released for
murdering a cotton-picker Ian Lamb and abducting Virginia Morse from the family's
northwest NSW property in 1973. Crump and accomplice Allan Baker, 63, tortured the mother of three before shooting her.
In 1997, a judge redetermined Crump's sentence at 30 years, making him eligible for parole in 2003.
But new laws were passed in 2001 keeping him locked up until he dies.
Funded by Legal Aid through the Prisoners Legal Service, Crump argued in the
High Court that the 2001 laws were unconstitutional as they relate to him
because they stopped the parole board from hearing his application and he wanted that overturned.
The state government opposed his bid.
This morning the High Court unanimously threw out his appeal.
“Neither the substance nor the form of the 1997 Supreme Court
determination had created any right or entitlement for the plaintiff
to be released on parole,” the judges said.
'Obscene killer' launches parole bid
A convicted killer dubbed an "obscene animal" when he was jailed for life will ask the High Court to allow him to apply for parole today.
Kevin Crump's file was marked "never to be released" in 1974 when he was sentenced for conspiring to murder NSW mother of three Virginia Morse, whom
he tortured and raped, and murdering Ian Lamb.
Crump is now seeking to have an application for parole heard, after truth-in-sentencing laws passed in 1989 meant he was eligible for parole in November 2003.
The full bench of the High Court in Canberra will determine whether Crump may have a parole application considered.
Mrs Morse was kidnapped from her Collarenebri farmhouse in northern NSW and taken to Queensland bushland where she was repeatedly raped,
tortured and shot dead on November 7, 1973.
The details of her murder were so grisly they were suppressed.
In 2004, Crump's co-accused Allan Baker lost an appeal in the High Court to overturn a 1997 NSW Supreme
Court decision not to set him a minimum sentence under Section 13A of the Crimes Act.
Under that section, a prisoner must be dying or permanently incapacitated to be eligible for release.
In ordering Crump and Baker's files be marked "never to be released" in 1974, Justice Taylor said: "The description 'men' ill becomes you.
You would be more aptly described as animals and obscene animals at that."
Police investigator outraged by murderer's parole bid
Murderer- Kevin Crump
Killed- Virginia Morse
INVESTIGATORS were so disgusted by the admissions of murderers Kevin Crump and Allan Baker, who
had ravaged and killed Collarenebri housewife Virginia Morse, that one had to be restrained from shooting
the culprits, a former senior investigator has said.
The former police assistant commissioner Ross Nixon, 84, told the Herald it was only the "professionalism"
of NSW and Queensland detectives that the two were not shot, but even after nearly 40 years his blood boils.
He has spoken up because Crump, who like Baker had his papers marked "never to be released", has applied for parole and
his bid to have his application heard is to go before a High Court full bench.
Mr Nixon investigated the murders of an itinerant worker, Ian Lamb, and Mrs Morse by Crump and Baker in 1973.
He said: "Both were lucky to ever live to serve a life sentence, with the presiding judge Justice Taylor recommending they never be released.
We, the investigating detectives, were forced to listen to their murderous sexual boasting.
"Baker was very lucky to ever serve a life sentence as a now- deceased detective pulled his gun out to shoot him and was talked out of it.
They only lived because of the professionalism of the NSW and Queensland detectives investigating the murders. We would immediately have become
the hunted if they had been killed, say, 'trying to escape'."
Crump and Baker killed Mr Lamb at Narrabri on November 4, 1973. They shot him at least four times in the head. It soon emerged the pair
had killed Mr Lamb and that they had abducted Mrs Morse at her homestead, subjected her to atrocities and killed her in southern Queensland,
throwing her body into a billabong.
"They're two murderers, with the full protection of hundreds of years of criminal law - innocent until proven guilty -
[who] explained how they had carried out this barbaric murder [of Mrs Morse]," Mr Nixon said.
"It had a very deep effect on all of us and still has a negative effect on me over 30 years later."
Mr Nixon was handcuffed to Baker during parts of the investigation, though when a rumour circulated that someone might
try to shoot the two, he slipped off the handcuffs. "There was no way I wanted to be shot by a stray bullet fired at either Crump or Baker," he said.
They were tried for the murder of Mr Lamb and conspiracy to murder Mrs Morse. They were not tried for her murder because a trial in
Queensland would have been a waste of time and money. "It would be a travesty of justice if they were ever able to persuade a weak
parole board or government they are rehabilitated and could be released into the community," he said.
Mr Nixon was deputy director-general of NSW Corrective Services in 1989-91 but delegated decisions on them to others.
"I plead guilty to being very biased against both of them," Mr Nixon said.
Jailed killer challenges sentencing laws in quest for release after 38 years
High-profile case ... Kevin Crump is captured
High Court case has been years in preparation, writes Geesche Jacobsen.
HE HAS been called ''evil incarnate'' and his file stamped ''never to be released''.
But when Kevin Garry Crump was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1974 for planning the killing of Virginia Morse and murdering Ian Lamb, life did not mean life.
In 1997 his sentence was redetermined and he was given a term of 30 years for both crimes, which expired in November 2003.
The horrific kidnapping, rape and murder of the mother of three has been a high-profile case which has sparked much public debate and involvement from both sides of politics.
More than seven years after the end of his sentence Crump, 62, remains in jail because since he was arrested Parliament has changed the laws affecting his time in jail five times.
In a constitutional challenge filed earlier this month, Crump now seeks a ruling from the High Court that parts of three of the five new laws that prevent him from applying for parole are invalid.
Crump and his co-accused,
, were sentenced in NSW over the conspiracy to murder Mrs Morse, who lived on a farm near Collarenebri where Baker worked, but who was killed across the border in Queensland. The men had shot and robbed Mr Lamb, an itinerant farm worker who was asleep in his car, a week earlier.
Crump is also asking the High Court to rule that he be allowed to apply for parole and prove he is a changed man who can be safely released.
Under NSW laws, despite his 30-year sentence, he can apply for parole only if he is close to death or incapacitated and has shown he is no danger to the community.
He applied in late 2003 and was told he was not eligible because of these provisions.
Much of the legal argument centres on the original non-release recommendation. Crump is one of 10 prisoners in NSW who have had their files marked this way.
The others are Baker, three men sentenced over the murder of
and five convicted of the murder of
But Crump is the only one of the 10 who had his term redetermined under truth-in-sentencing legislation in place at the time.
Within weeks of his life term being replaced by the 30 year-sentence, Parliament enacted legislation to prevent the other men from having their sentences altered, even though at the time they were sentenced to life terms they had the possibility of release.
Crump's statement of claim filed with the High Court argues that Justice Peter McInerney, who gave Crump the 30-year sentence, ''effectively quashed, set aside or called into question the non-release recommendation'' of Crump's original sentence. At the time, Justice McInerney said Crump, then 47, was ''a different man from the man who committed these crimes''.
High Court challenges on other aspects of the laws aimed at the 10 men have failed.
Crump's case against the state of NSW and the State Parole Authority, which is understood to be legally complex, has been in preparation for years. It is hoped it might come before the High Court before the end of the year.
At Baker's last unsuccessful High Court bid, Mrs Morse's husband, Brian, spoke of his relief he had reached the end of the road that the two men would die in jail.
The Sdney Morning Herald (28-5-2011)
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