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Convicted killer Nathan Avent released
A convicted child killer has been quietly released back into the community.
Nathan Avent, who murdered a 10-year-old boy with a tomahawk in 1994, was released from a Victorian prison on June 4 last year after serving his minimum sentence of 18 years.
Avent's sentencing was televised in an Australian-first when Justice Bernard Teague allowed cameras into his courtroom.
Avent, then 23, killed the boy, known only as "Steven", and sexually assaulted and tried to strangle the victim's mother on July 11, 1994.
The boy was playing quietly with a game on the floor of the Salvation Army-run home in Melton where he lived with his mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when Avent struck him from behind with the axe.
Avent, then of Hoppers Crossing, had tricked his way into the house to commit his crimes.
He had done some landscaping at the house and Steven's mother had no reason to fear him when he arrived saying he wanted to look at the backyard.
After he murdered the boy, the court heard Avent washed the blood off the axe and his hands and threatened the mother with a knife and sexually assaulted her.
The mother had been in the shower at the time Avent butchered her son.
The son of Salvation Army officers, Avent was unemployed and his then 19-year-old wife was pregnant when he committed his brutal crimes.
Adult Parole Board general manager David Provan told Leader Newspapers that Avent was subject to a strict supervision regime and was closely monitored by Corrections Victoria.
"After a thorough assessment, the board ordered that Mr Avent be released from custody on parole from June 4, 2012," he said.
Under Avent's parole conditions he must tell a community corrections officer of any change in address or employment within 48 hours of the change and not leave the state without written permission of a Corrections Victoria manager.
Avent's residential address would not be made public but victims of crime could register to be kept informed about parole matters concerning an offender, Mr Provan said.
Avent was first sentenced to life with a minimum of 21 years by Justice Teague but then appeared before the Court of Appeal and his sentence was varied on December 22, 1995 to 25 years with a non-parole period of 18 years.
The period of 529 days pre-sentence detention Avent had already served was part of the revised sentence.
Avent claimed he was given a harsher sentence because of media attention on his crime and the presence of a TV camera in the court.
Avent told detectives that on the morning of the murder, he "started thinking that today I would try to kill somebody".
In the days before the crime, Avent had watched violent films.
He had gone to the house armed with a killing kit including the tomahawk, rope, masking tape and knives.
The court heard that Avent told detectives he thought that "stuff in movies" might have fuelled his murderous fantasies.
It is not known if Avent has contact with the child his then-wife was expecting, who would now be a teen.
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