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20070330: Victoria's worst serial killer seeks parole Victoria Serial Killer News

VICTORIA'S worst serial killer is making a bid for freedom.

Paul Steven Haigh murdered seven people, including a nine-year-old boy he executed with three bullets to the head.

Jailed for life with no minimum term, he has asked the Supreme Court to set one so he can apply for parole.

His year-long reign of violence in the late 1970s saw six people shot dead or viciously stabbed.

Locking up the homicidal armed robber failed to stop the killing; Haigh claiming a seventh victim in his prison cell in 1991.

The former partner of Wayne Smith, Haigh's third victim, said yesterday anyone capable of such heinous crimes was unlikely to reform. "Susan", pregnant with Mr Smith's child when he was shot dead as he slept in 1979, said Haigh's deeds spoke for themselves.

"I can't see how someone like that can come out and live a normal life," she said.

The Sentencing Act says a non-parole period must be set by the court unless it considers that the offending is so serious a minimum term would be inappropriate.

Prisoners sentenced to the maximum term can apply for a minimum, and other lifers, including Frankston triple murderer Paul Charles Denyer, have made successful applications. But notorious sex fiend Raymond "Mr Stinky" Edmunds and Russell St bomber Stanley Taylor were refused.

Haigh, 49, appeared by video link yesterday from Port Phillip Prison, with Justice Betty King adjourning the case until next week pending psychiatric reports.

Susan said her son, despite the tough hand Haigh dealt by taking his father from him before he was born, had grown up a fine young man. She did not know of the Haigh court bid until contacted by the Herald Sun.

There were many people in the prison system who deserved a second chance, but Haigh was not one of them, she said.

"I'm not one to cast a stone. I know how easily people can fall into things, but what he did . . . ."

Haigh shot dead two strangers in separate armed robberies in 1978, the first two weeks after being paroled for a string of holdups. In 1979 he began killing people he believed knew too much about his crimes, including the shooting deaths of Mr Smith and Sheryle Gardner, the girlfriend of a former associate.

Her son Danny Mitchell, 9, sitting beside her in their car eating hamburgers, was murdered to stop him identifying his mother's killer.

Haigh saved his most brutal attack for his own girlfriend, Lisa Brearley, who he stabbed 157 times after allowing another man to rape her at knifepoint.

His last victim was a sex offender he "assisted" to commit suicide by placing a noose around his neck, kicking a cupboard out from under him then pushing down on his shoulders. A jury found him guilty of murder.

 


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