Child Killer Fights For Freedom From Jail
It's been 30 years since a NSW mum's baby girl was raped and murdered by a man she trusted, but the pain has never dulled.
"I'm still shaking", the victim's mother said outside court on Tuesday.
"It still haunts me, it's still unbelievable that that actually happened. She was my baby."
It was 1988 in the NSW Riverina town of Tumut, and the 20-month-old girl had been left with Douglas James Wade for just 20 minutes. It was enough time for him to do the unthinkable.
That baby would now be a 35-year-old woman.
Her killer believes he's served his time, and today Wade phoned in to a State Parole Authority sitting to make his fourth attempt at freedom. He was previously refused parole in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
It is once again being considered, but there are concerns about where he wants to live, with Wade's nominated parole address a remote property where tracking him could be difficult.
Two children live on the same property, and it is only 20 kilometres from Tumut where the little girl is buried.
"So if I want to go to the cemetery, what's the chances of being in town and maybe he's around?" her mother wonders.
After all, Tumut is a small place with only 6000 residents.
Howard Brown, the family's lawyer, has other concerns about whether Wade is fit for parole.
Prison Authorities put his risk of offending in the low to medium range.
"My view is that if they were to release Mr Wade now, they would in fact be setting him up to fail." Brown told 10 News First.
Figures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research show that there is an alarming rise in re-offending, with 41 percent of criminals at it again within a year of release.
That's a 15-year high.
Still, year-on-year an increasing number are being granted parole and a growing number are breaching it.
A snapshot from the State Parole Authority reveals that in 2017, 8308 prisoners were released on parole while 2859 had their parole revoked.
That compares to 2015, when 6598 release orders were granted and 2579 were revoked.
Brown laments "it is a flawed system."
Wade's parole case will be heard again on January 22. That at least gives his victim's family a small chance of a decent Christmas.