Russell Street bomber Craig Minogue could spend the remainder of his life behind bars if new laws drawn up by the state government to deny him parole are passed.
The Bill, which specifically targets offenders convicted of killing police officers, was introduced in Victorian parliament on Tuesday by Premier Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government.
The amendments to the Corrections Act 1986 name Craig Minogue and would see the convicted murderer, 56, die behind bars if passed into law. The legislation would also grant the Adult Parole Board the power to deny release to anyone who is serving time for killing a cop.
Minogue was jailed for life in 1988, with a 28 year non-parole period, for the murder of Constable Angela Taylor, after he detonated a car bomb outside of the Russell Street police headquarters, in Melbourne, in March 1986. Taylor became the first Australian policewoman to die in the line of duty when she passed away the day after the blast, and a further 22 people were injured in the attack.
In July 1988, Minogue killed fellow inmate Alex Tsakmakis, 40, in prison, after he bludgeoned him over the head with a pillow case filled with five kilogram gym weights, causing brain damage and a fractured skull.
“This legislation names Craig Minogue to make sure he remains behind bars – upholding the intent of the parliament and ensuring our laws reflect community expectations,” Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney said. “Victorians can have complete certainty that Minogue, or any other person who murders a police officer is locked behind bars and fully serves their prison sentence.”
Under the changes, the board would decide whether a prisoner knew, or was reckless as to whether the deceased victim was a police officer. They would also have access to a broader range of materials to determine the prisoner’s state of mind, rather than just the sentencing remarks.
Minister for Police, Lisa Neville said: “Our police work tirelessly to keep the community safe – this legislation puts beyond any doubt that if you kill a police officer in this state, you will not get parole. While it will never bring Angela Taylor back, this legislation will provide some relief to her family that the person who killed their daughter will never receive parole”.
Earlier this year Minogue won a High Court appeal against an Andrews Government law that was designed to deny parole to anyone that had killed a police officer.
Despite constable Angela Taylor being killed in the 1986 attack on the police headquarters, the court found that he had not deliberately set out to kill police.
On Monday, state cabinet agreed to introduce new laws to parliament that specifically name Minogue.