Disgraceful: Quakers Hill nursing home fire nurse appeals life sentences

It could have been your mother, father or relative… what Roger Dean did was unforgivable, but it seems he doesn’t feel that way – he’s appealed his sentences.

The disturbing and achingly horrible 2011 Quakers Hill nursing home fire was no accident… it was deliberately lit and started by Roger Dean.

He plead guilty to 11 counts of murder and eight counts of causing grievous bodily harm, but is now appealing those charges, much to the shock and upset of family members of the victims.

“The tension, the stress is so great, just because he wants what he wants, no consideration for the victims and the families,” Elly Valkay said. Her mother Neeltje was one of the victims.

ABC reports Senior Counsel Tim Game said sentencing judge Megan Latham had referred to his client knowing there was a “probability” people would die or that this was “the probable result”.

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Mr Game said Justice Latham was “overstating” what happened and had engaged in unsound reasoning.

And he knows this sounds absurd to the layman, but apparently “being finicky about language in this context is essential”.

Barrister for the Crown, Maria Cinque said the sentence imposed was neither unreasonable, nor unjustified – two of the victims were “literally incinerated in their beds”.

The needless and senseless loss of lives was to cover up Dean’s theft of medication from the nursing home, causing enormous distress throughout the wider community. Many of us know someone in care and know the trust we place in those nurses to assist our loved ones.

Dean lit the fires to cover up his theft of medication from the facility.

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He lit two separate fires in beds while firefighters were fighting the initial blaze.


The appeal judges are expected to make their decision at a later date, but in the meantime we have to wonder just how callous this man was, and how the victims’ families must be feeling to have the nightmares of that day brought up again.


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