Notorious police killer walks from jail a free man

Triple murderer Berwyn Rees has been released from Silverwater Jail, becoming one of the most heavily monitored parolees in the state.

Rees walked free today after serving 27 years behind bars and will be afforded similar conditions as a high-risk terrorism offender.

He was jailed in 1981 for the shooting deaths of Bondi gun shop manager Raymond James and customer Christopher Greenfield in 1977 as well as the murder of policeman Sergeant Keith Haydon three years later.

Rees, now 69, executed Mr James and Mr Greenfield after telling them to lie facedown on the ground before shooting them each once in the back of the head.

Berwyn Rees is released from Silverwater prison early today. Picture: John Grainger
Berwyn Rees is released from Silverwater prison early today. Picture: John Grainger

 

Sgt Haydon was killed in 1980 after he and another officer were investigating the sounds of gun shots in the bush. The other officer survived.

The Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin has used rare legislation to add to the conditions put in place around Rees by the State Parole Authority.

The legislation was introduced in 2006 for child killer John Lewthwaite and has not been used since, and allows the commissioner to direct Rees be subject to electronic monitoring 24 hours a day so his every move can be tracked.

Berwyn Rees was convicted of three murders, including that of a policeman.
Berwyn Rees was convicted of three murders, including that of a policeman.

This was not a condition of his parole when it was granted by the State Parole Authority in August this year.

Rees is also banned from entering eight local government areas, and will have to submit a weekly schedule of proposed activities to his parole officer.

As he will be on parole for the rest of his life, these conditions will remain in place until he dies.

If the State Parole Authority deems that Rees breaches the conditions, he will return to jail.

Sergeant Keith Haydon, 37, was killed by Rees in 1980.
Sergeant Keith Haydon, 37, was killed by Rees in 1980.

Police Minister David Elliott said earlier this month Rees should die in jail and the decision to grant him parole was wrong.

"This man committed a mongrel act and deserves to pay for it," he said.

"I think when someone who murdered a police officer in such cold blood he should have been given life imprisonment, he should have died in prison."

Mr James' daughter, Tracey, claimed the justice system was broken.

"This just proved how broken our system is. To let out a triple murderer by saying he has been so good in jail well whoop dee doo - it is wrong," she said earlier this month.



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