Eileen Culleton at the March 4 Justice event in Mullumbimby on Monday, March 15, 2021. Picture: Liana Boss
Eileen Culleton at the March 4 Justice event in Mullumbimby on Monday, March 15, 2021. Picture: Liana Boss

Sister of murder victim calls for sentencing law reform

The sister of a murdered rape victim was among the women who shared moving stories at the Mullumbimby event as part of the March 4 Justice movement.

Eileen Culleton spoke at Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall to call for justice for her sister, Anne-Marie Culleton, on Monday.

Anne-Marie was 20 years old when Jonathan Peter Bakewell, then aged 26, broke into her Darwin flat while she was sleeping in early 1988.

The following year he was sentenced to life in prison but he was released on parole in 2016 after he spent 28 years behind bars.

He has breached his parole conditions four times since then.

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Ms Culleton has called for mandatory life sentences for people who commit murder with sexual violence.

Her petition has so far attracted more than 4700 signatures.

"I am calling on the Prime Minister to step up and show leadership and call for this national law reform," Eileen Culleton said.

She said Attorney-General Christian Porter dismissed her petition request to him to

put the law reform on the national agenda of the next Council of Attorney-General's meeting with the state AGs.

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"Disappointingly Christian Porter dismissed my petition saying it is a matter for the states," she said.

"Yet he had the power to set the agenda.

"And he had the mandate to do that because Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the 2018 committee report called for national law reform to address this national crisis of violence against women.

Eileen Culleton at the March 4 Justice event in Mullumbimby on Monday, March 15, 2021. Picture: Liana Boss
Eileen Culleton at the March 4 Justice event in Mullumbimby on Monday, March 15, 2021. Picture: Liana Boss

"Women have had enough of the federal government's dismissive attitude to sexual assault crimes.

"So now I'm calling on the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to step up and show leadership.

"Life sentencing for murder with sexual assault is the strongest message Australia can send that we have a zero tolerance for rape crimes.

"Rape is a gender hate crime perpetrated against women.

"The crime of rape and murder is an intentional hate crime of the most heinous kind.

"My petition calls for mandatory life sentencing with no parole for rapist murderers because they should never get a second chance to repeat their crime."

Ms Culleton said she was calling for a new offence of"murder with sexual violence" to be created and to attract a mandatory life sentence.

She launched her petition on November 25 last year, the International Day for the

Elimination of Violence Against Women.

See the petition here.



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