Teen killer freed after gruesome murder of man in bush
AFTER spending nearly 20 years in prison, a teen murderer has been released on parole - two decades after taking part in a "frenzy of savagery" on a remote bush track near Launceston.
The man, who cannot be named as he was 17 at the time, helped Leigh James Butwell and Michael Adam Thompson lure Paul "Joey" Jarman to a remote bush track near Mt Direction in March 2000 before they killed him with a pickaxe handle, shovel and knife.
The Parole Board of Tasmania released the man from Risdon Prison on March 18 - with less than a year remaining on his 20-year sentence - noting he was "highly institutionalised having spent the whole of his adult life in prison".
When the trio was jailed, Supreme Court judge Peter Underwood said Thompson was motivated by jealousy, starting a relationship with Mr Jarman's girlfriend the night after the murder.
The board noted Justice Underwood's comments that the youth wasn't the instigator of the attack, but became a "willing participant" as the trio caused "horrific injury" to Mr Jarman's head and body.
The man first became eligible to apply for parole almost 10 years ago - in December 2010 - but his previous attempts were adjourned for several reasons including a lack of suitable accommodation.
The board said the man had a "lengthy internal offending history" related to discipline and behaviour, including swearing at correctional staff.
"It is notable however that the applicant's internal offending has significantly reduced in the latter part of his sentence, and case notes reflect no internal offences since mid-2017," the decision said.
"The applicant has engaged in educational opportunities to improve literacy and numeracy throughout his period of incarceration, in addition to speech therapy for a period."
The man has more recently achieved a minimum-security rating in jail and been internally employed as a carer, also completing a number of anger management and nonviolent communication courses.
"Given the significant time the applicant has spent in prison, the board is of the view the applicant needs to be supported in re-integration into the community," it said.
Butwell was paroled in 2016 after he and Thompson were each jailed for 25 years with non-parole periods of 16 years.
Originally published as Teen killer freed 20 years after gruesome Tassie bush murder