Julian Knight, Victoria’s worst mass murderer, will remain behind bars until he is dead or so ill he will pose no risk to others under a new law created just for him.
The Hoddle Street murderer, who was sentenced to life in prison with a 27-year non-parole period, is eligible for parole in May.
But the government has stepped in and unveiled a new law to be introduced into parliament on Tuesday, severely restricting the circumstances in which the Adult Parole Board can grant Knight parole.
Premier Denis Napthine says the law will apply solely to Knight, who has failed to show any remorse for murdering seven people and injuring 19 others during a shooting rampage in 1987.
‘‘This is guaranteeing that he remains in jail until he’s dead or so seriously incapacitated he’s no risk to other people in Victoria or indeed in the community,’’ Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine admitted the legislation, which will name Knight, is unusual but was warranted in the circumstances.
He said his government’s toughening of parole laws would have made it ‘‘extremely unlikely’’ Knight would’ve received consideration for parole, but the government wanted certainty.
‘‘To create certainty for victim’s families, for those traumatised by the Hoddle Street massacre, for those Victorians who want a safer Victoria, we wanted the certainty to ensure Mr Knight remained behind bars,’’ he said.
Dr Napthine said Knight, who is in maximum security jail, had been a difficult prisoner and declared a vexatious litigant.‘‘He has a history of issues in prison which shows he has no respect for the health, safety and well being of his fellow man,’’ he said.
Peter Butts, one of the first police officers to respond to the Hoddle Street massacre, said there would be wide support for the new law.
‘‘Certainly the comments that I’ve heard this morning from the Premier and others would be well and truly endorsed,’’ Mr Butts told radio station 3AW.
‘‘I genuinely believe it’s a huge win for the community at large, particularly if this legislation is passed.’’
Knight has been declared a vexatious litigant after many court appearances relating to his parole and other matters.
Just last month the 45-year-old was alleged to have been involved in a prison assault that left another inmate in hospital with a broken jaw.