Kevin Crump appeals life sentence

CAPTURED IN WOODVILLE: Kevin Crump was convicted of the murder of Ian Lamb and conspiracy to murder Virginia Morse.
CAPTURED IN WOODVILLE: Kevin Crump was convicted of the murder of Ian Lamb and conspiracy to murder Virginia Morse.

With his oversized spectacles, balding head and stubby hands, Kevin Crump, 66, bore little resemblance to someone described by former premier Bob Carr as “evil incarnate”.

Crump is one of the state’s current longest-serving prisoners, having been in jail for more than 42 years for the callous rape, torture and murder of housewife Virginia Morse, 35, and shooting murder of itinerant worker Ian Lamb, 43, in 1973.

He was arrested at Woodville.

Appearing via video-link in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday, Crump pleaded for another chance to appeal against his life sentence.

He said he was representing himself in court because he was unable to get Legal Aid assistance.

Justice Peter McInerney said expert psychiatric reports found he was largely rehab­ilitated and would not be a danger if released.

Crown Advocate Natalie Adams, SC, opposed Crump’s application.

The court told Crump to expect a judgment in two to three weeks.

Nine others - the men who killed Anita Cobby and Janine Balding - are virtually never released on parole.

In introducing the laws, Mr Carr said the changes would “cement them to their cells”.

In 2012, Crump lost a High Court challenge to the laws, meaning he will remain behind bars until he is so physically incapacitated or close to death that he poses no risk to the community.

As a result, he remains in Wellington Correctional Centre in protective custody despite becoming eligible for parole almost 12 years ago.

Appearing via video-link in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal on Wednesday, Crump pleaded for another chance to appeal against his life sentence.

He said he was representing himself in court because he was unable to get Legal Aid assistance and apologised several times for “not having me paperwork in order”.

He told Justices Anthony Meagher, Geoffrey Bellew and Stephen Rothman: “I believe the sentence I received is over the limit of what I should have received.

“I believe that I should never have received a life sentence because it was not in the worst category of murder cases.”

Crown Advocate Natalie Adams, SC, opposed Crump’s application.

Ms Adams said that, even if Crump won the right to be re-sentenced, the only available sentence for him was life imprisonment because he was part of a small group of prisoners recommended to die in jail under the old, pre-1990 system.

Crump and Baker killed Mr Lamb at Narrabri on November 4, 1973, by shooting him four times to the head. Soon after, they abducted Mrs Morse, a mother of three, at her homestead, subjected her to 22 hours of atrocities including sexual assault, before shooting her once they were across the border in southern Queensland. They threw her body into a billabong.

Crump was convicted of conspiracy to murder Mrs Morse in NSW and in theory could still be tried in Queensland for her murder, although that is unlikely to eventuate.

The court reserved its decision and told Crump to expect a judgment in two to three weeks.

Comments