Eileen Culleton

Homicide victim advocate Eileen Culleton with a photo of her sister Anne-Marie

Homicide victim advocate Eileen Culleton is calling for national law reform for mandatory life sentencing without parole for the crime of rape and murder.

She is also calling for rape and murder to be a stand alone crime to reflect the gravity of the crime and to enable specific mandatory sentencing.

See Law Reform Campaign

See Petition

Rape and Murder Victim Anne-Marie Culleton

Eileen’s sister Anne-Marie Culleton was raped and murdered on 23 February 1988 in Darwin by Jonathan Peter Bakewell, 26, who broke into her flat in the middle of the night when she was sleeping.

Anne-Marie Culleton murdered in 1988
Anne-Marie Culleton murdered in her flat in Darwin in 1988. She was only 20.

Anne-Marie was only 20 when her life was brutally cut short. In the last few weeks of Anne-Marie’s life she had reached a turning point of independence. She had a job, a car, and five weeks prior, she had moved out of home into her first flat. She had hopes and dreams that she was excited about.

Anne-Marie was a beautiful, talented young woman with a bright future ahead of her. With dreams she never got to realise. 

Rapist murderer Jonathan Bakewell

26 year old Jonathan Bakewell broke down Anne-Marie Culleton’s back door to attack her in her bed. Bakewell had breached parole in South Australia and was on the run travelling through NSW and QLD before arriving in the NT where he murdered Anne-Marie Culleton.

Jonathan Bakewell after his arrest
1988 Convicted killer rapist Jonathan Bakewell escorted from a plane at Darwin Airport after his arrest. Picture courtesy Adelaide Advertiser

Despite being given a life sentence with no parole, Bakewell was granted parole after law changes in the Northern Territory to give non parole periods to life sentence prisoners.

Since his release in 2016 in South Australia (where he was transferred while in prison), Bakewell repeatedly breached parole for drug taking, the same drugs he took when he raped and murdered Anne-Marie. Yet the Parole Board kept releasing him.

Finally after his 6th arrest for a drug breach, the Parole Board cancelled his parole on 26 October 2021, the day before Anne-Marie’s birthday.

However the fight is still going. Three months after his parole was cancelled, Bakewell appeared before the Supreme Court to apply for a new non-parole period. 

Eileen fought this and faced Bakewell for the first time in 34 years, appearing before the Supreme Court to read out her victim impact statement. She also pleaded with the Chief Justice to refuse to grant Bakewell a new non-parole period for the safety of women.

However Chief Justice Chris Kourakis ignored her pleas and on 21 April 2022, he granted Bakewell a nonparole period of 6 months backdated to the date his parole was cancelled. Bakewell applied for parole the following week.

Bakewell’s parole hearing is scheduled for August. Eileen is once again fighting for Bakewell’s parole application to be refused, for the safety of women in the community.


Background to Eileen’s  campaign for Bakewell’s parole to be cancelled after repeated drug breaches

Eileen mounted a two and a half year campaign in 2019 calling for Bakewell’s parole to be cancelled after he repeatedly breached parole for taking drugs – the same drugs he took the night he raped and murdered Anne-Marie Culleton. 

Eileen’s campaign was finally successful when on 26 October 2021 the South Australia Parole Board finally cancelled Bakewell’s parole after he was arrested for his sixth drug breach.

In March 2019 Eileen first appealed to the politicians, writing to the former South Australian Premier Stephen Marshall, former Attorney General Vicki Chapman and former Police and Correctional Services Minister, Corey Wingard calling for urgent action.

In the meantime Bakewell breached parole for the fourth time for taking drugs and in April 2019 he was sent back to custody pending a hearing.

When her letters to the politicians were dismissed, with Bakewell’s parole hearing scheduled for June 2019,  Eileen spoke to the media for the first time in 31 years.

She spoke first to the Sunday Mail:

Sunday Mail 16 June 2019 p9

She then spoke to the radio, FiveAA Breakfast presenters David Penberthy and Will Goodings:

Radio Interview Fiveaa 17 June 2019. To listen follow this link

In July 2019 Eileen also contacted the SA Opposition and they asked questions in the SA Parliament of then Premier Marshall.

Bakewell’s parole hearing was deferred to October. In the meantime Eileen was contacted by members of the public who had come into contact with him and were alarmed at his behaviours and had written to the parole board calling for his parole to be revoked. Eileen made a 53 page submission to the parole board which she copied to the politicians and others, calling for the revocation of Bakewell’s parole and for an urgent review of the SA parole board.

In October 2019 Eileen mounted another media campaign, speaking on the TV news for the first time.

7NEWS 17 October 2019 Watch Now >>

Unfortunately Eileen’s initial campaign was not successful, her urgent pleas fell on deaf ears and Bakewell was released for the fifth time on 18 October 2019.

9 NEWS 18 October 2019 Watch Now >>

Yet Eileen did not give up and was fortified by new information she received from the community during her campaign that reinforced her belief that Bakewell is as dangerous today as the day he raped and murdered Anne-Marie Culleton.

In May 2021 Bakewell was arrested again over a 5th potential drug breach, and while in custody tested positive for cannabis, which he tried to blame on passive smoking from his cellmate. 

ABC 5 May 2021

Shockingly the SA Parole Board once again gave Bakewell the benefit of the doubt and he was once again released back into the community.

There was strong media backlash once again.

Eileen called once again for an urgent review and overhaul of the SA Parole Board and for increased transparency and accountability for parole board decisions.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Advertiser-article-13-June-2021-p9.png
The Advertiser 13 June 2021 p9

Eileen’s history advocating for community safety

Eileen has a history of advocating for community safety locally and globally.

She was the Founder and CEO of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki, a not for profit global resource for using social media and new technologies in emergencies. Eileen galvanised the Government 2.0 in Queensland Community of Practice to form a collaboration, knowledge sharing and crowdsourcing Emergency 2.0 Wiki community.

This extended across Australia and across the globe, encompassing professionals from the private, government, and community sectors and forming alliances with organisations such as the Business Continuity Institute of Australasia and global NGOs Virtual Operations Support Group (VOSG) and Humanity Road. The Wiki also supported the European Union Program West Yorkshire Police Athena Project to empower citizens and protect communities.

Driving policy change

As CEO of the Emergency 2.0 Wiki Eileen helped drive policy change globally to accelerate government use of social media in disasters.

Eileen advocated to ensure the United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015:2030 – the global blueprint to build the world’s resilience to disasters – incorporated social media1,2

Her advocasy involved presenting at IDRC 2014, a disaster risk conference organised by the Global Risk Forum in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) to inform the new Framework. Her presentation was sponsored by the Attorney-General’s Department Emergency Management Australia. As well as the presentation, Eileen made a Red Chair Statement and submitted a research paper. 3 The Emergency 2.0 Wiki was decommissioned in 2018.

  1. http://web.archive.org/web/20170202203356/http://emergency20wiki.org/20150325/new-un-global-framework-for-disaster-risk-reduction-contains-social-media
  2. https://www.preventionweb.net/files/43291_sendaiframeworkfordrren.pdf
  3. https://planet-risk.org/index.php/pr/article/view/175/348