NSW Campaign

The NSW Campaign was launched with Eileen’s speech at the March4Justice on 15 March 2021 in which she called for law reform.

March 4 Justice 2021

Eileen Culleton speaking at March 4 Justice Mullumbimby Event. Photo Jeff Dawson, The Echo

Eileen spoke at the March 4 Justice Mullumbimby Event on 15 March 2021. She called for national law reform for murder with sexual assault to be made a separate offence carrying a mandatory life sentence with no parole.

Here is the video of the speech:

See this blog post for the speech transcript.

Eileen’s speech at the march and the law reform campaign was covered by NBN News as well as the local newspapers The Echo, The Northern Star and Byron Shire News and statewide through The Daily Telegraph. All media stories included links to the petition Life For Rapist Murderers.

The Echo 16 March 2021 p1 Read more >>
Northern Star 18 March 2021 Read more >>

Eileen also spoke after the march to Northern Star reporter Liana Boss:

Northern Star 18 March 2021 Watch now >>

The campaign received state coverage through the The Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph 18 March 2021 Read more >>

NSW Murder and Manslaughter Sentencing Review

The law reform campaign was further profiled in media covering the NSW Murder and Manslaughter Sentencing Review and the pending report, and statements from the Attorney General Mark Speakman that he would look at mandatory non-parole sentences for murderers.

Eileen Culleton speaks at March 4 Justice Mullumbimby
Daily Telegraph 28 March 2021 Read more >>

The NSW Murder and Manslaughter Sentencing Review was called by the NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman in 2018 in response to the fact that sentences for murder in NSW are not consistent with community expectations, in the context of a national crisis of violence against women.

We have a national crisis of violence against women – both sexual violence and domestic violence. One in five women are sexually assaulted and one woman a week is murdered.

The government has a number of levers to address violence against women and strong sentencing is a critical lever in the prevention of these murders, hence why this review was called.

They called for submissions from the community including family members of murdered victims.

Eileen made submissions to the NSW Murder and Manslaughter Sentencing Review in 2019 and 2020 in which she called for murder with sexual assault to be made a stand alone crime carrying a mandatory life sentence with no parole.

She made a 29 page Preliminary Submission on 8 March 2019 to inform the consultation paper and a 39 page Submission on 7 February 2020 in response to the consultation paper.

She called for murder with sexual assault to be made a stand alone crime to reflect its gravity and to enable specific sentencing. For example to create a 19C (Mandatory Life Sentences for murder with sexual assault).

This would bring the crime of murder with sexual assault in line with 19B (Mandatory Life Sentences for murder of police officers). The intention behind the mandatory life sentence without parole for the murder of police officers was to provide an effective deterrent against the murder of police officers.

Based on this rationale, a life sentence for murder with sexual assault will also provide an effective deterrent against the rape and murder of women and children.

And it is the only way to guarantee the rapist murderer won’t repeat his crime.

In her submission Eileen also called for life sentencing with no parole for domestic violence murders of women.

The NSW Sentencing Council Report

However, disappointingly, in May 2021, the NSW Sentencing Council ignored the national crisis of murders of women in its murder sentencing report by refusing to strengthen murder sentences.

The report paid ‘lip service to the national crisis of murders of women’ and ‘lip service to victim families’ but kept the status quo.

To add insult to injury, the NSW Sentencing Council report did not even pay the respect of answering victim arguments in its report including from Tess Knight, the mother of 9 year old Samantha Knight who was sexually assaulted and killed by notorious child rapist Michael Guider.

Ms Knight also made a submission calling for life sentencing without parole for rapist murderers including child rapist murderers. Yet Ms Knight’s submission was treated with the same dismissive attitude that Eileen’s was. Her arguments were not addressed.

It is disingenuous for the NSW Sentencing Council to invite victims to make submissions only to arbitrarily dismiss their views.

Equally disappointingly, despite his previous statements, the Attorney General Mark Speakman has taken no action in strengthening murder sentencing laws for murders of women or children. Not for murders with sexual assault of women or children or for domestic violence.murders.

For further information on Eileen’s submission to the NSW Murder and Manslaughter Sentencing Review and her response to the report please see the blog post.

Eileen encourages people in NSW who want to see this important law reform of murder with sexual assault being made a stand alone crime, carrying a life sentence with no parole, to sign the petition Life For Rapist Murderers and share it.

And also write to NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and ask him to consider this reform at Email: cronulla@parliament.nsw.gov.au

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman’s contact details:

Address: Suite 203, 30 Kingsway, Cronulla (entry via Croydon Street)

Phone: (02) 9527 1477

Fax: (02) 9527 4180

Mail: PO Box 125, Cronulla, 2230

Email: cronulla@parliament.nsw.gov.au