Why we need action on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 Days of Activism

Life for Rapist Murderers Petition change.og https://chng.it/rb962wpw4v

This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and #16Days of Activism (25 November to 10 December) is for action and people uniting together for activism, because it is only when the people unite and act that change can happen.

And change must happen because another parolee rapist murderer has killed again, 7 years after release on parole. And his first victim’s father committed suicide three days after hearing the news. This is why we need to join together to call for law reform for rapist murderers to receive a life sentence with no parole.

In 1994 Paul Russell Wilson (also known as Paul Tainui) raped and murdered Kimberley Schroder. He was released on parole in 2011 and seven years later, he raped and murdered Nicole Tuxford. Three days after hearing the news Kimberley Schroder’s father, Gary Schroder, committed suicide. The coronial inquest was held and was adjourned, poignantly on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and #16Days of Activism..

This is exactly why two years ago, at this time, I launched my national campaign calling for law reform for life sentencing with no parole for rapist murderers.

This involved a media and social media campaign, lobbying politicians, as well as a petition on Change.org Life for Rapist Murderers. Thousands have signed so far and I ask you to also sign and share because we need your voice to make the politicians listen.

I am the sister of Anne-Marie Culleton who at 20 years old was raped and murdered on 23 February 1988 in Darwin by Jonathan Bakewell, 26, who broke into her flat in the middle of the night to rape and murder her in her bed. He strangled Anne-Marie with her own bed sheet. This crime is every woman’s worst nightmare.

Despite being given a life sentence with no parole, the NT laws were changed in 2004 and Bakewell’s sentence was reduced and he was released on parole in 2016 in South Australia where he was transferred while a prisoner.

Since his release, Bakewell has breached parole numerous times and as a result I fought a three and a half year campaign to have his parole cancelled. A campaign which was finally successful, thanks to the support of the media and the public.

This year Bakewell re-applied for a new non-parole period to be set, which was granted by South Australia Chief Justice Chris Kourakis who ignored my pleas to refuse him.

Bakewell then re-applied for parole and I fought again and was successful, thanks to the media and public support.

However my fight will never be over, because next year, and every year after that, Bakewell will be eligible to reapply for parole, and I will have to fight for the rest of my life to keep him behind bars.

Bakewell is an evil, sadistic person who subjected my sister to a brutal, degrading, torturous and terrifying death. He will always be dangerous.

It is so wrong and cruel to subject victim families to this living nightmare of having to fight parole release of their loved one’s rapist murderer. It should not be up to victim families to have to fight to keep the community safe. And to live with the agony of being ignored by the parole board and the murderer attacking again.

Rapist murderer kills again while on parole

As raised earlier, a timely and tragic example of this was demonstrated on 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, at a coronial inquest into the second rape and murder of a woman, 24 years later, by New Zealand parolee Paul Tainui (also known as Paul Russell Wilson).

Cherie Gillatt has sat with her daughter’s ashes in court for the past two weeks: Photo RNZ Niva Chittock RNZ 25 November 2022 read more >>

The coronial inquest included the subsequent suicide of the murderer’s first victim, Kimberly Schroder’s father, Gary Shcroder, three days after hearing the news of the second murder of Nicole Tuxford.

As I read the media articles and victim family statements, I found myself weeping uncontrollably. The family of Tainui’s first victim, Kimberley Schroder, who he raped and murdered in 1994, had bravely and repeatedly fought his parole applications, predicting that Tainui would repeat his crimes. Their pleas were ignored in 2010 when the decision was made to release Tainui on parole in 2011. Seven years later, in 2018, he raped and murdered Nicole Tuxford.

I can only imagine the anguish, trauma and hopelessness Kimberley’s father, mother and family and friends would have felt at this news after fighting so hard to keep this vicious rapist murderer behind bars.

Kimberley’s best friend, Jenny Keoghan, the Schroder family spokesperson, described in court the moment police told her Tainui had killed again.

“I felt sick, angry, grief stricken and horrified when I found out about Nicole Tuxford’s murder. I just knew the moment I heard that she too would have died under similar circumstances to how Kimmy had all those years prior,” she said.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/479500/mother-pleads-for-nicole-tuxford-to-get-justice-as-inquest-adjourned

This is my worst fear, and it’s why I am fighting so hard to keep my sister Anne-Marie’s rapist murderer Jonathan Bakewell behind bars.

The second victim, Nicole Tuxford’s mother, Cherie Gillatt, sat with her daughter’s ashes in court every day of the inquest, to remind the court that she was a person.

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do… But she had to be there. She had to be part of it because we needed answers for her and to show [those in court] she was a person,” she said.

Through tears, she said her daughter deserves justice.”

That just broke me reading that. I thought of my mother. My mother and sister went to Anne-Marie’s flat and discovered her body. After Anne-Marie’s murder, my mother, understandably, was a broken woman.

Mum passed away in 2012, four years before Bakewell’s parole release in 2016. However, because of the law change in 2004 to grant Bakewell a nonparole period, Mum knew he would be released eventually. I am so glad Mum did not have to witness the day he was released.  I am so glad she was not subjected to the trauma of Bakewell’s subsequent parole breaches. I am so glad she did not have to suffer through my media campaign to get him back behind bars, and she would not have to endure the trauma of my ongoing lifetime fight to keep him there.

Victim families around Australia are fighting the parole release of rapist murderers

The tragic reality is that all over Australia, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, partners and children of murdered rape victims are suffering the living nightmare of having to fight the offender’s parole. If we aren’t fighting now, it is hanging over us. It is our life sentence that we, as innocent victims, do not deserve.

They include the families of nine-year-old Samantha Knight in NSW, 12-year-old Sian Kingi in QLD and eight-year-old Sofia Rodriguez in WA.

And they include those victims who survived an attack by a rapist murderer. Women like Tameka Ridgeway from Tasmania who at 17 in 1986 was abducted, raped, tortured with a chainsaw and her fiancé Dean Allie stabbed to death. Tameka is only alive because she was rescued by a farmer on the property where she and Dean were taken to when they were abducted.

The Mercury 6 November 2021 p4

Curtis received a life sentence with no parole but his sentence was reduced and since his parole release he has breached numerous times.

Tameka bravely fought Curtis parole release and to have his parole cancelled after his breaches. Curtis is currently behind bars but it is only a matter of time before he will be back before the parole board and Tameka will have to fight again.

Tameka is spearheading our law reform campaign in Tasmania calling for mandatory life sentencing with no parole for rapist murderers. She is supported by another brave gang rape survivor Janelle O’Connor.

Janelle O’Connor was just 16 years old when she was abducted, bashed and gang-raped at knifepoint on Christmas Eve, 1993, by three men. Among them was convicted killer Geoffrey Michael Haywood who had come prepared with a hunting knife. After the rapes Haywood told her they were taking her to dig her own grave.

Ms O’Connor said she is only alive today because the car they were in crashed.

ABC News 13 December 2021

We need to listen to every word from these victim survivors because they have come face to face with these rapist murderers and survived. They have experienced the evil. The brutality. The hate for women. When these women say there is no chance these men can be rehabilitated they know what they are talking about.

Parole Boards seem to only listen to reports of how the offender has behaved in prison. Prison is an artificial environment. These offenders are master manipulators that will do and say anything to be released on parole.  And they will lie when they are caught breaching parole. My sister’s murderer Bakewell finally admitted he had been lying to his parole officer and the parole board, as did parolee rapist murderer Tainui.

As history shows, it is only a matter of time after they are released that they will rape and murder again.

Our justice system is broken and it is time for action. For us all to unite and call for law reform.

Please sign my petition for law reform for life sentencing with no parole for rapist murderers, so that future victim families will no longer have to fight to keep the community safe:

Life for Rapist Murderers Petition https://chng.it/rb962wpw4v

Please also sign the following petitions to help keep these rapist murderers behind bars:


NB: Serial killer Paul Denyer was not convicted for rape, however he confessed that he committed the murders because he hates women. This is a clear gender hate crime and if Denyer is released he will be a danger to women and girls.

If you know of other similar petitions in Australia to keep rapist murderers behind bars, please reach out and let me know so I can share.

Thank you for your support. Together we can keep our community safe for women and children.

Eileen Culleton

Sister of murdered rape victim Anne-Marie Culleton