A notorious Northern Territory murderer serving his life sentence in a Perth jail will spend at least another three years behind bars after WA Attorney-General Michael Mischin decided not to release him on parole.
Douglas John Edwin Crabbe, who killed five people by ploughing his truck into an outback hotel in the NT in 1983, was transferred to a WA jail about eight years ago.
Today, Mr Mischin said he had considered a report by the Prisoners Review Board and decided Crabbe would not be released on parole.
Crabbe, who is now aged in his mid 60s, became due for the first statutory review of his life jail term after serving his minimum 30 years behind bars last month.
Crabbe drove his 25 ton Mack Truck into the bar of the Inland Hotel at Yulara in the early hours of August 18, 1983, after he was refused service because he was causing trouble.
He was convicted of five counts of murder at his first trial in 1984 before winning an appeal. He was again convicted after a retrial in 1985 and was sentenced to life imprisonment for each of the five counts.
Under the NT law at the time, life sentences did not involve a non-parole period and meant the offender would serve their natural life without any possibility of release. But after changes to the law, his sentence was converted to life with a minimum of 30 years.
Evidence led in support of a successful application by prosecutors in 2004 to extend the non-parole period from a standard 25 years included a summary of the offences. It described Crabbe driving at a speed, around a blind bend, through a car park, around a mini bus and through a brick wall into the bar.
“Leaving the engine running, he then got out of the truck, smiled down at one of his victims, stepped over some bodies and ran,” an affidavit to the court said.
But the court also recognised Crabbe, who had at that time served 21 years, was “now deeply remorseful” and had made remarkable efforts to achieve his rehabilitation.
Crabbe’s transfer to a WA prison was approved in early 2005. It is understood he applied to be shifted to allow him to be closer to family.Crabbe’s next statutory review of his sentence will be due in August 2016.