Murder victim's sister breaks 23 year silence

FIRST ON 7: The family of a murdered 17-year-old girl has told 7News they blame the NSW Attorney-General for a second alleged attack by her killer.

Terrence Leary is back behind bars now but his original victim's family says he should never have been let out in the first place.

Fiona Walker has given her first interview since her sister was murdered 23 years ago.

She said she is uncomfortable about speaking out, but feels she must do this.

"We live in fear. We've always been so worried about him. My mother's a mess," Fiona said.

Terrence Leary murdered Vanessa Hoson with a hammer at Kenthurst in Sydney's north-west.

He was deemed safe to release on parole last year but then allegedly, stabbed and tried to rape a woman at Hunters Hill.

"The Attorney-General was well aware that they were letting him out. You know, there should have been alarm bells ringing."

Letters between the Walkers and the state's top law-maker show Greg Smith had not only been aware, but that he was satisfied with it.

"Mr Leary completed programs to address his drug and alcohol issues and sex offending behavior prior to his release on parole," he wrote, adding that Leary was well supervised.

At his murder trial, a psychiatrist had testified: "There is a strong likelihood that Mr Leary will do this again."

Fiona Walker said Leary should never have been let out, and that the Attorney-General and the justice system is to blame.

"[The Attorney-General is] employed to protect the public, it is his job to intervene in these cases," Vanessa's brother-in-law Chris Walter said.

Fiona Hoson pictured with her sister Vanessa Hoson, who was murdered in her bedroom in 1990. Photo: File
Fiona Hoson pictured with her sister Vanessa Hoson, who was murdered in her bedroom in 1990. Photo: File

Greg Smith has introduced laws since Leary's parole, forcing violent offenders to remain in jail beyond their sentence if they are considered a significant threat.

But the Walkers say Leary was enough of a threat well before his release, and that there was plenty of time to draft the laws back then.

"You just want to scream," Fiona Walker said.

"Why is it up to us to make this happen? They should make it happen."

The Attorney-General would not respond today, pending a report into Leary's release, due next month.

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