A one punch attacker who killed a man six years ago is being allowed to leave prison on weekends to play in a local football league.
Dylan Closter has served barely half of his minimum sentence after fatally striking David Cassai in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula in 2012.
But every Saturday, he leaves prison to join his team mates as a ruckman for the Rushworth Tigers, much to the horror of his dead victim’s mother, who thought he was locked up.
Closter, who dons the number 8 jersey, is serving a sentence for manslaughter.
Yet many of Closter’s opponents are unaware they are lining up against a convicted killer.
“To think that he’s been released… David doesn’t get a second chance,” Mr Cassai’s emotional mother Caterina Politi said.
Closter killed 22-year-old Mr Cassai with a single punch on New Years Eve six years ago.
He eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and affray, and was sentenced to nine years and three months in prison with a non-parole period of six years.
Halfway through his minimum term, he began playing football in April.
“To me, he really hasn’t served his punishment and that really is a dagger in my heart,” Ms Politi said.
Shadow Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue questioned the decision to allow Closter to leave prison on a regular basis.
“The community expects someone convicted of this type of crime to pay their debt to the community by serving their time in jail, not out socialising on the weekends playing football and having a great time,” he said.
Closter, 24, has played 11 games for the club and also leaves jail to attend training during the week.
Dhurringile is a low-security prison which has allowed inmates to play in the local league for the past few years.
“Those allowed to have weekend leave is a matter for Corrections Victoria, not for politicians; it tends to be made on the basis of behaviour while in prison and risk level,” Attorney General Martin Pakula said.
“Is the league aware of his dangerous actions, that he’s killed a person? I’m shocked,” Ms Politi said.
The team’s coach admitted he wasn’t aware of Closter’s violent criminal past and described him as a great guy who does a lot for the club, including fundraising.
He’s also in line for the best club-man award at the end of the season.
Closter played a full match against Merrigum on Saturday and afterwards showered in the clubrooms and enjoyed a soft drink before socialising with friends.
“My son’s life, to the government and to the corrections system, means nothing,” Ms Politi argued.
On Monday, the government asked Corrections Victoria to review the decision to allow Closter to play.