The West

Killers released from life sentences
Killers released from life sentences

Two men serving life sentences for wilful murder – including one who killed the wife of a chaplain – have been released from prison.

Christopher Miles Thompson was 18 years old when a jury unanimously convicted him in 1988 of wilfully murdering chaplain’s wife Velma Firman with a crowbar after breaking into her house in Hillarys.

Thompson told the court that he went to the house armed with knives and a crowbar to rape and kidnap Mrs Firman’s 21-year-old boarder Bronwen Jones.

Mrs Firman got in the way and he did not want to leave a witness, he said.

Chief Justice David Malcolm said at the time that it was a very brutal crime committed on a defenceless woman, and ordered that Thompson serve at least 12 years in prison before he could be considered for parole.

In 1994, Brian Warren Dutton, then 28, was found guilty of the wilful murder of his 31-year-old brother Trevor.

Justice Neville Owen said he had no alternative but to sentence Dutton to life imprisonment. He had to serve at least 12 years before being released.

Dutton told the court during his trial that his brother refused to contribute to household costs and taunted him for not having the guts to do anything about it.

The brothers lived together, with Dutton working two shifts as a meat boner, while his brother rarely worked and left most household chores and expenses to him.

After an argument one night, Dutton toyed with his pump-action shotgun.

He said his mind went blank and although he could not remember shooting his brother in the chest, he did not deny it.

The Prisoners Review Board recommended their release, which was approved by the Attorney-General and then the Governor Malcolm McCusker.

The men, who were released last week, must comply with a psychiatric treatment schedule.

The West Australian

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