A convicted murderer who attempted to rape a woman behind a bus stop at Hunters Hill on Sydney’s lower north shore in 2013 has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.
But the family of the 49-year-old’s first victim say they believe he will re-offend again when he is released.
At the time of the attempted rape, Terrence John Leary was on parole after serving 22 years for the murder of 17-year-old Vanessa Hoson, who he bludgeoned to death with a hammer.
During sentencing, Justice Helen Syme said both offences involved “extreme and explosive violence”.
The court heard the victim tried to placate Leary, who tore down her pants with such force the belt the woman was wearing broke.
Judge Syme said “the offender bit the top of the complainant’s index finger causing her a great deal of pain”, and that during the struggle the woman was stabbed and suffered a broken jaw.
A passer-by called police — who Leary punched during his arrest, which was difficult because he did not succumb to capsicum spray or Tasers.
Judge Syme said: “Mr Leary is still a danger to the community.”
“Sadly not all personal antisocial behaviour can be treated by any form of therapy.
“Some individuals will remain a danger to the community.”
Leary pleaded guilty to the offences and his sentence was reduced by 10 per cent.
“The trial was listed to take 10 days, and ultimately the witnesses, including the victim were not required to relive the events in giving evidence,” Justice Syme said.
‘I wouldn’t want him living next door to my family’
Speaking outside the court, Vanessa Hoson’s sister Fiona Walker, described her dismay.
“If he’s given the right sentence — the full sentence, he wouldn’t be out on the streets,” Ms Walker said.
“I wouldn’t want him living next door to my family … he shouldn’t be out.”
Her husband Chris Walker said he was disappointed that the maximum term was not used.
He said that he did not think Leary should ever be released.
“They did find him to have little to no chance of rehabilitation, why should someone like that be on the street, in the community.
“It is hard to come back to things and hear cases that we’ve had to live.”
He said the second attack could have been prevented.
“He didn’t want to do the rehabilitation programs, he only did that to play the legal game, to get out, once he got out, he wanted back in, that’s why he did it so publicly, once again, he wanted to get caught,” Mr Walker said.
“He knows he’s not safe in the public, he shouldn’t be in the public.
“We said that this would happen again, we said that he would re-offend, we believe that when he gets out again, he will re-offend again and here we go again.”
Ms Walker said it was painful to see Leary in court and she called on the legal system to be reformed.
Leary will be eligible for parole in September 2024, at the age of 57.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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