The distraught family of a teenager who was strangled in Australia have slammed the decision to release his killer, calling him a ‘monster’. Rebecca Ryle was 19 when she was killed by the evil James Duggan in 2004 after her family emigrated to Australia from Harwood, Bolton.
It has now been revealed that Duggan, who also emigrated from the UK, was released from prison on March 11 this year – almost 18 years later – and is to be deported back to the UK. Rebecca’s brother said he found it ‘horrible’ that the UK public was now ‘submissive’ to him and had been allowed to ‘start over’, adding: ‘He doesn’t deserve the opportunity to start over. He stole a life.”
Duggan, from Liverpool, was convicted in 2006 of the murder of Rebecca, a former pupil of Turton High School in Bolton, after meeting her in a pub in Perth, Australia, the night he was 20, reports The Liverpool Echo.
He offered to drive Rebecca home on May 5, 2004, then strangled her for more than three minutes in the grounds of an elementary school a few yards from her home. Duggan, now in his 30s, left his victim’s half-naked body in a field which was found by police hours later.
During the case in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Judge Lindy Jenkins called the crime “bizarre” when she jailed him for at least 11 years and six months. Judge Jenkins said the murder was every parent’s worst nightmare, adding that Rebecca died “alone and degraded”. Duggan, she said, never fully explained why he killed her.
A parole board in Australia reviewed Duggan’s case on November 19, 2019, and the Attorney General decided not to release him due to his behavior in prison, a return to drug abuse and delinquency.
He said: “Given the seriousness of the offence, Mr Duggan’s poor prison behavior, the uncertainty about the level of professional support he would receive in England, the lack of acknowledgment of wrongdoing and the apparent lack of remorse, I am not convinced. Mr. Duggan’s parole is appropriate at this time.”
The board reviewed Duggan’s case again in September 2021 and the attorney general recommended his release from prison, along with two years of parole. The new case included a psychological report, dated June 23, 2021, in which a senior forensic psychologist said Duggan had ‘undergone a considerable amount of treatment’ and identified him as having a ‘moderate risk of violent recidivism ”.
A Community Corrections Officer report dated July 19, 2021, said Duggan “expressed remorse and regret for the offense and acknowledged the victim.”
As part of his parole, Duggan must have no direct or indirect contact with Rebecca’s family, be deported to the UK from Australia and comply with all instructions and restrictions, now or in the future. , made, issued or imposed by the federal government. or the Government of Western Australia.
Rebecca’s family criticized the attorney general’s decision to let Duggan out of jail. They moved to the suburbs of Mindarie in 2003. Her brother, Andy, told The Echo: “It’s no exaggeration to say that the loss of Rebecca has destroyed our family. Our lives have been completely shattered, where so much happiness had once been.
“We had come to Australia to start a new life, and within six months it had been completely decimated. It had really gone from our dream life to a nightmare.
“There is no way of knowing the extent of the damage that trauma has done to us and continues to do. The kind of effects that such a heinous and destructive crime has on your mental health is often overwhelming – especially when it is clear that the responsible continues to show no remorse or motive, nearly 20 years after the fact.”
When asked how they felt hearing Duggan walk out of jail, Andy said: “Anger. Sadness. Anxiety. Fury. Worst possible emotions really, and all the energy that has to be expended to get through them. I find some comfort in knowing that this man will never set foot in Australia again, and my parents can rest easy knowing that they will never have to meet him on the street again.
“However, I find it horrifying that the alternative is for the British public to be subjected to them and have them start over from scratch. I hope that by writing this at least some people will be made aware that this monster will be here. He won’t He doesn’t deserve the opportunity to start over. He stole a life. Duggan is currently in a migrant detention center in Australia, awaiting deportation to the UK.
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