Perth Woman Campaigns Against Mandatory Parole Reviews
11 April 2016 at 4:35 pm
A woman from Western Australia, who survived being abducted by serial killing couple David and Catherine Birnie, is campaigning online to have mandatory parole board review hearings revoked in that state – thirty years after the event.
Kate Moir survived being kidnapped and held prisoner at the Birnies’ home in 1986 when she was just 17 years old.
Now she wants the Liberal Barnett government to change the law which currently allows murderers to be considered for parole every three years, even if they don’t apply for it.
Moir’s case hit the headlines when she was kidnapped by the Birnies but managed to escape and alert police. The Birnies’ capture ended a killing spree which took the lives of four young women, aged between 15 and 33.
David Birnie killed himself in prison in 2005 but Catherine Birnie is still in prison.
Moir, who is now married with three children, began an online petition, gathering more than 5,000 people on a Facebook page urging them to join her in sending letters to the WA Attorney General to change the current laws.
“We have more than 2,800 signatures in less than three days,” Moir told Pro Bono Australia News.
“The petition is broader. It talks about revoking the mandatory parole review board hearings but also talks about larger parole reform.”
Moir is also running an online poll on the social media page asking if there should be no parole for premeditated murder
“We have 300 yeses and two nos,” she said.
Moir said she has started the campaign now because she was waiting for her children to grow up.
“I have had three parole board hearing notifications so far and the three of them have been painful and this last one was even more painful than the last one,” she said.
“I’m just fed up and I’m grown up. I’m 47 years old now and I am turning the language around. Eradicating her name and replacing it with mine.
“I was a victim but now I am championing victims rights.”
Despite her father having told her she had “Buckley’s chance” of making any change, Moir said there is already movement among the politicians. Liberal MP Sean l’Estrange agreed to meet her later this week and another Liberal MP Liz Behjat had posted support for her on Facebook.
“If I don’t get any action from the Government I will run as an independent at the next election,” she said.