News

Man who raped, killed woman fails in bid for parole review

A DARLING Downs man who murdered and raped a woman almost three decades ago has lost his bid for release.

James Patrick McGrane, now 44, sought a new judicial review of his life sentence this year, having become eligible for parole in 1999 and been unsuccessful in multiple applications for release.

McGrane was 17 when he dumped the body of a 21-year-old woman at Hodgson Vale, south of Toowoomba, on March 26, 1986.

He pleaded not guilty but the court heard at his trial he had led the woman up stairs above a shop, bound and gagged her before raping her and then stabbing her to death.

The sentencing judge described the offences as "horrific".

Justice David Boddice dismissed the application for a parole review in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday.

He said the court received information McGrane had extensive breach and incident history during his incarceration including wilful damage, assault and abusive language.

The Queensland State Parole Board had already deemed him an unacceptable risk to the community if released on parole, that he was a concern even in a highly structured environment like jail.

"He has a negative view towards authority and has not yet been able to make the emotional steps of changing from an adolescent, with lots of fantasises and hopes, to a man fully capable of living in the real world with all its frustrations without feeling a sense of resentment by brooding and hostile fantasies," a parole board report said.

"I would see his risk remain as moderately high of committing serious violent crime or sexual abuse in the future but that he is moving towards building some protective factors," it continued.

A psychologist's report also noted McGrane remained "vulnerable to impulsive verbal and physical aggression".

McGrane argued he had performed better in custody in recent times and the parole board had failed to consider the "significant steps" he had taken since his previous refusal.

He said the board had exercised its discretionary power "in bad faith".

But Justice Boddice said McGrane did not establish either ground for review.

Topics:  darling downs, toowoomba



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