The hit and run driver responsible for killing six teenagers near Mildura has been released from jail despite previously breaching parole.
The driver, Thomas Towle, drove from Fulham Correctional Centre on Monday at around 8:00 a.m. as depicted in the photographs captured and shared online by 9News. The media outlet reported earlier in May that the killer was expected to be released on May 16. 9News believes the man tested positive for drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident.
It was February 18, 2006, when he drove with his young son on his lap and hit six teens in Cardross. According to news.com.au, he escaped the spot immediately and got arrested five hours later. He was sentenced to a 10-year imprisonment, but he already served seven years of jail term and was released on parole in 2013. However, he was again arrested in 2015 in Bendigo for breaching parole. The Adult Parole Board cancelled the parole of the Mildura hit-run killer because it considered the man as a threat to the community.
The families of the six teens were distressed to know about the board’s decision to grant another parole to the offender. “When is the justice system actually going to work in favour of the victims’ families?” the uncle of two victims, Richard Prowse, said. “I think it’s an insult.”
Kerry Prowse, another relative, wrote a letter of protest to the Victims Support Agency. “Early release on parole is a privilege, it’s not a right,” her letter read. “[Towle] has clearly emphasised the lack of respect and remorse for his offending by breaching his parole in the first instance.”
Shane, 16, and Abby Hirst, 17, were siblings who were among those killed in the Mildura hit-run case. The others were Stevie-Lee Weight, 15, Josephine Calvi, Cory Dowling, and Cassandra Manners, all 16-year-olds. The group was reportedly returning from a friend’s birthday party when Towle’s car hit them.
The Adult Parole Board has reduced the killer’s supervision period by eight months. However, it did not give any specifics to the victim’s families, saying there are some privacy reasons.