AUSTRALIA: Why would a Melbourne judge parole a Somali Muslim with such an extensive criminal background prior to his fatal terrorist attack on June 5th?

Yacqub Khayre’s act of terrorism on June 5th, that saw an innocent receptionist murdered, a woman taken hostage, and three police officers shot before the Islamic jihadi himself was gunned down, was only his latest criminal act while being trusted to reform his ways.

 AU News  Over the 29-year-old’s comprehensive criminal career, the justice system gave Khayre more than 10 chances, and each one came back to bite them. If Khayre had served the full sentence he was handed in 2012, he’d still be in prison today.

He was on a terror watch list at the time of the fatal incident, but Victoria’s parole board has said it had not been informed of this before or after its decision to release him into the community on parole only six months ago. Khayre had been regularly convicted, released, and found to reoffend when it came to violent crimes since his teens.

His rap sheet includes stabbings, drug charges, aggravated robberies and assaults, with many of these offences committed while on parole or shortly after being released into the community. In 2012, while being sentencing Khayre for a violent burglary in which repeatedly assaulted the woman whose home he broke into, a judge predicted he would reoffend if given the chance.

In handing down her judgment, Judge Felicity Hampel made multiple predictions Khayre could not be rehabilitated and was a high risk to reoffend. Similar statements were made about Khayre in earlier judgments and appeals as well. In an appeal judgment in 2013, a judge said Khayre did not appear remorseful and had “limited prospects of rehabilitation.” Judge Hampel predicted the burglary sentencing was “not (Khayre’s) last matter before a court” and said he had “gloomy prospects.”

In his final sentencing Khayre was handed an eight year sentence with a six year non-parole period, meaning he could be eligible for parole in October 2015.  In February 2014 he committed arson, setting fire to Loddon Prison in Castlemaine. For this he earned a fine of $217.80 and a one month concurrent sentence, which served to delay his parole eligibility period. A year later, he lit a fire at Barwon prison where he had been moved too, earning a fine over $1500 and another two months in prison.

Despite this, he was granted parole, in December 2016, over a year after the original parole date set by the court, but almost a year and a half before his full sentence expired. Authorities in Victoria have defended the decision to release Khayre on parole — a decision that ultimately facilitated Monday night’s fatal terror attack.