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Rape and torture survivor ‘shocked’ at decision to remove Jamie John Curtis’s monitoring anklet


On Friday afternoon, Tameka Ridgeway received a call that came as a “total shock”: She was advised the man who had raped her as a teenager and murdered her fiance would no longer be electronically monitored.

“I felt sick,” she said. “It just takes away the little bit of reassurance and feeling of safety that we have had up until now.”

Jamie John Curtis was jailed after he tortured Ms Ridgeway, who was then 17, and her fiance, Dean Allie, for 12 hours, raping her and then murdering him, in 1986.

He was released for a short time in 2018 but was locked up again after he breached the conditions of his parole by using fake names to sign up for multiple online dating sites.

Curtis was again granted parole early last year, with the parole stating he had “continued to work on his attitude and behaviour” and was “polite” and “respectful” to prison staff.

His parole is for life but came with special conditions, including that he “must submit to electronic monitoring and associated conditions”.

Jamie John Curtis uploaded this photo to multiple dating profiles when he was released on parole in 2018.(Supplied)

However, late on Friday, Ms Ridgeway was notified that Curtis’s application to have his electronic monitoring anklet removed had been granted by the parole board and that it would come off five days later.

Ms Ridgeway said she had not known that Curtis had even applied to have the monitoring device removed.

“Myself and a lot of other people were of the understanding that part of his parole condition was to have that monitoring device for the length of his parole — and his parole is for life,” she said.

She said she wasn’t given any explanation as to the reasons for the parole board’s decision.

“It’s an absolute disgrace.”

‘He can go where he likes and do what he likes’

Ms Ridgeway said she had initially been sceptical of how useful electronic monitoring would be, but she later learned that it was real-time monitoring.

“So it served as peace of mind to know that, if he was in an area that I might be in, I would be notified straight away,” she said.

“And now that peace of mind has been taken away — not just for me but for other victims and their families as well.”

In his original sentencing, then-chief Justice William Cox said Curtis’s conduct was ranked “amongst the worst one is likely to encounter” and Curtis represented a danger to the community, especially when intoxicated, which warranted protection of the public from him for the rest of his life.

“The parole board has made a mockery of Justice Cox’s sentencing statements,” Ms Ridgeway said.

“Because he’s now he’s pretty much unmonitored, he can go where he likes and do what he likes.”

Ms Ridgeway said she would like to see a review of Tasmania’s parole system.

She said the parole board’s practice of making decisions on a Friday afternoon also meant that, by the time survivors were told, it was often too late to ask follow-up questions or seek support, and they were “left hanging for the weekend”.

The parole board provided a statement saying it does not comment on individual matters, but that “victims are provided an opportunity to make a submission to the board when an application for parole is considered”, and that information is retained by the board for consideration when requests for variation of parole are made.

“The Department of Justice has heard the concerns about the timing of the notification to victim-survivors and will examine options to address this issue.”

In a statement, a government spokesman said the parole board was an independent statutory body and made decisions independently of government.

“However, we are always open to listening to victim-survivors and considering what more can be done to support them, as we have in the past.”

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