Australia

Triple murderer Berwyn Rees walks free from prison, on parole for rest of life

Triple murderer Berwyn Rees has walked free from a Sydney prison after nearly 40 years behind bars. Source: Nine News

Berwyn Rees, who was jailed for the execution-style murder of a policeman and two civilians in the 1970s and 1980s, has been released from a Sydney prison.

Notorious triple murderer Berwyn Rees has walked free from a Sydney prison, despite repeated efforts by the NSW government to keep him behind bars.

The 70-year-old left Silverwater jail on Friday morning after nearly 40 years, dressed in prison-issued green tracksuit pants and a grey hoodie.

Rees was jailed for the execution-style killing of three men in the 1970s and 1980s, including a serving police officer.

The State Parole Authority granted his release on August 9 with strict conditions, including electronic monitoring and a pre-approved schedule of movements.

He is also not allowed to possess or use a firearm or prohibited weapon, cannot contact, communicate with or watch his victims' families, and has been barred from several areas in Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.

He must also participate in a violent offender therapy program if directed by Corrective Services.

Rees was sentenced in 1981 to concurrent life sentences - with 27 years' non-parole - for the three murders.

His victims included Sydney gun shop manager Raymond James, who was fatally shot in 1977 alongside customer Christopher Greenfield.

Three years later, he shot and killed Sergeant Keith Haydon when the police officer went to investigate when Rees was conducting target practice in the bush.

Sergeant Keith Haydon, 37, was killed at Sugarloaf, NSW in November 1980.
Sergeant Keith Haydon, 37, was killed at Sugarloaf, NSW in November 1980.
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Rees became eligible for parole in 2007 but was refused release on 10 occasions.

The SPA eventually granted him parole in February but the decision was overturned by the NSW Supreme Court three months later, with the judge noting the psychological or emotional effects hadn't been fully considered.

But the parole authority reconsidered the matter and in August again decided to approve Rees' release.

The NSW corrections minister sought urgent legal advice about appealing the decision but concluded that any challenge would fail.

"The state has always opposed the offender's application for parole," Corrections Minister Anthony Roberts said in a statement on Friday.

Rees will be subject to a total of 21 parole conditions.
Rees will be subject to a total of 21 parole conditions.
ABC News

"The government has exhausted every option to prevent the release of this offender."

Rees will be subject to a total of 21 parole conditions and directions and closely monitored by Community Corrections.

The SPA has the power to revoke parole if Rees breaches any of his conditions or there are serious concerns for community safety.

"The government remains committed to ensuring the victims of this offender receive support," Mr Roberts said.

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