Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Four-time killer dies after 56yrs in jail

The longest-serving prisoner in New South Wales, four-time killer Thomas Turner, has died at the age of 80.

Turner served 56 years in jail and became the last man to be sentenced to death in NSW in 1948.

He was condemned to death when he was 20 for strangling his 15-year-old girlfriend and murdering her 43-year-old father with an axe, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.

He was released in 1970 and stabbed his mother-in-law and his 11-year-old step-son to death less than three years later.

Turner was given a life sentence with a 20-year non-parole period after public outrage that he had been released and killed again.

He sought release last year but his application was refused.

Turner was born in Sydney and his last known address was in Erskineville.

A Department of Corrective Services spokesman says the prisoner died of lung cancer in Long Bay Hospital on Monday night.

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