Victim’s family demand justice

Graham Sloane.

TWO-TIME killer Graham Anthony George Sloane should never walk free from jail andbe given the opportunity to take another life, according to the grieving family of Windale aged-care worker Renee Mitchell.

Sloane, 68, faced a sentence hearing in Newcastle Supreme Court on Friday after he was found guilty of murdering Mrs Mitchell, 38, after a seven-day trial earlier this month.

“We want the maximum sentence that he can get,” Sue Mitchell, Mrs Mitchell’s mother-in-law, said outside Newcastle courthouseon Friday.

“Because if he had have been given a decent sentence last time, this wouldn’t have happened to Renee.

“We want to make sure this never happens to anyone else again, ever.

“We’re hoping that he never walks out of jail again.”

Sloanehad pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the first day of his trial, admitting that he was responsible for taking Mrs Mitchell from her Windale home on November 11, 2014, before stabbing her four times in the chest and once in the throat and dumping her body in nearby Bangalay Reserve.

But he had pleaded not guilty to murder, raising a partial defence of “substantial impairment”, which he said affected his capacity to control himself at the time of the killing.

Renee Mitchell.

And despite the jury taking only two hours to reject this defence, Justice Helen Wilson said the issue of mental illness was still relevant in terms of sentencing.

In fact, it was the “big question” she was grappling with.“How mentally ill and how did that impact upon his moral culpability?” Justice Wilson asked, rhetorically.

About 20 years before Mrs Mitchell’s murder, Sloane had killed his former mother-in-law, Barbara Mavis Wilson, in extraordinarily similar circumstances.

He was convicted of manslaughter after prosecutors dropped a murder charge and was later sentenced to eight years’ jail, with a non-parole of five years.

Justice Wilson will sentence Sloane on Thursday.