Hayley Dodd’s mother strikes back at attorney general’s 'beat-up' comments

The mother of missing Mandurah girl Hayley Dodd has struck out at the Barnett government over the proposed no body, no parole laws, accusing them of taking hope away from victim’s families.

Margaret and Ray Dodd presented a petition with more than 20,000 signatures to state opposition leader Mark McGowan, Member for Mandurah David Templeman and shadow attorney general John Quigley on Sunday..

“Convicted killers who deliberately withhold information concerning the whereabouts of their victims don’t deserve parole,” Mr McGowan said.

Ms Dodd has struck out at comments from attorney general Michael Mischin, who called the planned legislation a “beat-up” and said the current laws already allowed the government to prevent the parole of convicted murderers who did not divulge the locations of their victims’ bodies.

“As long as I am attorney general, I would not be recommending to the Governor any release on parole for a murderer who has not revealed the location of the victim's body,” he said.

“[Labor] talks about many cases — I challenge them to name one since we came into government where it has happened. It is simply a non-issue.

“It seems to be me to be a beat up based on a lady's grief, but I can assure you the current law accommodates what they are proposing.”

Ms Dodd has hit back at Mr Mischin’s statement, saying the lack of information over Hayley Dodd’s whereabout has not allowed her or her family to grieve.

“So Mr Mischin you want families of the missing/murdered to continue suffering and sit hoping that when [the parole period of a] convicted murder who has not revealed the whereabouts of the remains of their victim comes up many years down the track, they may then disclose the whereabouts of their victims body to gain release, whilst the families have been exposed to unnecessary torture,” she said.

“In fact what you are doing is taking hope away from the victim’s family of ever having some form of closure and allowing them to eventfully grieve. This law gives incentive to convicted murderers to reveal the whereabouts of their victims in a timely manner.”

Ms Dodd also rejected Mr Mischin’s statement of the potential legislation being a “non-issue”.

“The parole system is not exempt from defected judgement and there are many cases where this has happened,” Ms Dodd said.

“When murderer John Coombes was convicted for a second murder, what did the Adult Parole Board do? Let him out of prison in 2007 to murder his friend’s foster mother Rachael Betts, and throw her body parts into the sea.

“When violent offender William Watkins was convicted of raping a neighbour in 2000, what did the board do? Let him out of prison to rape and murder Laura and Colleen Irwin, two sisters living next door.

“When drug trafficker David Clifford was convicted for physical assault and harassment offences, what did the board do? Let him out in 2008 to bash and murder hairdresser Elsa Corp.

“ ‘No body, No Parole’ laws would remove any doubt that convicted murders who have not revealed the whereabouts of their victims body would  ever be released on parole and will spend the rest of their natural life behind bars. 

”There is not a law in place that will keep convicted murders who have not revealed the whereabouts of their victim’s in prison and under the present law there is a chance that these murders can be released on parole.

"It seems to me that Mr Barnett and Mr Mischin have no vision for the future and are to arrogant and inert to recognise the victim’s rights and need for change. This change in law is a must,” Ms Dodd said.