Notorious convicted child killer Barry Watt will remain behind bars indefinitely after Parole Board Queensland (PBQ) rejected his latest application for parole this morning.
Watts, now 67, has spent the past 34 years in prison for the abduction, rape and murder of 12-year-old Sunshine Coast schoolgirl Sian Kingi on 27 November 1987.
Barry John ‘Barrie’ Watts applied for parole last November and news of his bid for freedom sparked widespread community outrage across Queensland and in the coastal town of Noosa where Sian lived.
PBQ Deputy President Peter Shields, in a just-released decision, said the board had decided to refuse to grant the application for a parole order.
Mr Shields, in the 32-page decision, said: “The Board is not persuaded that the positive features of (Watts’) application are sufficient to release him onto a parole order at this time.
“The Board is not satisfied the risk (Watts) poses to the community can be sufficiently mitigated at this time by way of imposing any conditions that the Board is entitled to impose.
“The Board considers there to be an unacceptable risk to the community if (Watts) is released on a parole order.
“The Board has decided to refuse to grant the application for a parole order.”
In December 1990, Watts was found guilty of the murder of Sian. His wife, Valmae Beck, a mother-of-six who later changed her name to Fay Cramb, was convicted of Sian’s abduction and murder in 1988.
The pair were both sentenced to life imprisonment, with Beck remaining behind bars until her death in May 2008.
Mr Shields said that, when considering Watts’ application, the board took into account his considerable and extremely violent criminal history, the risk of further offending and the safety of the community, as well as submissions from his victims.
“The Board has read and had regard to the submissions … by eligible persons who are registered on the Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) Victim Register,” he said.
“The submissions are well made, dignified and speak to the unimaginable tragedy they continue to bravely live with.
“The Board understands the distress to the eligible person that comes with the extensive media reportage of (Watts’) application for a parole order.”
With regards to risk of further offending, Mr Shields said the nature and seriousness of Watts’ crimes between 11 November 1987 and 26 November 1987 were so serious and heinous that, if released on parole, there was a likelihood he would reoffend.
“(Watts) has served almost 34-years in prisons for crimes decreased by the learning sentencing judge as ‘absolutely abhorrent and the murder (and sexual assault of Sian Kingi) … in particular were shocking and revolting crimes’,” he said.
“(Watts) has been refused parole on two previous occasions, in 2009 and 2015, on the basis that his risk to the community was unacceptably high at those times.”
Having refused Watt’s application, the board ruled he could not make another parole application within 12-months.
“The Board has decided (Watts) must not make an application for a parole order … for a period of 12-months.
“In coming to the decision the Board has formed the view … that there is, likely, nothing (Watts) could do within the next 12-months which would sufficiently mitigate (his) risk to the community.”
In considering Watts’ application on 25 June, 16 July and 13 October 2021, the Board seriously considered his extensive list of crimes committed across four Australian states.
“The Board has had regard to (Watts’) four-page Australian criminal history,” the decision reads. “The offending has spanned the jurisdictions of Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales.
“(Watts’) criminal history demonstrates a consistent pattern of break and enter offences, dishonesty offences and escaping from legal custody, before (his) offending escalated to violent offences of assault occasioning bodily harm whilst in company and armed with an offensive weapon, deprivation of liberty, rape and murder in 1987.
“There are 27 occasions in which (Watts) has been convicted and sentenced. This compromises convictions for 58 offences … (for which he was) sentenced on 15 separate occasions to terms of imprisonment.”