THE murder of schoolgirl Masa Vukotic has drawn similarities to that of ABC worker Jill Meagher.
Both of their killers had disturbing histories as violent sex offenders and had spent time in prison before making it back onto the streets of Melbourne as free men.
Sean Price, 31, was on bail when he fatally stabbed the Doncaster teenager 49 times in broad daylight as she strolled through a park just 500m from her eastern suburbs home on March 17.
Price, who has pleaded guilty to killing the 17-year-old schoolgirl, had a lengthy criminal history of rape, stalking, assault, indecent assault and making threats to kill spanning more than a decade.
Sean Price in video posted to YouTube.Source:Supplied
At Price’s pre-sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the Supreme Court was told multiple experts had warned authorities that Price was dangerous, even after he was released from prison back into the community on a supervision order.
The court heard Price, of Melbourne’s western suburbs, should never have been allowed to roam free in the community.
Even if he did take the medication doctor’s pleaded with him to take, he would still be a menace, particularly to women, prosecutors claimed.
But when he smashed up some cars and threatened staff at Ararat’s notorious “Village of the Damned”, the Adult Parole Board cut him loose into the community.
Crown Prosecutor Michele Williams, QC, struggled to explain how or why Price was allowed to leave the village-style complex for sex offenders to live in a unit in Melbourne’s west.
“It’s alarming, but the authorities may have had no choice,’’ she said. “Maybe there were other options that weren’t taken by the authorities?”
Ms Williams said Corella Place deemed him to be a danger to its staff.
“Why should they take him there,’’ she said. “Ultimately he was released.’’
Masa Vukotic would have received her VCE results this week.Source:Supplied
Masa Vukotic before her murder.Source:Supplied
Yesterday’s hearing continued on the same day Ms Vukotic, who was known for her love of reading, travel and dressing up in costumes, should have been collecting her VCE results.
The Australian reported that Ms Vukotic dreamt of becoming a lawyer, but that dream ended when Price attacked her as she exercised near her home in the early evening.
The case has been compared to that of Melbourne ABC worker Jill Meagher, who was murdered in 2012 by Adrian Bayley after he was released from prison with several violent sex offences to his name.
Meagher’s killer was also a multiple sex offender who had served time for his offending but escaped serious police scrutiny.
Hundreds attended the funeral services for both women, with thousands also taking part in public marches in a bid to show support for the victims and take a stance against violence.
Adrian Bayley leaves the Supreme Court in Melbourne after being sentenced for the murder and rape of Jill Meagher.Source:Herald Sun
The murder of Masa Vukotic has been compared to that of Jill Meagher.Source:Supplied
The parallels between the two women’s deaths strengthened as details emerged of Price’s criminal history.
In August, Price pleaded guilty to raping a woman in Sunshine, in Melbourne’s west, two days after killing Masa.
Price has prior convictions for rape, indecent assault, stalking and making threats to kill dating back to 2004.
His youngest victim was a 13-year-old girl. Another victim was a 36-year-old mother who was raped in her home while her two young children were inside.
Price was aged 18 and 19 when he committed the offences and later told police he got “the biggest high” from the attacks.
Sean Price, who pleaded guilty to killing Melbourne teen Masa Vukotic in a random attack, leaves his pre-sentence hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne on Monday. Picture: AAP Image/Mal FaircloughSource:AAP
He was sentenced to a minimum of 5½ years’ hospital detention and placed on the sex offenders register.
In 2006, Price punched and kicked then health minister Tony Abbott when he was visiting the Thomas Embling Hospital.
The Herald Sun reported Price also committed assaults in 2013 for which he served 10 months. Less than six months after his release from Port Phillip Prison, Price murdered Ms Vukotic.
The case is expected to place further pressure on police and government to monitor and rehabilitate criminals after their release.