Emotional Mal Meninga to keep Bevan on 'straight and narrow'
Update: RUGBY League great Mal Meninga accepts there will be people within the community unhappy his brother Bevan Meninga has been released from prison after 21 years but says his family will rally around him to help him make the transition back into society.
Now 42, Bevan Meninga has spent the past 22 years behind bars in a low-security prison after being found guilty of the rape and murder of teenager Cheree Robinson in 1991.
Her body was found in parkland at Alexandra Headland on the Sunshine Coast.
Meninga was paroled yesterday on the strict condition he lives with his mother Leona.
"There will be certain people in the community that don't like what happened. We can't help that," said an emotional Meninga speaking from Queensland's State of Origin team camp at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.
"The decision has been made and all we can do is be there to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"It's a difficult time for everybody, not only us but the victim's family as well."
Meninga will break Origin camp in the next few days to go home and see his brother.
"We don't condone his actions. We understand he is very remorseful and has a lot of empathy towards the family of the victim.
"He's been interned for a long, long period of time.
"He's very disoriented at the moment, it's a very surreal experience for him.
"We're hoping with a bit of patience and love and support he'll make this transition into the community and society in a positive manner."
Meninga said his younger brother had done his time and been a model prisoner.
"He's paid his time and he's done everything asked of him but at the end of the day (his return to society) is up to him," he said.
"We'd like to make some promises that he will be right, but all we can do is be there to keep him on the straight and narrow."
The coach of Queensland's champion side which has won the last eight Origin series in a row said his high profile was the reason his brother's release from prison yesterday was such big news.
"We understand that and that's why we've confronted it and why I'm here speaking. We need this to be the end from a family point of view, we need privacy from this point onwards. We've got a job to do with Bevan, we want to do it in peace and do it properly.
"As a family we have to do our best to see that Bevan is in a position to make a worthwhile contribution to society."
Meninga said he would do everything in his power to make sure his brother made a meaningful contribution to society.
Earlier: CONVICTED murderer Bevan Meninga, the brother of NRL legend Mal Meninga, will be released from jail today after serving 21 years for the 1991 murder of Sunshine Coast 19-year-old Cheree Richardson.
Meninga, who was 19 at the time, murdered Ms Richardson by hitting her repeatedly with a tree branch.
He was arrested days later after being found hiding in the ceiling cavity of a flat.
He later claimed he had been intoxicated.
Meninga was on parole at the time for bashing another woman with a stake in her home.
Ms Richardson died from massive head injuries.
Her battered body was found in bushland at Alexandra Headland.
Meninga was sentenced in August, 1992, to life in jail for the murder.
In 2005, the 42-year-old became eligible for parole but was kept in custody at a low-security prison farm at Rathdowney.
His parole application was finally approved by authorities after his mother moved to Brisbane from the Sunshine Coast to provide him with a place to live.
It is understood a condition of his parole is that he cannot live on the Sunshine Coast, where the family of his victim still resides. He is also expected to be subjected to regular drug and alcohol tests.
Cheree's parents, John and Helen Richardson, have travelled to a secret destination in anticipation of Meninga's release, News Corp reported.
A family friend said the couple wanted to escape the storm expected to erupt over the high-profile case.
Ross Thompson, from the Queensland Homicide Victims Support Group, said the family had been dreading Meninga's release.