Troy Allen Burley.
Troy Allen Burley.

Rail rapist released from jail

THE Police Union has questioned a parole board decision to release the "Ipswich railway rapist" eight years short of his 20-year sentence.

Troy Allen Burley, formerly of Ebbw Vale and Bundaberg, pleaded guilty in October 1997 to vicious sex assaults on four women, including the rapes of two women in daylight near Ebbw Vale train station.

Aged 19 when he faced trial in Brisbane District Court, Burley pleaded guilty to 27 charges, including seven rapes.

At the time, he was described by a detective who investigated the case as "the worst rapist I've seen in 23 years of service".

Burley was sentenced to 16 years jail but the then Attorney-General Denver Beanland appealed the leniency of the sentence saying it was "manifestly inadequate".

The following year the sentence was increased to 20 years in a unanimous decision by the Court of Appeal.

He has now been released to live with his family at Ipswich after serving 12 years in jail.

Police Union president Ian Leavers said the safety of residents should be paramount when the parole board made such decisions.

"We hope that the parole board has given sufficient weight to the safety of the community when they made this decision," Mr Leavers said.

"Community safety should be the primary concern when these decisions are made and the needs of the criminal should be put well behind those safety considerations."

Burley filled female rail commuters with terror after brutal sex attacks at railway stations between April and June 1996.

Crown prosecutor Leanne Clare said Burley's chilling pattern involved grabbing women from behind, tying clothing over their faces and rifling through their personal items.

At the same time he threatened to kill the women if they went to police. The court heard the women were sickened by Burley's lack of emotion. They said he taunted his victims as he attacked them.

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