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'Never to be released': Ice-fuelled murderer gets life in prison

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A north Queensland man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering an elderly woman during an ice-fuelled rampage.

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Anthony James O’Keefe was sentenced on Tuesday after a three-week trial and a jury finding the 37-year-old guilty of murdering Elizabeth Kippin in July 2016.

O’Keefe was sentenced on seven counts, including two counts of attempted murder, one count of burglary, one count of wilful damage, one count of threatening violence and the murder charge.

The Townsville Supreme Court jury handed down its verdict on Monday – five years and one week after O’Keefe was released from prison on parole and within 12 hours went on his drug-fuelled rampage which resulted in 81-year-old Mrs Kippin’s murder.

Justice David North recommended O’Keefe to never be granted parole.

“You have demonstrated from your actions that you are a danger to the community, specifically to all ages, and particularly the vulnerable and those in their homes alone at night,” he said.

“You are a grave risk because of your demonstrated history and your demonstrated history of violence and if you are ever released, you will reoffend and reoffend by way of act of violence.

“My personal recommendation having heard the evidence is that you should never be released on parole unless demonstrably, you are so old or so infirm that you could not be a threat to even the youngest infant or the most elderly adult.”

During the trial, the jury heard O’Keefe, while on high on drugs, broke into Kippin’s Wulguru home and stabbed her in the chest puncturing a major artery in 2016.

On the same evening he attacked his friend Brittny Speechly-Faulks, stabbing her with the same knife used to kill Kippin, before attempting to kill another man during his drug-fuelled frenzy.

“The violence and mayhem you perpetrated on the night of July 26 2016 came about as a result of your predilection towards violence, and was associated with your use of methamphetamines,” North said.

“The evidence suggests you would’ve taken a direct route from being released on parole to the residence of Ms Speechly-Faulks to get access to methamphetamines.”

In sentencing, the Crown highlighted O’Keefe’s drug and criminal history that stemmed back to his teenage years.

At age 15, O’Keefe stabbed his mother’s partner twice in the back during an altercation and pierced the man’s lung resulting in life-threatening injuries, prosecutor Nigel Rees said.

The act was in self-defence, but O’Keefe continued his bouts with the law and was in Townsville Magistrates Court in 2009 for common assault, after brandishing a knife and holding a social worker hostage in her own car and threatening to kill her.

Speaking after the sentencing, Kippin’s two children and nephew said they concurred with Justice North’s recommendation to deny O’Keefe parole.

“If he never sees the light of day that would suit us fine, and for Beth,” nephew David Kippin said.

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