He abused the comfort of his low-security prison dorm to rape a female corrections officer – now this convicted murderer will be locked up for years.
He abused the comfort of his low-security prison dorm to rape a female corrections officer – now this convicted murderer will be locked up for years.

Murderer and rapist in maximum security until July 2033

A convicted murderer who abused the privilege of a low-security prison dorm to rape a female corrections officer will now be kept in maximum security until July 2033.

On Thursday, the District Court extended James Hall's 22-year non-parole period by 5 ½ years for his repeated sexual assaults upon the woman.

Judge Gordon Barrett said Hall could be shown no leniency.

"You're not entitled to any sentencing discount by reason of insight or remorse," he said.

"It appears you have no insight into your offending, and you certainly have no remorse for it.

"It's likely you will serve much, if not all of the balance of your time in prison in a high-security setting."

Hall, 33, was convicted of two counts of rape that occurred when he was 12 years into his life sentence for murder.

He committed that crime in 2006 at the age of 19 - all other details of that crime have been suppressed by the court.

In his verdict, Judge Barrett found Hall took advantage of the privately-run prison's "culture of positivity" to attack the officer in his "low-to-medium security dorm".

Hall kept the officer in his dorm, against her will, for 20 minutes, ignoring her clear refusals of sex and instead talking about how long he had been in custody.

Judge Barrett rejected Hall's "unlikely, exaggerated" claims the officer initiated sex with him, and that he was permitted conjugal visits with his girlfriend in the prison's "naughty corner".

He said Hall's evidence was "unimpressive and untruthful", and that feelings of sexual frustration and deprivation had created "a sense of entitlement" within the killer.

In her victim impact statement last week, the officer told the court she has "almost lost everything" in the years since Hall attacked her.

She said she now lives a "constant nightmare" and having to relive the matter at trial had "almost broken" her.

In sentencing on Thursday, Judge Barrett said the woman suffered only minor physical injuries but her "mental anguish" was, and continued to be, "considerable".

"She is filled with self-blame for trusting you and putting herself in the position of being vulnerable to what you did to her," he said.

"Your sentence must take into account the fact your offences were committed against a woman who was doing no more than her job at the prison."

Hall's original non-parole period was set to expire in January 2028 - he will now be ineligible to seek release on parole until July 2023.

The court also heard arrangements would be made to ensure Hall was never again housed at any prison where the female officer was working.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.   

Originally published as Murderer, rapist in maximum security until July 2033


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