Murder in Melbourne is a hard hitting new RTÉ documentary which looks at the murders of three Irish nationals living in Melbourne between 2012 & 2013. The film also looks at the parole system in Victoria and how failings there resulted in the murders of Jill Meagher and Dermot O’Toole. Murder in Melbourne includes interviews with family members, journalists and police as well as using cctv footage and images connected to these crimes.
The film opens with the killing of Dublin born jeweller Dermot O’Toole in July 2013. Dermot and his wife Bridget had emigrated from Ireland in 1972. They eventually settled in Hastings, a small town on the outskirts of Melbourne where they opened their own business called the Jewel Shed.
The film includes incredibly poignant interviews with Bridget and family as well as cctv footage of the murderer’s movements to recreate what turned out to be a failed and incredibly violent armed robbery, during which Bridget was seriously wounded and Dermot was fatally stabbed.
The film then returns to the murder of a thirty-year-old Irish man, David Greene who was attacked while managing a hostel in Melbourne, one-year-earlier in August 2012. David Greene was typical of the many young Irish people who moved to Australia following the economic bust in Ireland. A brick-layer by trade, he had grown up in Cabinteely, Dublin and had been in Australia for less than a year.
The film documents the plight of his parents, Aidan and Catherine Greene who hearing of his attack made the arduous journey to Melbourne where twelve days later his life support machine was turned off. The family then faced his killer in court, a convicted criminal by the name of Luke Wentholt who had attacked their son during a party.
Within weeks there had been another murder in Melbourne, that of Jill Meagher. Jill’s murder became one of the highest profile murders in Australia in living history. It sent shockwaves throughout Australia and Ireland not just because of the brutality of her attack but because her murderer, Adrian Bayley a convicted rapist was out on parole.
Despite this, less than five months later, a convicted armed robber by the name of Gavin Perry was also released by the Parole Board of Victoria. Perry was a highly dangerous career criminal who by the age of 27 already had over 200 criminal convictions. Soon after his release Perry went on a spree of armed robberies which eventually led to his botched raid on the Jewel Shed and the murder of Dermot O’Toole. He was eventually sentenced to twenty-years for the murder of Dermot O’Toole.
The film concludes with the O’Toole family’s campaign for tougher sentencing and tighter restrictions on parole in Victoria. It is an incredibly moving portrait of ordinary families coping with devastating loss and their journey to get justice for their loved ones.
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