NSW prison murderer jailed for 30 years | Blue Mountain Gazette
A New South Wales prisoner who has long exhibited a tendency towards unprovoked violence could remain behind bars for another 30 years for murdering his ‘adorable’ cellmate while locked up together overnight.
Richard Jason Reay, 47, was convicted in a judge-lone trial of strangling Geoffrey Fardell at the North Coast Correctional Center near Kempsey in June 2019.
Judge Robert Allan Hulme jailed Reay for at least 22 years and six months in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Wednesday, saying he had “absolutely no respect for the sanctity of human life to kill such a callous and sadistic person.
Reay initially denied any involvement, saying he woke up to find the 52-year-old lying on the floor, telling a floor sweeper “my celly is dead”.
But after a mark of injury was detected on Fardell’s neck, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, claiming a story of excessive self-defense over a dispute over the volume of the television.
Reay testified that Fardell threateningly ordered “to turn off the television” before jumping on him and giving him “a flurry of punches”, causing him to tear a clothesline he had threaded through. over her bed, wrapping it around her neck.
One of Fardell’s nurses said her behavior before had been completely unremarkable while another, asked her if she noticed anything worrying, replied: “No, he was adorable”.
An autopsy revealed Fardell was covered with wounds and abrasions, including lacerations to the face, Reay on the other hand suffered none, a police officer said in court.
Judge Hulme dismissed Reay’s “totally implausible account of the events”, saying his story “made no sense” and found him guilty of murder.
Earlier, the court heard from Fardell’s mother, Sandra Deveson, who said her son loves life and people and looks forward to well-crafted plans upon his release.
But after her son reassured her that he was safe in prison, Ms Deveson now has recurring nightmares about him dying alone on the cold prison floor.
“I screamed and kept saying, ‘I just want to talk to you, I love you Geoffrey,'” she said.
Reay was diagnosed with severe antisocial personality disorder, and his “long-established propensity for unprovoked and indiscriminate violence,” was noted in court.
In 2003, he was jailed for hitting a man’s head with a baseball bat for no apparent reason, telling a passerby that without his intervention he would likely be fatal.
In 2019 alone, he recorded seven incidents of assault on various prisoners and has since been transferred to a high-risk maximum security prison.
The two inmates were accidentally transferred to this prison and how they were locked together remains unknown, while Reay’s defense has hinted that the corrective services were to blame for the placement.
“It is the criminal law that is responsible for inmates in correctional facilities, and it is the criminal law that should be used to protect them to the extent possible,” said Justice Hulme.
“There is not much an inmate can do to repel, let alone escape, an attack.”
The judge described it as “an offense involving an unexplained but extreme act of the most brutal violence aimed at ending a man’s life,” and said he could not be granted any mitigating factor.
“(He) doesn’t really have any remorse, he doesn’t have good prospects for rehabilitation and he has no likelihood of recurrence,” he said.
Reay will be eligible for parole for the first time in November 2042.
Associated Australian Press