Legal fight to keep convicted killer Damien Anthony Peters behind bars


Sydney convicted murderer damien peters
Photo: NSW Police

New South Wales authorities are fighting to keep convicted killer Damien Anthony Peters, who murdered two boyfriends in 2001, in jail as his release date looms.

Peters was jailed in 2002 after murdering two male partners and dismembering their bodies in Sydney.

Warning: graphic content

Peters stabbed Tereaupii Akai, 50, twice in the neck before dismembering his body in a “deliberate and cold-blooded” fashion, a judge ruled.

He flushed the man’s organs down the toilet and disposed of the rest of the body in a council bin.

After the crime, Peters then withdrew money from Akai’s disability pension in his name multiple times.

Eight months later, Peters killed 57-year-old Bevan James Frost by stabbing him as he gave Frost a massage. Peters then also sliced up the man’s body.

Detectives investigating the men’s disappearance found Frost’s remains in the bath inside Peters’ flat in the Northcott housing block in Surry Hills.

Peters pleaded guilty to the murders, telling the court he murdered Akai after he suffered years of mental and physical torture.

He said he killed Frost because he was also abused and manipulated by him.

The court heard at the time of the murders Peters was high on over a dozen different drugs.

In 2002, a judge jailed Peters for 21 years with a non-parole period of 13 years.

In 2016, after serving 15 years, Damien Anthony Peters was released on parole under strict conditions on his movements.

But in April 2019, Peters removed his ankle bracelet and fled a hospital in Randwick. He then spent a day on the run, sparking a police manhunt.

While on the run, Peters attended gay venue the Stonewall Hotel, where staff asked him to leave on two occasions due to his intoxication.

NSW Police officers later arrested Peters in a street in Petersham in Sydney’s inner west (below).

damien peters nsw police convicted killer sydney

Convicted murderer’s sentence expires in September 2022

Damien Peters’ jail term was set to expire in September 2022.

This month, lawyers for the state of NSW are in court to block Peters’ release. They claim he is still an unacceptable risk to the community.

Peters’ lawyer Matt Johnson told the NSW Supreme Court he can be released into the community on an Extended Supervision Order with more than 50 conditions.

Johnston argued those conditions were “capable of protecting the community.”

But Lucy Nichols, representing the state of New South Wales, applied for continued detention.

She argued Peters presents an unacceptable risk of committing a serious offence if released.

Nichols told the court “testing the defendant in the community flies in the face of a risk avoidant approach.”

Damien Anthony Peters under 28-day interim detention order

On February 17, Supreme Court Justice Julia Lonergan granted a 28-day interim detention order for Peters.

In that time, two psychologists will conduct separate examinations of Peters and deliver their reports to the NSW Supreme Court.

In her ruling, Justice Lonergan said she was satisfied the risk Peters presents of “committing a serious violence offence is unacceptable”.

“The seriousness of the potential harm is high, given the defendant’s proven capacity for extreme violence, which is likely to be impulsive and sudden,” she said.

Justice Lonergan said Peters’ parole had been revoked three times due to his non-compliance.

“Institutionalisation is an unfortunate consequence for the very serious [crimes] and the opportunities for parole [Peters] chose to squander,” she said.

However she said a final decision on Peters’ release will be made in a future hearing “based on the evidence then available.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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