The traumatised schoolmates of a 12-year-old girl who was abducted, raped and murdered have joined her parents in pleading with the Queensland parole board to ensure her killer stays locked up for the rest of his life.
Barrie Watts brutally murdered Sian Kingi on the Sunshine Coast on November 27, 1987 with the help of his then-wife and mother-of-six Valmae Beck.
The pair lured 12-year-old Sian to help look for a ‘white poodle with a pink bow’ before Watts abducted her in the backseat of a Holden Kingswood station wagon.
While the duo were both sentenced to life behind bars, Beck died in custody back in 2008 and Watts has now lodged an application for parole.
For some of Sian’s classmates, they feel that her brutal death stripped an entire generation of Sunshine Coast kids of their innocence.
Sian Kingi (pictured) was riding her bike home from the local shops when she was lured to a park to ‘help look for a poodle’ then abducted, sexually assaulted and murdered
‘He took my generation’s freedom,’ Sian’s schoolmate Melina Fletcher told the Sunshine Coast Daily.
‘We grew up in fear.’
Ms Fletcher said Watts’ vile crime destroyed the entire community and he deserved to ‘rot in jail… just as [we] were promised’.
After gagging Sian and driving her to a remote forest, Watts performed a fantasy he shared with Beck by repeatedly sexually assaulting Sian before strangling and stabbing her.
‘He is an evil you can’t comprehend,’ Chrissy Pobar, Sian’s grade seven teacher, said.
‘Hundreds and hundreds of people were scarred by this. Together we need to make sure something good comes of this – and that’s by making sure he never gets out.’
Ms Pobar, along with several of Sian’s schoolfriends, are pleading with authorities to never release Watts, insisting he is still an extreme risk to the community.
Barrie Watts (pictured) who raped, abducted and murdered Sian Kingi has applied for parole
The man who killed 12-year-old school girls Sian Kingi (pictured) on the Sunshine Coast in 1987 is making a bid for freedom, much to the dismay of friends and family
They say they’re still traumatised by the gruesome fate that met Sian 35 years on from her tragic death.
‘We thought he’d been jailed forever… Or that if he was to ever get out, it would be when he is old and decrepit,’ close school friend Emma Anderson said.
Sian’s body was found a week after she disappeared while riding her bike on the way home from the local shops.
Beck and Watts were both sentenced to life imprisonment, and the community maintains that this sentence must be upheld to reflect societal expectations.
Watts brutally killed young school girl Sian Kingi in 1987 with the help of his then-wife and mother-of-six Valmae Beck (pictured)
A Change.org petition was created on Saturday by State Member for Ninderry Dan Purdie urging the government to reject Watts’ plea for freedom.
In just 24 hours, more than 2,300 people have signed.
Mr Purdie expressed outrage at Watt’s plea and said it sent ‘a shockwave through my community, police and Sian’s family.’
‘All – including her parents who I spoke to again this morning – have grave concerns for the persons living in any community in which Barrie Watts may be released into.’
Mr Purdie said Watts deserved to serve his entire life sentence in prison.
‘If Watts is given parole, what precedent would this set? How many others child killers would be released while they still represent an unacceptable risk to the community?’ he said.
‘It’s not necessarily about people being further punished. The worst of the worst should lose their right to be integrated back into society because they will forever be a risk to any community they are released into.’
Sian’s schoolmates say her death stripped an entire generation of their innocence, and that the killer should never be released
Former Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson, who investigated Sian’s murder as a detective, said Watts ‘would be an unacceptable community risk.’
Retired detective Neil Magnussen also joined the chorus of dismay and said Watt’s will ‘never, ever be rehabilitated, ever.’
‘He’s got a thing about young women and girls. He’ll never stop. He’s a danger to the public,’ Mr Magnussen said.
The Morcombe family have thrown their support behind Sian’s family after their 13-year-old son Daniel was murdered and abducted in 2003 by Brett Cowan.
Denise Morcombe tweeted on Thursday calling for the Queensland Parole board to not free Watt’s from prison.
‘You cannot be serious QLD Parole Board even thinking about letting Barrie Watts out – the child killer!’ Mrs Morcombe wrote.
‘The Kingi and Morcombe families say NO NOT EVER.’
Valmae Beck (pictured) was also sentenced to life imprisonment but later died in 2008