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Steven James HUNTER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: The victim rejected his sexual advances - Argument
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: April 9, 1986 / November 10, 2012
Date of arrest: 10 days after
Date of birth: October 6, 1965
Victim profile: Jacqueline Mathews, 18 / Sarah Cafferkey, 22
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer - Stabbing with knife
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Status: Sentenced to 16 years with minimum of 13 on February 25, 1988 Released on parole in December 2000. Sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole on August 21, 2013
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Sarah Cafferkey's killer Steven James Hunter sentenced to life without parole

Shannon Deery - Herald Sun

August 21, 2013

THE evil killer who murdered Sarah Cafferkey just days after his parole ended will die in jail.

Steven James Hunter was today sentenced to life imprisonment with no parole over Ms Cafferkey’s brutal killing.

He joins a small list of Victoria's most notorious prisoners who will never be released. They include Russell St bomber Stanley Taylor, sex killer Raymond Edmunds and serial killers Leslie Coombes and Peter Dupas.

But a woman who described herself as a close friend of Hunter says she will make sure he fights to be freed from jail.

Diane, who did not want to reveal her surname, said she had known Hunter his entire life and described him as “a very nice man”.

She sat alongside Hunter’s dad, Murray, as he was today sentenced to die in prison.

Outside court Diane said she would make sure Hunter appealed against the sentence.

“He’ll be appealing because I’ll make sure he does,” she said.

“He’s not a monster, the judge said he’s not a monster.”

Diane compared the sentence to that handed to Jill Meagher’s killer, Adrian Bayley, who was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 35 years.

“Adrian Bayley got 35 years and he did horrendous, he was worse, he is an animal.

“Justice hasn’t been done today, justice has been taken from a man who is a very nice man, when you know him”.

Diane and Mr Hunter blamed drugs on the killing.

“I’m not saying he needs to have a chance, but he does need to live his elderly life as a human being not a caged animal,” she said.

“When he’s 80 years old isn’t he going to be rehabilitated?”

Ms Cafferkey’s parents applauded what they described as a "courageous" decision and said justice had been served.

Sentencing Hunter, Justice Kevin Bell said he was "likely to remain powerful enough to represent an ongoing threat to the community even in old age".

"Your murder of Sarah shows you have a propensity for violence from which the community, and especially young women, need protection," he said.

"The crime which you committed was in the worst category of the most serious crime of murder.

"In my view your case, is therefore, exceptional."

Justice Bell said that while Hunter's crime was monstrous, he was not a monster.

He also said Hunter was not a psychopath but had only very slight chance of rehabilitation.

The 47-year-old, dressed in a black shirt and jeans, remained emotionless as Justice Bell delivered his sentence.

Outside court Noelle Dickson, Sarah’s mum, said she had faith in the justice system.

"Sarah was a beautiful young woman who had so much to live for. Bright, funny and caring," she said.

"Sarah was loved by everyone she crossed paths with and will be missed by us all.

"Today I stand before you in the knowledge that justice has been served for our beautiful daughter, niece, cousin and friend."

Ms Dickson said she would continue to fight for change in the adult parole system.

Adrian Cafferkey, Sarah’s dad, applauded Premier Denis Napthine's pledge to overhaul the system in the wake of a parole report by former High Court Judge Ian Callinan.

"But he needs to rest assured, us along with all the other families, will be watching the timeline for implementation very keenly," Mr Cafferkey said.

Justice Bell described Ms Cafferkey's unprovoked murder as callous, calculating and brutal.

He said Hunter's criminal career spanned 30 years, he had murdered for the first time aged 21, and had spent most of his life in jail.

Dozens of Ms Cafferkey’s family and friends were in court to watch the sentence hearing.

Hunter’s estranged father, Murray, was one of just two people supporting him in court.

They sat together close to the prisoner’s dock and turned to look at him several times through the hearing.

The court heard Hunter did not know if his dad was still alive after becoming estranged from him in 2002.

Before that their relationship had been only sporadic.

Justice Bell said Hunter had endured a "highly deprived upbringing, characterised by physical abuse, neglect, substance abuse and exposure to family violence".

"As a child, you were burnt with an iron and degraded for bed-wetting. In one terrible incident when you were aged only eight years, your father locked the three children into a room while he tied your mother to a chair.

"You managed to get out of the room. Seeing your father put a shotgun into your mother’s mouth, you called your grandparents for help.”

Hunter’s stepfather was also violent towards him.

Outside court Murray Hunter said told reporters his son’s sentence was excessive and said he had been failed by the justice system.

Mr Hunter said his son had not been properly rehabilitated while serving his first prison sentence for murder.

Prosecutors had called for Hunter to be sentenced to a term of life without parole, saying he had lost his right to ever be released.

But lawyers for Hunter had urged the court to impose a non-parole period, accepting that Hunter shouldn't be eligible for release until he is an old man.

They say he had a right to a non-parole period.

Ms Cafferkey was bashed in the head with a hammer and stabbed up to 17 times on the night she died.

An argument had erupted between the 22-year-old and Hunter, a friend, at his Bacchus Marsh unit on November 20 last year.

"The stabbing was shocking in its ferocity, especially given that Sarah was entirely defenceless," Justice Bell said.

Hunter told police Ms Cafferkey became angry after mistakenly thinking he called her a "junkie".

He said during the argument he "snapped" after Ms Cafferkey struck him on the back.

Hunter – who once escaped from Pentridge Prison - had completed his parole just nine days before murdering Ms Cafferkey.

It was his second frenzied stabbing slaying in a criminal career spanning more than two decades.

Hunter served a 13-year term for stabbing 18-year-old Moonee Ponds woman Jacqueline Mathews in 1986 after she rejected his advances.

The court heard Hunter and Ms Cafferkey's relationship had a strong drug connection and that Hunter saw himself as a "father figure" to her.

They had met less than three months before Ms Cafferkey's killing through friends and while she was aware of his criminal history the court heard it was not known if she knew he was a killer.

Justice Bell said Ms Cafferkey accepted Hunter as he was and the pair enjoyed partying together.

After killing Ms Cafferkey Hunter embarked on a cruel plan to coverup the crime.

He sent text messages to Ms Cafferkey's mobile phone, moved her body in his car and entombed her in a wheelie bin filled with concrete and lime.

He had asked a friend to help hide Ms Cafferkey and had gone to Bunnings and bought products to help dispose of her body.

Ms Cafferkey's emotional parents looked directly at Hunter at a pre-sentence hearing last week as they told the court of the pain he had caused them.

Ms Dickson broke down as she told Hunter that Sarah was not a piece of rubbish to be put in a wheelie bin.

Mr Cafferkey pointed directly at Hunter and said he wanted to know "how and why" Hunter was allowed to kill for a second time.

"My spirits are crushed. There are no lights at the end of our tunnel," he said.

"We have a life sentence. Our beautiful baby girl is gone".

During a record of interview following his arrest Hunter told police he remembered hitting Ms Cafferkey with a hammer but couldn't remember stabbing her.

He said he couldn't explain why he had killed her.

"I don't understand why, I really don't understand why," he told police.

"I am nothing."

Hunter said he hoped to die in jail.


Cafferkey's killer bought acid and concrete after murder

By Mark Russell -

August 12, 2013

Steven Hunter walked into a Bunnings store to buy 20 litres of hydrochloric acid, three bags of rapid-set concrete, a bag of lime and a black plastic sheet after brutally murdering Sarah Cafferkey, a court has heard.

Hunter had repeatedly stabbed Ms Cafferkey, 22, and bashed her with a hammer after an argument at his Bacchus Marsh apartment, Chief Crown prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, told the Supreme Court on Monday.

Hunter put the young woman's body in the boot of his car and drove to a house at Point Cook where he placed the body in a green wheelie bin. He poured the concrete into the bin over the body.

Mr Silbert said Hunter was unable to later get rid of the wheelie bin to try to cover up what he had done because the concrete had set and it was too heavy.

Hunter, 47, has pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Cafferkey at his Bacchus Marsh unit on November 10 last year.

After his arrest, Hunter, who served 13 years in prison for murdering 18-year-old Jacqueline Mathews in 1986 after she rejected his sexual advances, told police he wanted to be locked up forever.

Mr Silbert said Hunter, who once escaped from Pentridge Prison, had met Ms Cafferkey through a network of friends in September last year.

The prosecutor said they became friends and Ms Cafferkey would visit Hunter to take the drug ice and drink alcohol.

Ms Cafferkey was aware of Hunter's criminal background but it was unclear if she knew he had been convicted of murder.

Mr Silbert said Hunter, who had been upset at the end of a relationship with another woman in September, claimed he saw himself as a father figure to Ms Cafferkey.

Ms Cafferkey bought some alcohol on Saturday, November 10, and went to Hunter's home where they spent the afternoon drinking and taking ice.

At some point Hunter found a used syringe belonging to his former partner.

Hunter claimed he made a disparaging remark about junkies and Ms Cafferkey thought he was talking about her being a junkie.

Hunter claimed Ms Cafferkey hit him on the back when they were in the kitchen and when he fell over, she hit him again.

Mr Silbert said Hunter "snapped" and lost his temper, attacking Ms Cafferkey with a hammer and a knife.

It was nine days after his parole for drug and theft offences ended.

Defence barrister Tim Marsh said one of the unusual features of the case was that Hunter and Ms Cafferkey had known each other through their mutual use of drugs but this did not diminish the crime, Ms Cafferkey's loss or her family’s grief.

Mr Marsh said Hunter did not set out to desecrate Ms Cafferkey's body when he dumped her in the wheelie bin and covered her in cement as he was planning to dispose of her body at sea to try to avoid arrest.

Hunter conceded he had to be jailed for life but should receive a non-parole period when he was ‘‘an old man and a spent force’’ because of his early guilty plea, his degree of remorse and his age.

‘‘He has the right to hope that one day he will have done enough to atone for what he’s done,’’ Mr Marsh said.

Hunter, who had spent 19 years of his adult life in prison, accepted Ms Cafferkey did not deserve to die and continued to struggle with what he had done.

Mr Silbert urged Justice Kevin Bell to jail Hunter for life without parole because Ms Cafferkey's murder was one of the worst of its kind.

Hunter had now committed two murders and would always be a danger to society.

‘‘There is no remorse. This man is very sorry he got caught,’’ Mr Silbert said.

The court heard Hunter told police he did not know why he had killed Sarah.

Psychologist James Ogloff told the court Hunter had a volatile temperament and ‘‘an intermittent explosive behaviour’’.

Professor Ogloff said Hunter was a well-built, physically powerful man who would continue to pose a significant risk to the community for the foreseeable future.

Hunter could not explain why he had committed both murders and he believed he had had a close friendship with Ms Cafferkey.

‘‘He was quite fond of her,’’ Professor Ogloff said.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ms Cafferkey had been stabbed 19 times in the head, neck, chest and abdomen.

Hunter left the apartment, leaving Ms Cafferkey's body in the kitchen, before returning two days later. He took Ms Cafferkey's body to Point Cook where he poured cement into a wheelie bin and placed her body inside.

Ms Cafferkey was reported missing by her distraught mother, Noelle Dickson, on November 12.

Her body was found in the wheelie bin on November 17 in the garage of a Point Cook home. Police had taken the bin for forensic examination after noticing a foul odour emanating from it. A CT scan confirmed Ms Cafferkey's remains were inside.

Hunter was arrested three days later at a unit in Hawthorn.

He had been jailed for 16 years with a non-parole period of 13 years in 1988 for repeatedly stabbing his 18-year-old co-worker Jacqueline Mathews in her car in 1986 after she rejected his sexual advances.

Justice Bell will sentence Hunter on a date to be fixed.


Sarah Cafferkey didn't stand a chance against killer Steven James Hunter

Anthony Dowsley - Herald Sun

March 27, 2013

CONVICTED killer Steven James Hunter's parole had expired just nine days before he murdered beautiful young Sarah Cafferkey.

In the days after her stabbing death last November, Hunter, 47 - who first murdered a co-worker in 1986 - attracted little attention from police as he went about trying to conceal his crime, despite a tipoff about him.

Hunter pleaded guilty to murdering the Melbourne woman - his second frenzied stabbing slaying in a criminal career spanning more than two decades.

Sarah's mother, Noelle Dickson, shook as she came face to face with the man who killed her only child.

And she is angry the justice system allowed a convicted killer, on parole over other offences, to be placed in the small Bacchus Marsh community to kill again.

"I'm exhausted and feel sick to my stomach sitting so close to this man in the courtroom who brutally took my only child's life," Ms Dickson said.

"As I look at him I don't understand, considering his past criminal history, how on Earth he was ever released or why.

"I want to know why he was released. That's all I kept thinking. How could this happen?"

Although Hunter pleaded guilty and is set to spend the rest of his life in prison, the early plea has not dulled the pain.

Ms Cafferkey's last hours were spent with her disgruntled ex-boyfriend, Chris Stewart, before she bought alcohol to visit Hunter.

The student and budding justice worker had no idea of Hunter's criminal history. He served a 13-year term for stabbing 18-year-old Moonee Ponds woman Jacqueline Mathews in 1986.

Video shows Ms Cafferkey leaving the Foodworks where she bought alcohol and then driving her silver Astra to Hunter's unit in Simpson St, where it is believed he had been placed by Loddon Mallee Housing Services.

Hunter, a suspected ice dealer, argued with Ms Cafferkey before hitting her with a blunt instrument, possibly a dumbell, and then repeatedly stabbing her. The remorseless killer than tried to hide his crime by;

SENDING text messages from Ms Cafferkey's mobile phone.

MOVING her body in his car to a Point Cook property and entombing her in a wheelie bin filled with concrete and lime.

BUYING 20 litres of hydrochloric acid,

TELLING local police Ms Cafferkey had been at his house, leaving her with the keys.

Ms Cafferkey was officially reported missing on November 12 by her mother. A text message was sent to Hunter at 9.45pm to contact Bacchus Marsh police station.

In a call from Bacchus Marsh police he divulged Ms Cafferkey had been with him on November 10 at his unit, they consumed alcohol, but he left about 5pm and left her the keys.

Hunter explained he had returned the next day and she was gone.

He gave police his new address in Point Cook, where he had just hid the body.

According to a police summary, police attended Hunter's Bacchus Marsh unit on November 14 and shone torches in the windows.

On November 15, Wyndham detectives attended the Point Cook property, but found no one home.

On November 17, crime scene examiners at the Bacchus Marsh unit found blood stains at the rear of a sofa and a black leather jacket in the lounge room.

"As the forensic examination of Simpson St, Bacchus Marsh, continued, it became apparent that a serious assault had occurred," the police summary said.

Police returned to Point Cook where the wheelie bin was seized and scanned for her body.

Hunter was picked up hiding in Hawthorn and charged.

During the police interview he admitted his crime - stating he knew Ms Cafferkey, they had argued and he killed her.

Hunter will next appear before the Supreme Court on April 11.


Rap sheet of Steven James Hunter revealed after pleading guilty to frenzied stabbing murder of Sarah Cafferkey

Anthony Dowsley - Herald Sun

March 27, 2013

STEVEN James Hunter has twice claimed the lives of vibrant young women in the most brutal way.

His criminal past reveals a frightening history of violence, and thumbing his nose at the law by reoffending on parole.

The convicted killer has pleaded guilty to murdering Bacchus Marsh woman Sarah Cafferkey today.

Steven James Hunter, 47, who served a 13-years for stabbing 18-year-old Moonee Ponds woman Jacqueline Mathews in 1986, faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison after entering a guilty plea this morning at Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Hunter – who once escaped from Pentridge Prison - had completed his parole just nine days before murdering Ms Cafferkey at his Bacchus Marsh unit on November 10.

STEVEN JAMES HUNTER - a disturbing profile

1983: Convicted of burglary, theft and criminal damage after throwing a rock through a shop window and stealing a pair of gloves.

October 1983: Convicted of assault and carrying a weapon and fined $800 after getting into a fight over a girl.

1984: Convicted of being unlawfully on the premises.

April 9, 1986: Stabbed to death Jacqueline Mathews, 18, after she rejected his advances.

February 25, 1988: Jailed for 16 years with minimum of 13 for the murder of Ms Mathews.

February 26, 1990: Escaped from Pentridge Prison and chased through the streets before being caught. Jailed for four months.

December 2000: Released on parole.

March 2002: Helped kidnap a man who he then tied, gagged and bashed. Parole cancelled.

ay 2002: When police arrested him over the kidnapping they found “deal bags” of amphetamines.

July 2002: Re-paroled.

August 2003: Charges over the 2002 offences.

September 2004: Failed to appear at his court hearing.

October 2004: Arrested.

February 2005: Jailed for driving offences.

April 27, 2005: Jailed for at least four years and six months for theft, intentionally causing injury, false imprisonment and drug trafficking.

June 21, 2006: Sentenced reduced by six months by Court of Appeal.

November 1, 2012: Parole period ended.

November 10, 2012: Fatally stabbed Sarah Cafferkey at his Bacchus Marsh home.

August 21, 2013 - Sentenced to life with no opportunity of parole for Cafferkey murder.


Mum's last memory of beloved daughter Sarah Cafferkey

Elissa Hunt, Anthony Dowsley - Herald Sun

March 27, 2013

A HAUNTING message was one of the last comments Sarah Cafferkey made to her mum, Noelle Dickson, in the weeks before she died.

"If anything happens, Ali knows where he is and where he lives."

Ali was Sarah's best friend. And “he” was Steven James Hunter, a convicted killer who would take Sarah’s life in much the same way he’d done to another bright young girl two decades earlier.

Bubbly Sarah met an awful end, struck with a heavy object and stabbed about the face and neck.

The pretty 22 year-old knew Hunter through her disgruntled ex-boyfriend Chris Stewart, and unwittingly became involved in a petrifying tryst.

In her final hours, Sarah had gone to Stewart to reunite with him despite having had an argument over Facebook about their mutual friend, Hunter.

The couple had been through a bitter break-up that, according to Sarah’s mum, culminated with him climbing onto the roof of the townhouse where she and Sarah lived. As a result he was banned from the house.

In the months before her murder, Sarah would seek help for problems in her life and attempt to distance herself from Stewart.

The clean-break was working but in the fish-bowl Bacchus Marsh community, it was almost impossible to maintain.

But while Stewart may have been her main worry, it was the drug-dealing braggart, Hunter, who posed the real danger.

Hunter had moved to Bacchus Marsh and befriended the young locals with shouts at the pub, and a steady supply of drugs.

As the last Facebook entries on Sarah’s page attest, Stewart and Hunter were no longer getting along.

But it seems Sarah had a change of heart about her ex and when she left her mother's house on Friday, November 9, she went to visit Stewart.

The next day at 2pm she went to Hunter’s Bacchus Marsh unit after arranging to visit. She bought alcohol and they spent the afternoon together.

ut at some point there was an argument and Hunter attacked, repeatedly stabbing Sarah and bludgeoning her.

Police would later find evidence of blood on a couch in Hunter’s lounge room, a carving knife in his bedroom, and other items including dumbbells, bar stools and a pick-axe.

Sarah’s body lay in Hunter’s kitchen for two days.

On November 12, he returned to the unit and put Sarah in the boot of his car.

The police contacted Hunter by SMS at 9.45pm, asking him to call Bacchus Marsh police about Sarah’s disappearance. He didn’t reply. He was busy driving to Point Cook.

He drove to the Port Melbourne Bunnings, with Sarah in the boot, and bought hydrochloric acid, concrete, lime and plastic. It was 8.40pm.

Ms Dickson reported her only child missing. She asked Sarah’s friend Ali for the details of the man she had mentioned, and gave it to police.

The police contacted Hunter by SMS at 9.45pm, asking him to call Bacchus Marsh police about Sarah’s disappearance.

He didn’t reply. He was busy driving to Point Cook.

There he placed Sarah in a green wheelie bin in the garage of a house. Hunter filled the bin with concrete, but put in so much he could no longer move it.

The next day, November 13, Hunter called Bacchus Marsh police and left a message. Nine hours later an officer returned his call.

Hunter told the officer he had been with Sarah on November 10, but he had left her at his unit alive and well at 5pm.

When he returned the next day she was gone, he said.

Dispatched to Hunter's unit later that night - three days after she went missing - the officers who knocked on his door could only report back finding a distressed dog left alone on the property.

They looked inside through the windows, but saw nothing odd.

Homicide squad officers would later interview neighbourhood kids who reported hearing screams from the house next door, but when local police visited it was midnight, too late to bother neighbours.

The officers did not see Sarah’s silver Astra in the garage. But according to Hunter it was there, and at 7.30am the next day he returned to Bacchus Marsh to move it. He left it in Maribyrnong.

Little did the original officers sent to the scene realise the history of the man they were dispatched to check-up on.

In fact, neither did any of the force based in Bacchus Marsh.

Other police knew more about Hunter.

The Herald Sun understands detectives stationed at Werribee were investigating a drug operation between Point Cook and Bacchus Marsh.

But as of November 15, Sarah’s disappearance was still in the hands of local police. They entered Hunter’s unit and found boxes and a bath full of water.

Detectives from Wyndham Crime Investigation Unit became involved and arrived at the Point Cook house where Sarah’s body had been left at 6.20pm. There was nobody home but a car was parked in the drive.

Sarah’s car was found soon afterwards. Homicide squad detectives seized the Astra the next day.

It was not until the day after that, November 17, that the homicide detectives were able to execute a warrant at the unit where Sarah had last been seen.

But it quickly became clear that it was unlikely they would find Sarah alive. Forensic officers confirmed that a serious assault had occurred at the premises.

Detectives returned to Point Cook and discovered the bin, empty cement bags, and blood. Forensic officers worked throughout the night, but were unable to see the contents of the bin, which contained set concrete.

A CT scan of the bin would later confirm their worst fears.

Detectives launched a nationwide search for Hunter.

Another property Hunter rented, that he had dubbed the "rape dungeon" on his Facebook page, was also found.

After Hunter's arrest at a Hawthorn flat on November 20, the 47-year-old made "full admissions" to police.

It is understood he recalls hitting Sarah with a hammer but not the knife attack.

Two other men have been questioned by police over allegations they were involved in disposing of Sarah's body and burning of evidence.

Investigators have recovered CCTV from Bunnings where items, such as cement, lime and acid, were bought and have been told of a bonfire in which Sarah's belongings were tossed.

Some of those being investigated as possible accessories - who the Herald Sun has chosen not to name - knew Sarah.

Police have questioned a 32-year-old from Tarneit and a 34-year-old from Point Cook (who may not have known Sarah).

Sarah's senseless death has left a bitter taste for those who live in Bacchus Marsh, who consider themselves country folk.

It’s unlikely many among them knew the real Steven Hunter, or his frightening past.

ON paper, 22-year-old Steven James Hunter was a decent, hard-working young man.

He coached a girl’s football team and worked three jobs, supporting his partner and baby son and struggling to pay for the mobile home they had just purchased.

But Hunter was a man on the edge.

He slept little more than two hours a night. He used speed and other drugs to stay awake, and drank heavily.

And he had a temper he could not control.

But schoolgirl Jacqueline Mathews, worked alongside him part time at the Gladstone Park Safeway in 1985 and 1986, saw him as more of an annoyance than a danger.

He had apparently tied to kiss her in a storeroom while changing a light and invited her to drinks and to go surfing, offers she turned down.

An outgoing and vivacious 18-year-old, "Jackie" told friends she wasn’t interested in dating a man with a child.

"Steven kept asking her out and he wouldn’t take no for an answer," her schoolfriend told police.

Hunter told male colleagues about the storeroom incident, saying, “now that he had a taste of her he wouldn’t stop until he finally got her”.

On the evening of April 9, 1986, Jackie left work. Hunter was seen sprinting out the door minutes later.

When he returned to work that night, his hair was wet and he had changed clothes.

Jackie’s body was found in the back seat of the burned-out car, which had been left at the Arundel Rd bridge facing the Maribyrnong river at Keilor.

Police spoke to Hunter several times about Jackie’s murder. He was ''cool and unfazed''.

In his final interview with police he declared, "I’m not going to confess. We can play games all night."

But faced with the reality that others had implicated him in the murder, Hunter broke down.

''I am not a human being. I am a dog. I want to go to jail for 20 years,” he sobbed.

After speaking to his wife, Hunter told investigators his version of the truth.

He said his car was blocked in at the supermarket so Jackie offered to drive him home to pick up his forgotten keys.

But according to Hunter, she instead drove to a car park and they kissed until he "got mad" and told her to take him back.

He claimed he slapped her, she produced a knife and somehow Jackie ended up in the back seat, repeatedly stabbed and bleeding to death.

''I’ve got a violent temper,” he admitted.

''I just stabbed her. I went mad and stabbed her a few more times. I should have taken her to the hospital the first time, but I was s--t scared.''

Hunter went home, only to find his wife had visitors. So he had to wash the blood off outside and cover himself with a blanket before going in and changing.

His confessed he’d killed someone and his wife later drove him back to work and disposed of his bloody clothes for him.

Hunter enlisted a friend to help him dispose of Jackie’s body and the evidence he’d left behind in her car.

They doused the car in kerosene and torched it, and the friend drove Hunter back to work.

Satisfied he could not be tied to the murder, Hunter went about his life and work.

But the others he had drawn into his crime urged him to confess, and when he refused they relieved their burning consciences by admitting involvement to police.

Hunter pleaded not guilty to Jackie’s murder.

He made a statement from the prisoner’s dock at his trial, persisting with a defence that the trial judge would later describe as ‘absurd”.

He claimed the attractive young woman had asked him out and tried to kiss him in a storeroom, and he had refused.

"I wasn’t interested in going out with her," he stated.

Hunter stated that he stabbed her accidentally after she pulled a knife after he refused her advances.

"I was frightened and I panicked, but I didn’t mean to harm her," he said.

"It’s hard to believe I did this terrible thing."

The jury didn’t have any trouble accepting Hunter’s guilt. He was jailed for at least 13 years.

Justice Nathan said in sentencing Hunter that Jackie Mathews was an honourable young woman.

''Your story of the deceased girl abducting you to a quiet place in order for her to make sexual advances upon you is so patently absurd that it needs only to be stated to have its ridiculousness revealed,'' Justice Nathan said.

He said the killing had been motivated by Hunter’s unsatisfied lust.

Whether the same motive was behind Sarah Cafferkey’s tragic death may never be known.

When arrested for her murder, Hunter refused to say what they had argued about, or how he had killed her.

Not that the reason really matters to those who loved Sarah.

As one friend wrote, in the outpouring of grief that followed her death: "She is irreplaceable. Unique. Beautiful in every way.“



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