Aug 28, 2015

Schoolgirl killer Price confesses; similarities to Jill Meagher case | The Australian

The killer of a 17-year-old schoolgirl had a lengthy criminal history of rape, stalking, assault, indecent assault and making threats to kill spanning more than a decade, it can be revealed after a guilty plea yesterday.
Sean Christian Price, 31, of Melbourne’s western suburbs, yesterday pleaded guilty to murder, rape, theft and attempted theft in a crime spree over two days in March this year that started with the schoolgirl’s ­murder.
Doncaster teenager Masa Vukotic was stabbed 49 times in Price’s March 17 attack, in a park just 500m from her eastern suburbs home, in a murder that was compared with the 2012 ­killing of ABC staff member Jill Meagher.
Masa was studying her VCE at Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College and was known for her love of reading, travel and dressing up in costumes.
She dreamt of becoming a lawyer, but that dream ended when Price attacked her as she exercised near her home in the early evening.
The murder shocked a city still recovering from the brutality of Meagher’s death.
Hundreds attended the fun­eral service for Masa, attended a public march or left flowers at the site of her death.
The parallels between the two women’s deaths strengthened as details emerged of Price’s criminal history.
Yesterday, Price pleaded guilty to raping a woman in Sunshine, in Melbourne’s west, two days after killing Masa.
Price has prior convictions for rape, indecent assault, stalking and making threats to kill dating back to 2004.
His youngest victim was a 13-year-old girl. Another victim was a 36-year-old mother who was raped in her home while her two young children were inside.
Price was aged 18 and 19 when he committed the offences and later told police he got “the biggest high” from the attacks.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 5½ years’ hospital detention and placed on the sex offenders’ register.
In 2006, Price punched and kicked then health minister Tony Abbott when he was visiting the Thomas Embling Hospital.
The Herald Sun reported Price also committed assaults in 2013 for which he served 10 months. Less than six months after his release from Port Phillip Prison, Price murdered Masa.
Yesterday, Price pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates Court to four charges, but was acquitted of two further charges of recklessly causing ­injury and intentionally causing injury. He will return to court on December 14.
The case will place further pressure on police and government to monitor and rehabilitate criminals after their release.
Meagher’s killer, Adrian ­Bayley, was also a multiple sex offender who had served time for his offending but ­escaped serious police scrutiny.

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