Sarah Cafferkey
Sarah Cafferkey

Former prison escapee to spend rest of his life in jail

A FORMER prison escapee who stabbed young Melbourne woman Sarah Cafferkey to death just days after completing parole for the murder of another woman, will spend the rest of his life in jail.

Steven James Hunter, 47, was arguing with the young friend he had bonded with over drugs, when he "snapped", and repeatedly bashed and stabbed the 22-year-old.

Having already served 13 years for the stabbing murder of an 18-year-old Moonee Ponds woman, Hunter attempted to cover up the crime by dumping Ms Cafferkey's body in a wheelie bin and filling it with concrete and lime.

He was eventually arrested and charged with her murder.

The Herald reported dozens of Ms Cafferkey's family and friends were in court for the sentence on Wednesday.

Justice Kevin Bell said Hunter posed an ongoing threat to the community, even in old age and the community - "especially young women" needed protection.

Outside, Ms Cafferkey's mother Noelle Dickson, who has set up a victim's support group in honour of her daughter, described the judge's decision as "courageous" and said her faith in the justice system had been restored.

Hunter's trial was one of many high-profile cases which sparked an inquiry into Victoria's parole system.

Before being released on parole, he had escaped from the notorious Pentridge Prison.

Speaking to reporters in Melbourne this week, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, who recently met with the husband of murdered ABC employee Jill Meagher, vowed to introduce new laws to keep serial offenders behind bars.