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Vic parole reform probed in murder inquest

AAP logoAAP 15/11/2016 Kaitlyn Offer

A meth-fuelled parolee's murder of a jeweller will get a coronial inquest, but the review will mainly focus on the progress of Victoria's sweeping parole reforms.

Bridget O'Toole, wife of slain Hastings jeweller Dermot O'Toole, applied to Coroner Sarah Hinchey for an inquest into his 2013 murder.

But in announcing an inquest on Tuesday afternoon, Judge Hinchey limited how much the probe will focus on Mr O'Toole's death.

Instead the inquest will mostly examine the effectiveness of the parole system after reforms introduced following the high profile murders of Jill Meagher and Sarah Cafferkey.

Judge Hinchey said the parole system had changed dramatically since Mr O'Toole's death.

"I intend on being reassured the system as it presently stands is working," she told the court.

Gavin Perry fatally stabbed Mr O'Toole as he rushed to protect his wife during the robbery of their Hastings jewellery store.

Perry was on parole and high on ice when he committed murder, and had been released from jail in early 2013 after serving four years of a six-year term for armed robbery offences.

He pleaded guilty to murder, intentionally causing injury and three counts of armed robbery, and was sentenced to 27 years prison in 2014.

The one day inquest into the death of Dermot O'Toole will be held in early 2017, on a date to be confirmed.

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