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Fight to keep child killer behind bars

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 29/06/2018 Nathan Brooks
a close up of a girl: Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu was just eight years old when she was sexually assaulted and strangled by Dante Arthurs. Picture: AAP © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu was just eight years old when she was sexually assaulted and strangled by Dante Arthurs. Picture: AAP

The family of murdered school-girl, Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu, is fighting to try to keep the man who brutally assaulted and killed her behind bars.

Sofia was just eight years old when she was sexually assaulted and strangled in a Canning Vale shopping centre bathroom in 2006.

She should have turned 21 this year. Instead, her family and friends have launched an online petition lobbying to keep the man responsible for her death locked up.

Dante Arthurs was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of release after 13 years. His compulsory parole review date is now less than 12 months away.

a person in a room: Dante Arthurs, who horrifically murdered little Sofia Rodriguez at a Perth shopping centre in 1996, is just months away from possible parole. © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Dante Arthurs, who horrifically murdered little Sofia Rodriguez at a Perth shopping centre in 1996, is just months away from possible parole. In the online petition. Sofia's family pleads with the Attorney General John Quigley not to release Arthurs.

"On 26 June 2006, Dante Arthurs changed forever the life of a wonderful Perth family and shocked the close-knit community of the Mater Christi School and Parish in Yangebup," Paul Litherland wrote on the online petition.

"Dante Arthurs must not be released and I hope I can count on your signature," he said.

The WA Prisoners Review Board will provide a report to Mr Quigley four to six weeks before Mr Arthurs' Statutory Review Date on June 26, 2019. It will make a recommendation regarding his potential release.

Arthurs was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of release after 13 years. Picture: 9NEWS © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Arthurs was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of release after 13 years. Picture: 9NEWS

When considering parole, the Attorney General will take into consideration a range of factors, including the safety of the community, the seriousness of the offence and the wishes of secondary victims.

"The horrific death of Sofia was one of the most shocking and brutal crimes in recent times," Mr Quigley he said.

"It was an unimaginable act which shook the entire West Australian community.

"I can only begin to imagine the pain and suffering that Sofia's family has gone through and continues to live with every day," he said.

a group of people in a room: The convicted killer's compulsory parole review date is now less than 12 months away. Picture: 9NEWS © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd The convicted killer's compulsory parole review date is now less than 12 months away. Picture: 9NEWS

"The wishes of Sofia's family will weigh heavily in any decision I might make regarding this shocking case."

The petition collected more than eight thousand signatures in 24 hours.

It can be found online here.

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