Hero cop’s mum: ‘Let the scum rot in jail’

'I'M just glad the scum is back where he belongs'.

They're the words of slain Gold Coast cop Damian Leeding's mother after the rearrest of one of her son's killers only months after he was freed from jail on parole.

In a crime that shocked the nation, Detective Senior Constable Leeding was gunned down while bravely trying to foil an armed holdup at the Pacific Pines Tavern on the northern Gold Coast in May 2011.

The highly-respected Coomera detective, a father of two young children, was shot in the face at point-blank range with a sawn-off shotgun after storming the tavern to confront the violent bandits.

He died three days later in Gold Coast Hospital, aged just 35.

The getaway car driver, Benjamin Ernest Power, was sentenced to nine years' jail for the officer's manslaughter.

He was granted parole in April despite a fierce campaign by Det Sen Const. Leeding's mother, Julie Waters, to keep him locked up.

Julie Waters, mother of slain Gold Coast cop Damian Leeding, fought to stop one of her son's killers being freed from jail. Now he’s back behind bars.
Julie Waters, mother of slain Gold Coast cop Damian Leeding, fought to stop one of her son's killers being freed from jail. Now he’s back behind bars.

But he is now back behind bars after being arrested this week on a return-to-prison warrant.

Power, whose strict parole conditions included wearing a tracking device, is understood to have breached parole.

The breach could see him serving anything from a month to the remainder of his sentence.

Power's rearrest is a huge relief to Ms Waters, who had described his parole bid - which she found out about on her late son's birthday - as 'just another dagger through my heart'.

Benjamin Ernest Power was sentenced to nine years' jail for his role as 'lookout' on the night Damian Leeding was killed. Picture: 9NEWS
Benjamin Ernest Power was sentenced to nine years' jail for his role as 'lookout' on the night Damian Leeding was killed. Picture: 9NEWS

"I'm just glad the scum is back where he belongs," she told The Courier-Mail yesterday.

"He should never have been back on the streets."

Ms Waters had written a heartfelt letter to the Parole Board pleading for Power to be kept in jail, telling how Sen Const. Leeding's 'appalling and callous' killing had left her family 'shattered and broken'.

Power had been declared a serious violent offender - meaning he had to serve 80 per cent of his sentence - but became eligible for parole in August last year.

The man who pulled the trigger, Phillip Graeme Abell, and co-accused Donna McAvoy, are serving life sentences for the murder.



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