Triple murderer is an ‘animal’
A triple killer who brutally murdered his former girlfriend and two others in a tiny country NSW town has been handed three life sentences.
Allan Geoffrey O'Connor, 64, was sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court at Dubbo on Thursday after being found guilty of the murders in a four-week trial by jury.
Justice Robert Hulme told the Supreme Court at Dubbo the brutal killings on a property at Hermidale, near Nyngan in western NSW, stemmed from O'Connor's jealousy of his partner's new love.
O'Connor shot Rebecca Webb, 36, her lover Stephen Cumberland, 59, and his adult son Jacob, 28, at close range with a rifle in June 2015. Jacob, a local farmhand, who lived on the property with his father Stephen Cumberland in separate caravans, was discovered fatally shot in the driveway by a member of the public a few days later. The small town is home to about 130 people. A short time later, police made the grisly discovery of Ms Webb's body outside Mr Cumberland's burnt-out caravan, where his dead body was soon found inside. Ms Webb was a mother to one daughter and a nurse.
"As a further indignity, Mr O'Connor set fire to the caravan in which Stephen Cumberland had been killed," Justice Hulme said in handing down the sentence today.
"There was very little left of his body after the fire had burned out."
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Members of the Cumberland family attended O'Connor's sentencing, reportedly watching on from the public gallery.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, the judge was told the slain father and son had been an "inseparable pair", and that Ms Webb had been a "fun-loving, happy person".
The families of the victims applauded the sentence as O'Connor left the court, the ABC reports.
Outside the court, Heather Poole, who spoke on behalf of the Cumberland family, described O'Connor as an "animal".
"No sentence will ever be harsh enough," she said.
"Even in jail he will still have the joy of seeing and holding his loved ones, that is something we can never get back.
"Our family was stolen from us - we'll never have a normal life - but we will have an existence."