Among the inmates of Barwon Prison’s Hoya Unit are serial killer Peter Dupas, Bega schoolgirl murderer Leslie Camilleri, thrill killer Thomas Hemming and Burwood executioner Ashley Coulston.
Among the inmates of Barwon Prison’s Hoya Unit are serial killer Peter Dupas, Bega schoolgirl murderer Leslie Camilleri, thrill killer Thomas Hemming and Burwood executioner Ashley Coulston.

Inside the home of one of our most notorious killers

It is a protection unit in the state's most secure prison and it houses an evil cluster of murderers who between them have killed more than 40 people.

Among the inmates of Barwon Prison's Hoya Unit are serial killer Peter Dupas, Bega schoolgirl murderer Leslie Camilleri, thrill killer Thomas Hemming and Burwood executioner Ashley Coulston.

Men who have killed their children Robert Farquharson and Charles Mihayo also are in Hoya.

Those who have killed other people's children, like baby killer Dwayne Lindsey are also kept in the protective unit away from the general prison population.

Sadistic rapists and terror svengali Abdul Nacer Benbrika also call Hoya home while they are serving out their term in maximum security.

Serial killer Peter Dupas calls the Hoya Unit home after killing Mersina Halvagis, Nicole Patterson and Margaret Maher.
Serial killer Peter Dupas calls the Hoya Unit home after killing Mersina Halvagis, Nicole Patterson and Margaret Maher.

 

Leslie Camilleri is serving two life terms for the rape, torture and murders of the Bega schoolgirls
Leslie Camilleri is serving two life terms for the rape, torture and murders of the Bega schoolgirls

 

 

Prisoners find themselves in Hoya because their heinous crimes - usually against women and children - would put them at risk of being attacked in a mainstream unit.

One Barwon Prison source said while their crimes make your skin crawl the prisoners were easier to manage than most.

One former prison officer described the unit as being full of "needy" individuals who caused little drama.

"They're very compliant. These sickos cause a few issues among themselves but not us," he said.

"They need to be liked. They need to be listened to. They want to be your friend. Some of them try to treat you like you're their concierge."

 

 

Robert Farquharson was jailed for 33 years for deliberately driving his sons into a dam in Winchelsea in 2005.
Robert Farquharson was jailed for 33 years for deliberately driving his sons into a dam in Winchelsea in 2005.

 

Islamic radical Abdul Nacer Benbrika was convicted of a 2005 plot to attack Melbourne landmarks.
Islamic radical Abdul Nacer Benbrika was convicted of a 2005 plot to attack Melbourne landmarks.

 

 

The ex-staff member said he never felt threatened while working in Hoya.

He said most of them had offended against children or women.

"All of their victims are generally defenceless. Most of them have jumped out of the shadows and attacked people," the former officer said.

But it is not without trouble.

Last month two staff were injured as they tried to break up a fight in the Hoya Unit.

Three prisoners were involved in the brawl and staff were hurt as they tried to restrain them, a source said.

 

 

Thomas Hemming stabbed Robert and Cheryl Adamson to death in 2014 in what was described as a “thrill kill”.
Thomas Hemming stabbed Robert and Cheryl Adamson to death in 2014 in what was described as a “thrill kill”.

 

Charles Mihayo killed his two daughters by smothering them with a pillow, before bathing them and putting them in new dresses.
Charles Mihayo killed his two daughters by smothering them with a pillow, before bathing them and putting them in new dresses.

 

 

A department of justice and community safety spokeswoman said careful consideration was given to each prisoners' placement.

"Corrections staff conduct rigorous security and risk assessments on anyone coming into the prison system to ensure their placement is safe and secure.

"Prisoner placements are regularly monitored and reviewed, and may be modified where an assessment finds their risk and individual requirements have changed."

ABDUL NACER BENBRIKA

The terror svengali has been locked-up in Hoya for several years after he was convicted of a 2005 plot to attack Melbourne landmarks. When Islamic State terror group was on the rise from 2013 and the threat of Islamic extremism reared its head again there were fears Benbrika was preaching from the inside. Benbrika's move to Hoya curbed his influence on mainstream prisoners and ability to get messages out to the community. The Algerian-born terrorist's maximum 15-year term comes to an end next year and it is believed authorities will attempt to detain him indefinitely in a jail unit designed for Victoria's highest-risk criminals who are too dangerous to be released.

LESLIE CAMILLERI

Is serving two life terms for the rape, torture and murders of the Bega schoolgirls 14-year-old Lauren Margaret Barry and 16-year-old Nichole Emma Collins. The depraved triple killer also abducted and killed schoolgirl Prue Bird. Justice Elizabeth Curtain said he shows a "cruel and callous disregard for the sanctity of human life."

Camilleri converted to Islam while in prison.

 

 

Robert Karam was convicted over the world’s then largest ecstasy smuggling plot.
Robert Karam was convicted over the world’s then largest ecstasy smuggling plot.

 

 

ROBERT KARAM

Convicted over the world's then largest ecstasy smuggling plot, he is one of the few drug traffickers to be put in the protection unit.

But Karam has featured heavily in the Lawyer X Royal Commission, as he was a close friend of barrister turned police double-agent Nicola Gobbo. Karam gave Gobbo the Bill of Lading, which revealed the location of the shipping container that was holding 15 million ecstasy pills.

More than 30 gang members, some with links to the Calabrian mafia, were arrested over the smuggling plot. It is thought Karam may find himself in a protective unit after co-accused were upset that his loose lips may have undone the 4.4 tonne smuggling operation.

PETER DUPAS:

Notorious serial killer Peter Dupas is serving three life sentence for killing Mersina Halvagis at Fawkner Cemetery in 1997 and the mutilation murders of Nicole Patterson in April 1999 and Margaret Maher in October 1997. A court ordered last month that Dupas would not stand trial on a fourth murder charge of Kathleen Downes. The Downes prosecution fell apart when disgraced lawyer and convicted drug trafficker, Andrew Fraser, was too sick to give evidence. Fraser served time with Dupas.

Dupas has been described in jail as highly anxious, cold, unemotional, dangerous and depressed.

The predator was also said to have denied his guilt and been unable to discuss his offences.

ROBERT FARQUHARSON

The father's day child killer was jailed for 33 years for deliberately driving his sons - Jai, 10, Tyler, 7, and Bailey, 2 - into a dam in Winchelsea in 2005. He had claimed he blacked out due to a coughing fit but a jury did not believe his defence finding him guilty. He lost a High Court bid to have his conviction overturned in 2013.

ASHLEY COULSTON

In 1992 Coulston brought a kill kit to an interview to be part of a sharehouse in Burwood.

Kerryn Henstridge, 22, Anne Smerdon, 22, and Peter Dempsey, 27, the brother-in-law of one of the women, were forced into separate rooms and hogtied using cable ties before Coulston shot them execution style in the back of the head with a sawn-off .22 rifle fitted with a homemade silencer made from an oil filter.

In 2005 prison authorities found that the killer had managed to hoard violent TV images on a computer.

 

 

John Sharpe fired two spear guns into his pregnant wife’s head as she slept.
John Sharpe fired two spear guns into his pregnant wife’s head as she slept.

 

 

JOHN SHARPE

In 2004 The Mornington monster fired two spear guns into his pregnant wife's head as she slept. He buried Anna Kemp's body in a shallow grave in the couple's Mornington home. Four days later the fiend turned the spear gun on his 20-month-old daughter Gracie. Sharpe exhumed Anna's body, dismembered it with a chainsaw and then dumped her and Gracie at a local tip. In the early years of his sentence Sharpe was often isolated for his own safety. At a court hearing in 2005 Sharpe claimed his incarceration made him suicidal.

THOMAS HEMMING

Stabbed Robert and Cheryl Adamson to death in 2014 in what was described as a "thrill kill". The Supreme Court heard Hemming "wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone" for months before he knocked on his elderly neighbour door. The strongly built then 21-year-old launched a "savage, horrific and motiveless" attack on the couple in their Murrumbeena home.

CHARLES MIHAYO

In 2014 Mihayo pleaded with his ex-wife to see his two daughters "one last time" on Easter Sunday. After playing hide and seek with the girls he smothered them with a pillow, bathed them and put them in new dresses. Justice Lex Lasry said he committed the murder to punish his ex-wife.

LEIGH ROBINSON

Was sentenced to death in 1968 when he killed 17-year-old shop assistant, Valerie Dunn in a frenzied knife attack. His sentence was commuted to 30 years hard labour after a mercy plea. While his life was saved the successful mercy plea was as good as a death warrant for Tracey Greenbury. In 2008 Robinson aimed a 12 gauge shotgun at Greenbury's head and pulled the trigger. The double murderer was sentenced to life without parole in 2009.



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