Newcastle Herald

Prisoner to stay in jail

Date: 10/02/2012
Words: 271
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: News
Page: 15
THE convicted murderer and armed robber known as the Big Nose Bandit will remain behind bars until his next application for parole in April.

The State Parole Authority yesterday confirmed its decision not to release Kevin John Gallagher, who is now aged in his late 50s.

Gallagher has served almost 15 years of an 18-year sentence for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

He was first eligible for parole last April, but his application was refused.

The parole authority confirmed that decision yesterday, but Gallagher is eligible to reapply this April.

He previously served about 12 years for murdering a fellow prisoner in Parramatta jail in 1981 before he moved to Merewether in the mid-1990s.

Police suspected that he and his gang, known as the Big Nose Gang, were responsible for almost 20 armed robberies in Newcastle and the Central Coast that yielded about $900,000 until Gallagher's arrest in May 1997.

Gallagher was convicted of two robberies at Mount Hutton and Tuggerah and conspiracy to rob a building society at Swansea.

The parole authority refused Gallagher's release last year because of his long history of violence, psychological assessments that deemed him to be high risk, his history of reoffending while on parole and opposition from the Serious Offenders Review Council, a Corrective Services spokesman said.

Gallagher always maintained his innocence over the stabbing murder of a fellow inmate at Parramatta jail in 1981.

He claimed that another prisoner with the same surname was responsible and had confessed, but the Court of Criminal Appeal rejected that claim as a fabrication.

Gallagher was initially sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, but was later released after about 12 years.

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