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Vile paedophile who raped and murdered seven-year-old applies for parole

One of Australia’s most notorious child killers could be released from prison in a matter of months after applying for parole.

Kevin Riley, now 59, and his brother Jim were convicted of the horrific rape and murder of seven-year-old Shaun Phillips in 1988 – a case which remains one of South Australia’s most infamous crimes.

The child killer is now appealing to be let out of jail after 32 years, but Shaun’s father, Gary Phillips, has called for the paedophile to be left to ‘rot in prison’.

Crown prosecutor Ann Vanstone told the Supreme Court at the time of the trial that Kevin’s brother Jim said the chilling words ‘I’m going out to get a boy’ before snatching little Shaun.

One of Australia's most notorious child killers could be released from prison in just a matter of months (pictured, Kevin Riley with an inmate in drag at an infamous prison party)

One of Australia’s most notorious child killers could be released from prison in just a matter of months (pictured, Kevin Riley with an inmate in drag at an infamous prison party)

After Jim abducted Shaun near his home in the Adelaide suburb of Cowandilla, he then took the child to Kevin’s flat several hundred miles away.

Riley, who was 27 at the time, watched his brother, 28, sexual assault Shaun, strangle him, smash his head with a tomahawk and hold his head under water.

When police asked Riley if he also had sex with Shaun, he said ‘yes’, but that the little boy was already dead.

Mr Phillips said that despite their intellectually handicap, both brothers knew exactly what they were doing – and even cleaned up the flat before dumping Shaun’s body in a neighbour’s driveway.

‘Jim Riley took Shaun back to Kevin’s flat. Kevin could have said no,’ Mr Phillips told the Adelaide Advertiser.

‘This is the person we want walking free around Adelaide? No. Let him rot in prison.’

Mr Phillips has written a letter to the state’s parole board ‘through the eyes’ of his beloved son Shaun urging corrections authorities to keep him locked up.

He said he has ‘complete confidence’ in the parole board and hopes they will make the right decision.

Shaun Phillips (pictured) was murdered in 1988 by the Riley brothers and his father says they should be left to 'rot in prison'

Shaun Phillips (pictured) was murdered in 1988 by the Riley brothers and his father says they should be left to ‘rot in prison’

After being sentenced to life in prison with a non-parole period of 23 years, Kevin first applied for release in 2003.

The request was promptly denied and parole board chairwoman Frances Nelson QC, said he ‘represents a risk to the community in that the likelihood of him re-offending is high’.

He has remained in Port Lincoln Prison for the past 15 years after originally being held with his brother at Mt Gambier Prison.

Jim is still locked up in Mt Gambier Prison after being sentenced to life with a non-parole period of 28 years.

But even behind bars controversy has followed the notorious killer.

In 2006, Riley was pictured at Port Lincoln Prison with a number of inmates dressed in drag for a party.

The incident became known as the ‘jailhouse rock’ fiasco and angered many victims of crime.

To be released on parole after being sentenced to life in prison, ‘lifers’ must be interviewed by the parole board in person.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions no lifers are currently being interviewed.

‘When we are able to undertake those interviews again there will be a backlog, so I would not anticipate that happening until later in the year,’ Ms Nelson said.

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