GRIM SCENE: The lagoon where police found the body of Erica Tomkinson in 2002.
GRIM SCENE: The lagoon where police found the body of Erica Tomkinson in 2002. Renee Albrecht

Glenwood wife killer out on parole after 15 years

AFTER 15 years in jail, convicted Glenwood wife killer Russell Stewart Henry Crump is out on parole.

Crump had been serving a life sentence for the murder of his de facto wife, Erica Tomkinson.

A jury found him guilty of her murder in 2003, after Ms Tomkinson's body was found in Toolara Forest.

Her mutilated corpse was located in an isolated lagoon at the end of a dirt track in February 2002, weighed down by concrete blocks.

She was found with two head injuries and six knife wounds in her abdomen.

Crump appealed his conviction as far as possible, going to the Court of Appeal and then the High Court.

The appeals were dismissed and Crump tried again in 2010, seeking a pardon.

That resulted in a decision by the Attorney-General who, on advice, decided not to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal.

Four years after that, Crump tried again, seeking a pardon based on "an anomaly of trial".

His case was again referred to the Attorney-General who again did not refer it back to the Court of Appeal.

The saga continued in 2015, when Crump filed an application to the court requesting a review of the decision not to refer his case for appeal, claiming the Attorney-General had denied him natural justice and procedural fairness.

Then, in March 2016, Justice Ann Lyons dismissed Crump's case. In her judgment, Justice Lyons said Crump had not referred to any new material or fresh evidence. The original jury found that Crump murdered his then de facto on the morning of February 4, 2002.

Later that day there was evidence he went to the Gunalda Hotel and tried to persuade people he had been there longer than he actually was.

He also told people his wife had left him and took money, 11 or 12 bottles of home brew and clothing.

At the Court of Appeal, Crump argued that the trial judge had not told the jury whether the Crown could prove the killing was murder or manslaughter.

Last month, Crump was again before the Supreme Court, this time seeking judicial review of an earlier decision not to grant him parole.

A grey-haired, bearded and bespectacled Crump appeared by video link at a short hearing, where he represented himself. Crump said he had been led to believe the Parole Board had already decided not to grant him parole at its hearing earlier this month.

But a Justice Department spokeswoman yesterday confirmed Crump had been granted parole and was no longer in custody.

The spokeswoman said that for security reasons, the department did not release information on when Crump was released.