Mother of four-year-old girl sexually assaulted and murdered makes appeal against killer’s release

Lauren Hickson. Courtesy: 9NEWS

“It’s hard… it’s very, very hard,” Jurina Hickson sobs.

She’s talking about the loss of her four-year-old daughter Lauren 28 years ago.

Lauren was abducted, raped and murdered at Emu Plans, in Sydney’s west, in 1989.

Her body was found in a creek near the Nepean River.

Neville Towner was arrested, charged and convicted of her rape and murder. Now he’s trying to be released on parole.

“All I can say to people out there is to keep an eye on your children and your loved ones because you’re going to need to,” Mrs Hickson told me.

Towner’s parole hearing was listed to take place at the NSW Parole Authority today.

But the case was adjourned when the five-member panel asked for more psychiatric reports and more information on the medication Towner takes for depression and anxiety.

Howard Brown, from the Victims of Crime Assistance League (VOCAL), said Towner has always refused to talk about what he did to Lauren.

“He is not suitable to be released… he still refuses to talk about the murder and the sexual assault,” Mr Brown said outside the hearing.

“He claims that the event was so traumatic that to re-live it gives him post-traumatic stress disorder”.

There has been widespread opposition to Towner’s bid for parole. A Facebook page has collected more than 100,000 signatures.

Mr Brown said the constant adjournments are torture for the Hickson family.

“We feel that the Parole Authority is trying to clear every possible impediment in order to release Towner back into the community,” he said.

The case has now been adjourned until January 16 next year.

Ms Hickson says she plans to be there to face Lauren’s killer.

“I hate him for what he has done,” Mrs Hickson told me.

“The crime was heinous… it was horrific.

“I’ll face him. I’ll face him and I’ll fight.”

Source: http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017/09/12/08/34/lauren-hickson-murder-girl-parole-killer-neville-raymond-towner