Using the control which you clearly had over your weaker willed but equally evil companion [Beckett], you instructed him to perform acts that, in a somewhat perverse way, it could be said that you probably did not possess the courage to perform yourself. …
It is terrible to contemplate the prospect that, as a consequence of the order which in my view justice and a proper appreciation of sentencing principles would require in your case, you may never be released from prison. However, I consider that my duty is clear. Through your own actions, you have forfeited your right ever to walk among us again.
Leslie Alfred Camilleri (born 31 May 1969) was born to a family of six children in Liverpool, New South Wales. He did not meet his natural father until he was 13 years of age. A psychiatric report prepared in 1993 spoke of Camilleri's deprived childhood, and "a pattern of theft and vandalism which have been his reaction to social ostracism, leading to frustration, which because of poor impulse control has ended in explosive outbursts of destructive behaviour".
Lindsay Hoani Beckett (born 27 March 1974) was born in New Zealand and lived in the town of Opotiki before moving to Australia. At the time of the murders Beckett lived in Yass and had come to associate with Camilleri, five years his senior, in Criminal pursuits. It would be Beckett who would eventually break and confess to police about the schoolgirl murders, and leading them to the bodies of the victims.
As a result of this case, the Bail Act 1978 was amended in the Bail Amendment Act 1998 (NSW).
On 12 November 1997, police again interviewed Beckett, who made a full confession. He agreed to take police to the crime scene at Fiddler's Green Creek where the remains of the girls' bodies were discovered.
On 26 June 1998, Lindsay Hoani Beckett, who confessed to the murders, appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria where he was arraigned and pleaded guilty to the murders of Lauren Barry and Nichole Collins. On 20 August 1998, Beckett was sentenced to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 35 years. At the time of Beckett's sentencing, his non-parole period was the longest ever given to a Victorian prisoner. After sentencing, the mother of one of the schoolgirls yelled to Beckett, "I hope you rot in hell" as he was led from the courtroom to begin his sentence.
Camilleri claimed he was in a drug induced stupor when the girls were with the pair, and that he barely remembered them, hoping to lay the entire blame for the murders on his associate Beckett. He was found guilty by the Supreme Court jury and on 27 April 1999 was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders, never to be released.
Camilleri was 28 at the time of his crimes and 29 when sentenced. Camilleri appeared before the Supreme Court in 2001 to appeal his sentence; the appeal was unsuccessful. He later appealed to the High Court in May 2002, and again his appeal was dismissed. Camilleri has received numerous death threats from other prisoners and remains in protective custody.
It was claimed Camilleri exerted a strong influence over Beckett. In sentencing Beckett to life imprisonment, Justice Vincent described Beckett as having "quite a low IQ" and as someone "who had fallen under the influence of an older individual of much stronger personality". In 2010 Beckett was moved to another jail after love letters from a former security guard were discovered in his cell. Beckett was 23 at the time of the murders. He will be 59 when eligible for parole in 2033.
In 2012 Camilleri appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court via videolink from prison charged with murdering Prudence "Prue" Bird, 13, a schoolgirl after she disappeared from her Glenroy home between February 2 and 11, 1992. Camilleri had made admissions in a police record of interview but there was a dispute over the alleged motive and how the murder was effected.
On 5 December 2013, Camilleri was sentenced to an extra 28 years imprisonment for the murder of Bird.