27 December 2021

Sally Ann Jones' murderer Kenneth Cannon to be released on parole after 30 years

| Albert McKnight
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Kenneth Barry Cannon, now 61, murdered 18-year-old Sally Ann Jones in Wagga Wagga in 1987. Photo: Sang Hyun Cho, Pixabay.

The notorious murderer who killed an 18-year-old woman in Wagga Wagga will soon be released from custody having been locked up for three decades.

Sally Ann Jones was murdered by the now 61-year-old Kenneth Barry Cannon in April 1987 and her body was found in the Murrumbidgee River.

At the time, media reported the former Wagga High School vice-captain was found after she had left a nightclub early in the morning and told friends she was going home.

Leading up to the tragedy in November 1986, Cannon raped a 15-year-old girl in Wagga at knife-point telling her, “Don’t make a sound unless you want to get cut”.

He also raped a 16-year-old girl in the city in 1990.

While he denied the murder, he was found guilty by a jury and eventually handed a total sentence, including the rapes of the two young teens, of more than 31 years’ jail ending in December 2022. His non-parole period of 27 years expired in 2018.

The NSW State Parole Authority (SPA) said that following a review hearing it had decided to grant Cannon, who has been in custody since May 1990, supervised parole under strict conditions.

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In an expert recommendation, the Serious Offenders Review Council advised parole was appropriate and that “it is critical he be supervised in the community as long as possible” given his lengthy incarceration.

SPA chairman David Frearson SC acknowledged Cannon’s crimes were “horrendous”, but with time running out before the expiry of his total sentence he said there was a critical need to provide some supervision and structure.

“If Cannon were to serve his total sentence in custody he would be released with no supervision or monitoring by authorities,” the SPA said.

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“Having considered all the available expert advice, the authority was satisfied supervised parole at this time is in the interests of the safety of the community.”

Cannon will be released on parole no earlier than 31 December 2021 and no later than 7 January 2022.

He must comply with strict conditions, including not entering the Wagga Wagga local government area, not drinking alcohol, not being alone with children under 16 and being fitted with electronic monitoring.

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