The woman behind the 2006 kidnap and brutal murders of well-known Nowra couple Greg Hosa and Kathryn McKay will be able to seek early parole after successfully appealing her sentence.
In 2008, Kim Leanne Snibson was sentenced to 32 years behind bars and was not eligible for parole until 2030.
Snibson’s appeal was heard in the Supreme Court last year and the findings were handed down this week, effectively quashing her original sentence and reducing her sentence by three years. She will now be eligible for parole in July 2028.
Snibson, then 38, was found guilty of recruiting two accomplices, Stacey Lea-Caton and Andrew Wayne Flentjar, and luring Mr Hosa and Ms McKay to her home where they were gagged and hogtied before being strangled and suffocated to death.
Their bodies were bundled into metal 44-gallon drums and driven to Tomerong State Forest where they were set on fire.
During her trial, Justice Terrence Buddin said he could not determine from the evidence whether it had been Snibson or Lea-Caton who killed the couple (Flentjar was cleared of the murder charges at trial) but found Snibson was the mastermind behind the plan. Snibson pleaded guilty on the ninth day of the trial.
Snibson has been attempting to appeal her sentence since 2009 but failed due to Legal Aid’s refusal to assist her and her lack of funds.
Last year she was granted an extension of time to appeal based on how the sentencing judge applied the standard non-parole period of 20 years applicable to the two murders.
Her legal team argued her sentence should be reduced to reflect current legal principles regarding standard non-parole periods.
The presiding judges agreed, and in resentencing, Snibson took into account her progress towards rehabilitation and the “more onerous time she had spent in custody by reason of the COVID pandemic”.
A number of affidavits were read to the court during the appeal, including from Snibson, her mother and her brother and one from her present partner who funded the appeal.
When sentencing Snibson in 2008, Justice Buddin noted that “there was considerable room for optimism concerning her prospects of rehabilitation”.
He said his only reservation about that was that Snibson was, at the time of sentencing, “still unable to accept anything approaching complete responsibility for her actions”.
Original Article published by Jen White on Region Illawarra.