A survivor of serial pedophile Michael Guider led an emotional rally in Bondi on Saturday to protest the sadistic schoolgirl killer’s release from prison.
Guider was given a 17-year jail sentence in 2002 for the manslaughter of nine-year-old Samantha Knight, who was last seen seen on a Bondi street in August 1986.
The high-profile case gripped the nation, as hundreds of posters of Samantha were shared all over Australia in a desperate bid to find her.
Her body was never found.
After Guider’s arrest in February 2001, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and avoided full scrutiny of a trial.
Despite never revealing the location of Samantha’s body, and never being granted parole, Guider’s sentence will expire on June 6 and he is expected to walk from prison, aged 69.
But in a last-ditch effort to stop his release, the New South Wales Attorney-General is launching a legal bid to keep Guider behind bars for another 12 months, as public support grows for new laws that would see the pedophile babysitter locked up for the rest of his life.
The court heard at the time that Guider had given Samantha an overdose of a sleeping drug.
The gardener and part-time babysitter was already serving a 16-year sentence after pleading guilty in 1996 to dozens of child sex offences against 11 victims.
Chantelle Hamilton was just six years old when Guider drugged, photographed and sexually assaulted her.
Now a 30-year-old mother, she has started a petition to pass Knight’s Law, named after Samantha, calling for killers who refuse to reveal where their victims’ bodies are hidden to remain locked up.
Her online petition for stronger laws has garnered almost 130,000 signatures in three months.
“People have had enough. If you hurt a child, rape a child, kill a child there should not be any second chance,” Ms Hamilton said.
“Keeping pedophiles in jail is important. They’re an infestation in the community.
“Bondi remembers, people remember seeing Samantha’s missing poster hung up around the place. They’ll remember searching for her.
“But her body was never found. There’s been no real closure for her mum, her family or the community.”
Accompanied by Samantha’s childhood friends, her mother Tess and dozens of locals, Ms Hamilton marched down Bondi Beach promenade on Saturday to demand Guider never be released from jail.
She said Guider’s refusal to reveal the location of Samantha’s body “rubbed salt in the wound”.
“He has no remorse. He’s not sorry. He just wants to do his time and get out – if he felt differently he would have given Samantha’s family peace,” she said.
The judge who sentenced Guider in 2002 said his continued use of drugs on children following Samantha’s death showed he remained a danger.
Ms Hamilton echoed those words 17 years later.
“He’s smart, he’s careful. He’ll go back to his old hunting grounds,” she said.
“His age won’t diminish him as a predator or a threat. I think people should be scared and outraged.”
The office of Attorney-General Mark Speakman is expected to begin an application for a 12-month continuing detention order in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.
The government wants that followed by a five-year extended supervision order, which will see Guider monitored after his release.