THE longest-serving prisoner in Australia died in his cell yesterday at the age of 82.Edward “Tony” Rawlins was sentenced to life in 1956 for the mutilation murder of 12-year-old Townsville girl Fiona Verdova.Rawlins, a former stockman, met the girl on the beach at the Kissing Point Military Reserve in December 1955. He bought her lunch then strangled her with a belt after she rejected a sexual advance.A medical expert said at the time Rawlins was “unconcerned with his deeds”.Rawlins, who was 28 at the time of his arrest, spent 54 years in prison. He told a prison rights campaign group in 1993 that he never stopped thinking about what he had done.An alcoholic, Rawlins never missed an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting during all his time in prison, saying he believed “one drink would be fatal”.Although he was released on leave of absences several times for events such as Anzac Day marches, his many applications for parole were always rejected.He was found unconscious in Wolston Correctional Centre, Brisbane, at 6.15am, and pronounced dead 55 minutes later.
Nanjing Night Net