Teenager Jessica Gaudie, 16. in a Burnside High school photo.
Teenager Jessica Gaudie, 16. in a Burnside High school photo. Supplied

No body, no parole laws give hope to family of slain girl

'NO body, no parole' laws are giving hope to a Sunshine Coast family seeking closure after the murder of their teenage daughter 18 years ago.

Nambour schoolgirl Jessica Gaudie disappeared in 1999 after babysitting Derek Sam's children.

Sam was convicted for her murder in 2001. Jessica's body was never recovered.

The family of missing Sunshine Coast girl, Jessica Gaudie are still searching for answers.
The family of missing Sunshine Coast girl, Jessica Gaudie are still searching for answers. Contributed

The legislation, passed today by State Parliament, takes aim at criminals like Derek Sam, who has not revealed the location of Jessica's body.

The new laws will mean that killers cannot apply for parole before leading investigators to the resting place of their victims.

Derek Sam became eligible for parole last year but is yet to apply.

Noosa MP Glen Elmes said in last night's reading of the then proposed legislation that the law will ensure that victim's rights will outweigh their killer's.

Jessica Gaudie's killer Derek Sam.
Jessica Gaudie's killer Derek Sam.

"There may be the risk of a convicted person being disadvantaged by these changes because they do not know where a body is and so cannot reveal the location," he said.

"On the balance of probabilities, I believe that is a very small risk and one worth taking with this legislation.

"The rights of victims and their families must take precedence over those of perpetrators."

The "no body, no parole" legislation passed in Parliament today, with bipartisan support after Opposition amendments were taken into consideration by Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath, reported the Courier-Mail.

The amendments broadened the offences captured under the legislation to include unlawful striking causing death, misconduct with regard to corpses and further offences relating to being an accessory to the crime.

Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the amendments were a "water tight" way to ensure anyone involved in the death of someone was captured under the no body no parole provisions.



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