Julian Knight

Julian Knight

Infobox Mass Murderer
name = Julian Knight


image_size =
caption =
birthname = Julian Knight
occupation =
birth = birth date and age|1968|3|4
location =
death =
deathplace =
cause =
penalty = Life imprisonment Non-parole period of
27 years
date = August 9, 1987
targets = Hoddle Street
locations = Melbourne, Australia
fatalities = 7
injuries = 19
weapons = Ruger 10/22 (.22 LR)
Mossberg pump-action
shotgun (12-gauge)
M14 (7.62x51mm)

Julian Knight (born March 4, 1968) is the mass murderer who on August 9 1987, shot dead 7 people and injured 19 during a shooting spree in Clifton Hill, Victoria, in what became known in Australian history as the Hoddle Street Massacre.

Knight is currently serving a life sentence, with a minimum 27 years before being eligible for parole. At the time Victoria had no sentence of life without parole, also as Knight was aged between 18-21 at the time under Victorian law he was classed as a young offender meaning the sentencing judge had to give more weight to his prospects of rehabilitation. The current Victorian government has stated however that is it "unlikely" Knight will be released Fact|date=January 2008.

Knight currently resides in the maximum security section of Port Phillip Prison near Melbourne and is eligible for parole in 2014.

Early life

Julian Knight is the eldest of three children. He was adopted by a family with strong army ties when he was 10 days old. His adoptive father was not a highly trained Army Officer, as reported by the press, but an Army Education Officer who taught Literacy and Numeracy to Soldiers. He moved often as a child, living in Melbourne and Puckapunyal, and also abroad in Hong Kong and Singapore.

His parents divorced in 1979 when Knight was 11. He attended Westbourne Grammar School and later Melbourne High School, a selective secondary school with entry by academic examination. Chillingly, given events to come, an entry written by students in the 1985 Melbourne High School yearbook says:

Julian 'Swapo' Knight inherited the role of Cadet Unit looney and chief political agitator Fact|date=January 2008.
While at Westbourne he was noted for his fascination with guns and the military, with strong interests in Nazi Germany and the war. While here he once noted that a good way to become famous would be to "shoot a lot of people." (c.1980)In 1986 he attended La Trobe University to study French, German history and politics.

Military career

Knight entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon on January 13 1987, at the age of 18. While a military career had long been a dream, he performed poorly at studies and gained good results only in weapons expertise exercises. Julian Knight was popular with his peers, but displayed few of the qualities required of a military OfficerFact|date=September 2008, barring his expertise with arms. Allegations of being bastardised by senior classmen are true, but not entirely undeserved as Knight often bucked the systemFact|date=September 2008. It was common knowledge that the senior classmen in his company had vowed to have Knight resign from RMCFact|date=September 2008.

A nightwhen at the Private Bin nightclub in Canberra saw Knight involved in the slashing of his Cadet Company Sergeant Major (CSM) after being told to return to the barracks as he was out after midnight. This was not a rule that was enforced by senior cadets and it was only because Knight was a target of bastardisation that he was targeted that nightOr|date=September 2008. Many other junior cadets were drinking nearby and witnessed the assault. The CSM was a large and robustly-built rugby union enthusiast compared to Knight's small stature. Knight was badly injured in the ensuing altercation with the three senior classmen, as they disarmed him and further punished his transgressions. His injuries required wiring of the tendons in his hand and a plaster cast on that arm along with less serious bruising and cuts. The Company Sergeant Major sported three stitches to a slight facial wound the following morning - in fact he seemed quite proud and pleased as it made his less than attractive visage slightly more interestingOr|date=September 2008. Knight was charged with assault, malicious wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was bailed to appear in court on June 12 but the case was subsequently adjourned to November 10. With his military career now all but over, it was suggested Knight resign. Resignation at RMC was offered to all failing Cadets as a face saving measure and administratively simpler avenue rather than the other method of requiring them to proceed down the "show cause" route which required legal assistance and considerable time.

It was well knownFact|date=September 2008 to Knight's classmates that he had been targeted by these three senior classmen and was bastardised on a daily basis. This was a turning point in the history of Duntroon where senior cadets had been a part of "Old Duntroon" with its mysognistic and bullyingPOV-statement|date=September 2008 culture which was slowly being changed into a more modern style of Officer Training. To these senior cadets it was normal to threaten and abuse junior cadets who failed to fit in. The three senior classmen described above were witnessed to have threatened Knight every time he was to pass them in a corridor. It was a shame POV-statement|date=September 2008that Knight's classmates were never questioned as to what actually went on in the hallways of Kokoda Company under the Company Sergeant Major in question.

Hoddle Street massacre

Knight was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 27 years for the massacre.

Below is a timeline of events which occurred on August 9 1987 during the Hoddle Street massacre.
*9.29pm - Knight leaves his mother's house armed with:*a .22 LR Ruger 10/22,:*a 12-gauge pump-action Mossberg shotgun and:*a 7.62x51mm calibre M14 military rifle
*9.30pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a Ruger rifle
*9.35pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a Mossberg shotgun
*9.37pm - First police unit arrives at the scene in Hoddle Street
*9.39pm - Knight fires randomly at passersby using a M14 rifle
*9.44pm - First ambulances arrive at the scene in Hoddle Street
*9.45pm - Knight withdraws from the Hoddle Street scene
*9.46pm - Knight fires 3 shots at police car "Northcote 253"
*9.48pm - Police Helicopter "Air 495" arrives over Clifton Hill
*9.59pm - Knight fires a shot at Constable Colin Chambers on the Northcote end of the Queens Parade/High Street bridge
*10.05pm - Knight fires 3 shots at Police Helicopter "Air 495", forcing it to land on nearby Knott Reserve
*10.13pm - Knight cornered in McKean Street, Fitzroy North
*10.14pm - Knight surrenders and is arrested by police

Knight had no criminal record prior to the shootings in Hoddle Street, and was able to easily acquire firearms.

Prison life

Knight is currently an inmate in the maximum security section of Port Phillip Prison near Melbourne, Victoria, and has initiated many legal challenges to the Victorian government while imprisoned. Knight's challenges often concern events and occurrences arising during his imprisonment and his dissatisfaction with prison management and prison discipline. He will be eligible for parole in 2014.

Legal challenges

On September 7, 1992, Knight appeared before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal seeking a review of a decision where he was refused AUSTUDY assistance while imprisoned. [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/aat/unrep4759.html Re: JULIAN KNIGHT And: SECRETARY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING No. V92/326 AAT No. 8228 Student Assistance - Austudy] , Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 7 September, 1993]

On July 4, 2002, Knight appeared before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) with a complaint regarding an abuse of human rights where prison officers removed items "of a political nature" from his cell. The items removed were a collection of business cards, pamphlets and sheets of paper. One sheet of the paper had a large picture of Adolf Hitler in uniform. A second had a picture of Hitler with Nazi insignia and skull and cross-bones and others only the insignia. The cards featured slogans such as "Stop the Asian invasion", "We just hate all queers", "White power" and "Dial-a-racist" with contact details. [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2002/731.html Knight v CORE VCAT 731] , Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, 12 July, 2002] Along with the posters and paperwork, a large amount of contraband items were also located in Knight's cell, such as blades, sharpened knives, articles associated with the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi Party, magazines, book and articles on weapons and war, medication bottles, a leather belt, two television remote controls, an extension lead, a can opener, bale hooks, permanent markers, computer disks - many containing information relating to prison security and staff, pornographic material, sandpaper, masking tape, prison manuals, staff pictures, T.A.B. betting information, and prison and staff rosters. Knight's application was dismissed.

On August 21, 2002, Knight appeared before the Supreme Court of Victoria seeking an injunction ordering that prison management and staff cease inspecting and withholding legal mail sent to or by the plaintiff. The application was dismissed.

On September 9, 2002, Knight appeared before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking "Full access to the daily staff rosters for HM Prison Barwon since the 1st May 2001" under the Freedom of Information Act. The application was affirmed.

On October 7, 2003 Knight appeared before the Supreme Court of Victoria seeking injunctions in regards to opening of private legal mail and Knight's security classification and imprisonment in Barwon Prison's high security Acacia wing. Supreme Court Judge Justice Philip Cummins said of Knight's application, "I consider that ordinary tax-payers should not be fixed with the burden of these proceedings. Accordingly, in each instance I order that the costs of the proceedings of the respective defendants be paid by the plaintiff." [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2002/731.html Knight v Minister for Corrections & Ors No. 2 VSC 413] , Supreme Court of Victoria, 7 October, 2003] . The application was dismissed.

On November 11, 2003, Knight appeared before the Supreme Court of Victoria seeking an extension of time against a decision of VCAT. The application was dismissed with costs awarded against the applicant.

Vexatious litigant

In February 2003, it was estimated the many legal challenges by Knight had cost the Victorian Government over AUD $250,000 and approximately $128,000 had been spent since October 2001 on external legal advice to deal with Knight's legal appeals and Freedom Of Information requests.

On October 19, 2004, Knight was barred from launching any further legal action in Victoria's courts for 10 years with a judge declaring him a vexatious litigant. [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/10/19/1097951666370.html?from=top5 Hoddle Street killer banned from court] , The Age, October 19, 2004] . Knight is still able to make requests under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Requests for rehabilitation

In 2007 Knight has told a court he wants access to rehabilitation programs in prison to improve his chance of parole. He is also seeking permission to write a letter of "apology and explanation" to one of his victims. The court heard prison authorities intercepted a letter Knight tried to send to one of his victims. Knight told the court a letter of apology did not fit the prison guidelines for a prohibited letter. Stating "A letter of apology constitutes a facet of my rehabilitation and on a small measure of making amends for my actions," he told the court. [http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=79717 Law to stop criminals contacting victims] , NineMSN, August 22, 2007]

References

External links

* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/aat/unrep4759.html Re: JULIAN KNIGHT And: SECRETARY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION AND TRAINING No. V92/326 AAT No. 8228 Student Assistance - Austudy] , 1992
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2002/355.html Knight v Wise and Spadano (2002) Victorian Supreme Court 355 (27 August 2002)]
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2002/1769.html Knight v CORE (2002) VCAT 1769 (20 December 2002)]
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2003/501.html Knight v CORE (2003) VCAT 501 (10 April 2003)]
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VCAT/2003/712.html Knight v CORE (2003) VCAT 712 (20 June 2003)]
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2003/412.html Knight v Minister for Corrections & Ors (2003) Victorian Supreme Court 412 (7 October 2003)]
* [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/10/07/1065292590463.html Mass killer Knight loses legal fight] , The Age, October 8 2003
* [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/vic/VSC/2003/459.html Knight v State of Victoria & Wise (2003) Victorian Supreme Court 459 (14 November 2003)]
* [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/09/1068329422110.html Hoddle Street mass killer faces court curb] , The Age, November 10 2003
* [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/11/24/1069522534826.html?from=storyrhs Even Julian Knight is entitled to basic human rights] , The Age, November 25 2003


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