Derek Percy,Sick killer's $32,000 pay day


Derek Percy is a convicted child killer suspected of involvement in the murder of seven-year-old Linda Stilwell

A PENSIONER whose daughter was abducted and murdered has been ordered to pay child killer Derek Percy more than $32,000.

The Supreme Court has ordered Jean Priest, 72, must pay Percy’s legal bill after she lost the first stage of her fight to force him to give evidence about his suspected part in the killing of her daughter, seven-year-old Linda Stilwell, in 1968.

Ms Priest, pictured holding a cherished photo of Linda, is a community volunteer who lives in a retirement village.

She says she could be bankrupted by Percy, who has amassed a fortune of up to $300,000 from a navy pension he receives in jail.

The grieving grandmother plans one last bid for justice before the Court of Appeal, but she may face a total legal bill from Percy of $80,000 if that appeal fails.

“We now have a bill for $32,247 and I don’t know how I am going to pay that. I have no way of doing that,” a tearful Ms Priest told the Herald Sun.


“I can’t sleep at night. Prisoners seem to have all the rights, victims have no rights.”

Percy, 62, is Victoria’s longest-serving prisoner and remains in jail for the mutilation killing of Yvonne Tuohy, 12, less than 12 months after Linda disappeared.

Linda’s body has never been found. Percy has been linked to nine child killings in the late 1960s across several states.

He was prosecuted only for Yvonne Tuohy’s death, where he was found not guilty by reason of insanity – a technicality that allows him to continue receiving his navy pension.

“I feel I’ve got to go as far as I possibly can for Linda,” Ms Priest said. She added that she was “physically sick” when told she might have to pay $80,000 in legal fees to Percy if the appeal were lost.

Ms Priest said she would continue to try to find her daughter’s body so she could be finally laid to rest with some dignity.

“The coroner found Derek Percy was in St Kilda on that day and only metres from her,” she said.

“What is the possibility that there could be two child murderers in that kind of area at the same time?

“We need her body so that we can have a resting place for her.

“I believe he did it. I just can’t bare to think of what he did to her.”

Both Deputy State Coroner Iain West and Supreme Court Justice Iain Ross declined to force Percy to give evidence because of his apparent psychosis at the time of the abduction and the potential his evidence would be unreliable.

Ms Priest’s barristers, Elizabeth McKinnon and Simon Gillespie-Jones, would not comment.

Before the ruling on costs went against Ms Priest, Herald Sun readers late last year pledged $7300 towards her pending legal bill.

“I’d like to thank the readers of the Herald Sun for the help they have given me. I just wonder if anybody else can help because it’s financial ruin,” she said.


7 thoughts on “Derek Percy,Sick killer's $32,000 pay day

  1. [email protected] on said:

    Law is about money not justice, sometimes the refusal to play is the only way to win.
    My advice to Ms Priest is just don’t pay it.



  2. I think this is outrageous. This unfortunate lady wants to know what happened to her little girl a long time ago. She ought not be punished for that … & it’s quite obvious & apparent that Percy was responsible.
    How much more suffering can be felt by people affected by this hideous specimen of humanity; Derek Percy?
    He ought to be force-fed truth serum … & then suffer the consequences.
    I was totally opposed to the notion of capital punishment until I read all about him. I firmly believe that expiring him would also be to the mercy of his family.


  3. Surely there must be a persuasive group of people in the joint with him that could extract any info from him that is required for free
    After all this time would he not be in the general population inside ?


  4. I’m very appalled by this justice loop hole, just because he is being declared as insane so he is entitled to his NAVY benefit eventhough he is a murderer? I’m sure with other employment agency a person who committed a murder won’t have this benefit. The worse of all he only served minimum time as a NAVY officer. Please this clause in our defence benefit (ARMY or NAVY) need to be revisit.


  5. What rubbish is this. Anyone commiting a heinous crime should have all their belonging, goods, chattels and anything else they own or are expected to own taken from them and compensate those of the families they have committed a crime against for either a funeral, cost of searching for the body or compensation (specifically if they had been the breadwinner) for any earnings commensurate with age/work expectations.

    Anything left (including any superfunds or interest earned) should be put into a fund for “Victims of Crime”.

    Getting money whilst in prison, other than what they earn in prison, should not be allowed.

    This could also stand for other crimes, including white-collar crimes. For some the thought of being a pauper is more of a “fear” factor than being put up in a hotel with 3 square meals and all the tv you can get.

    Don’t get me wrong – I would definitely not like to be encarcerated purely from a loss of family contact.


  6. This is sheer madness!
    The killer is getting a pension, the poor, suffering mother whose daughter was murdered is ordered by the courts to pay this murder’s legal fees!!!!
    This is Justice Australian Style?
    No wonder people have NO respect for the laws, government and banks!!!!
    He is not insane!!! He is a cold, blooded killer who knew what he was doing!!!


  7. i can’t believe he hasn’t had his skull smashed in……what kind of jail is he in…….surely someone in there can cave his skull in?????


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