Illawarra triple murderer Matthew De Gruchy has been working at an abattoir in country NSW as he prepares for his permanent release from prison.
Twenty-one years after he slayed three of his four family members at their Albion Park Rail Home, De Gruchy has reinvented himself as a model inmate of Junee Correctional Centre. With his parole hearing in sight, he has earned the right, since June, to leave prison for approved reasons including work and education.
De Gruchy was 18 years old when he bludgeoned to death his mother Jennifer (41), sister Sarah (13) and brother Adrian (15) in the family’s Shearwater Boulevarde home on March 12, 1996.
In a nod to his youth and perhaps a sign of softer sentencing times, he was sentenced to a maximum 28 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 21 years.
His earliest possible release date is June 21; his full term expires in June 2024.
Now aged 38, the date and terms of De Gruchy’s release were to be decided at a private parole hearing on Thursday, however the case was stood over to May 25.
The Mercury understand De Gruchy will apply to live with his stepbrother and his father, Wayne De Gruchy, in Tasmania.
Wayne De Gruchy was in Sydney the night his son went on the deadly rampage that left Jennifer De Gruchy, in particular, with grotesque and unsurvivable head injuries.
Jennifer, Sarah and Adrian died in different rooms of the house, so bloodied and disfigured the sight sent one police officer off sick, never to return to work.
The murder weapon was never found, but was believed to have been a car jack. De Gruchy was arrested three months later, after police found their smoking gun – a checklist in his hand, detailing how to murder his family.
De Gruchy has earned himself positive reviews from his employer at Junee Abattoir, where he works in the chill room under terms set by the Serious Offenders Review Council.
A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said De Gruchy did not have access to knives in his role.
“All work locations are risk assessed to ensure they … do not present any security concerns.”
“This inmate will be released back into the community at some point. Day works release is an important step to ensure he will assimilate into the community successfully.”
It is unclear when De Gruchy was transferred to Junee Correctional Centre. While in maximum security at Goulburn, in March 2009, he was one of four inmates charged over an attack on two brothers serving time for pack rapes.