Australian arsonist free without limits

May 1, 2009 at 6:41 PM
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MELBOURNE, May 1 (UPI) -- A man who admitted setting deadly fires in Australia was released this week after 19 years in prison.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal refused for a guardianship for Gregory Allan Brown, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported Friday. Since Brown served his entire sentence and refused to apply for parole, there are no restrictions on where he can live or requirement that he report his movements.

Brown's release Thursday comes as Victoria copes with the aftermath of a deadly series of wildfires that left 173 people dead and wiped some small towns off the map.

Brown was convicted of manslaughter for setting a fire that killed six people at the Downunder hostel in Sydney in 1989. He escaped a murder conviction because the court found diminished responsibility.

He admitted setting some of the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires, brushfires that killed 46 people in Victoria, and told police he started more than 200 fires in Melbourne and Sydney from July 1989 to July 1990.

"I love hearing people scream and watching them die," he allegedly told another prisoner, saying he felt no remorse over the backpackers killed at the Downunder hostel.

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