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NSW to pay for man's 'repugnant' jailing

Wed August 8, 2012 12:01pm

IT'S taken 18 years but a convicted wife killer may be compensated for being unlawfully imprisoned.

His advocates say he was a political "poster boy" for a NSW election campaign run on law and order.

The Supreme Court found on Wednesday that Gregory Wayne Kable was unlawfully imprisoned and should be awarded damages.

Mr Kable was arrested and charged for the 1989 stabbing murder of his wife, Hilary, following a bitter custody dispute.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility.

His custodial sentence was extended to March 1995 after he was convicted of penning threatening letters from jail to his children's carers.

But the John Fahey government passed the Community Preventative Detection Act in December 1994, which extended Mr Kable's incarceration another six months until his release in August 1995.

In 1996, the High Court found the legislation invalid and unconstitutional.

On Wednesday, Brett Collins from Justice Action told AAP that Mr Kable became the political poster boy for an election run on law and order.

In Mr Kable's recent submission to the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, his lawyers said that just months before he was freed the government foreshadowed legislation that would enable the "preventative detention" of people who were "likely to commit an offence" and could not otherwise be detained.

"(It) applied to only one person in the whole world ... namely Kable," his current appeal submission states.

In the Supreme Court in Sydney on Wednesday, five justices unanimously found Mr Kable had been unlawfully imprisoned by the state for six months, and that NSW was liable for damages.

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