Killer who left strangled teen’s half-naked body in field walks free from court

A British killer who was jailed for life after strangling an Australian teenager to death and leaving her half naked body in a field has walked free from court despite breaching conditions.

James Duggan was found guilty of the murder of Rebecca Ryle in Australia back in 2006, having emigrated to the country from the UK as a child.

The convicted murderer has was released from his life sentence last year and has since been deported back to the UK, the ECHO reports.

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However, the now 38-year-old has continued to be in trouble and was back in court this week.

Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday (August 14) that Duggan was subject to indefinite notification requirements in January this year after being convicted of breaching a sexual risk order (SRO) and battery.

Duggan, of School Lane in Rainhill, had been given this SRO in August 2022 following his return to this country due to a "sexual motive" behind the killing.

Shannon Stewart, prosecuting, described how he failed to inform his offender manager of a relationship he had formed with a woman as he was required to do as part of the order.

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Police became aware of the relationship after an incident in which he punched the woman in the stomach.

Duggan was released from this 26-week sentence on July 11 and was required to sign the sex offenders' register within the following three days, but he failed to do so.

He was subsequently arrested again on July 17 and told detectives under interview that he had "phoned probation but got no reply". He has been remanded in custody since.

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His heinous killing of Ms Ryle saw Duggan receive life imprisonment with a minimum term of 11 years in April 2006,

Western Australian Supreme Court heard how a teenage Duggan had met his 19-year-old victim in a pub in Perth on the evening of May 5, 2004 and offered to walk her home.

However, Duggan strangled her for three minutes in a park just metres away from her home and left her half-naked body in a field, which was later found by police officer.

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Duggan was refused parole following a hearing in 2019, due in part to his "lack of acknowledgement of wrongdoing and apparent lack of remorse".

However, his case was reviewed again in September 2021, when he had "imparted remorse and regret towards the offence, as well as acknowledging the victim".

He was eventually freed in March 2022 and later deported back to the UK.

In his latest court appearance over the breach, Ken Heckle, defending, told the court: "The defendant maintains that he has been drug-free since January. He is fit and healthy and is trying to rehabilitate himself into the country.

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"Circumstances have got in his way and he can only blame himself, but in this instance it is more of a technical breach rather than a sinister breach and someone trying to avoid the authorities. I ask your honour to give him this one chance."

Duggan admitted failing to comply with the notification requirement and failing to comply with a suspended sentence order.

He was handed a nine-month imprisonment suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid work, a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 30 days, a six-month alcohol abstinence requirement and a 12-month drug rehabilitation requirement as well as being told to complete a relationships programme.

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