Domenic Perre sentenced to life in prison for NCA bombing of Adelaide in 1994

Decades after a parcel bomb exploded on the 12th floor of the National Crime Authority’s offices in Waymouth St, Adelaide, assassin Domenic Perre has been sentenced to life in prison.

Perre will be in his mid-90s before being eligible for parole after being convicted in the 1994 attack that killed a detective and injured a lawyer.

On Friday, South Australian Supreme Court Justice Kevin Nicholson upheld a mandatory life sentence for the murder of Detective Geoffrey Bowen and the attempted murder of solicitor Peter Wallis.

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Since Perre was already behind bars on drug charges, Judge Nicholson extended his current non-parole period by 30 years and seven months.

That means the 65-year-old will turn 95 before he can apply to be fired.

Judge Nicholson said Perre’s targeted murder of an officer on duty was violent, barbaric and reckless.

“Their behavior was brutal. That is, completely devoid of any human sensitivity,” the judge said.

“Your behavior was motivated by matters that do you no credit.

“It was not only premeditated, but painstakingly conceived and planned over a long period of time and executed in cold blood.”

NCA assassin Domenic Perre has been sentenced to life imprisonment after the Adelaide attack. Recognition: AAP

Bowen died from horrific injuries, including the loss of his left arm, when the packet bomb Perre had built and sent exploded in his office.

Wallis, who was standing nearby, lost an eye in the blast and suffered severe burns.

He died in 2018.

In returning his guilty verdicts in June of that year, Judge Nicholson found that Perre had intended to kill Bowen or anyone else who happened to open the package or was nearby when it exploded.

“Mr Perre wanted to kill Mr Bowen but intended for the NCA bomb to do its job and kill whoever,” the judge said.

Perre was first charged with murder shortly after the bombing, but the case against him was dropped six months later for lack of evidence.

He was arrested again in 2018 after more than two years of joint investigation by a range of state and federal agencies including the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

“Anything So You Can Grow Some Dope”

In an incredibly detailed and complex case, prosecutors argued the bombing was a personal attack on Bowen.

They said Perre’s animosity towards him grew because of their interactions after the August 1993 seizure of a multimillion-dollar cannabis crop in the Northern Territory.

Bowen’s son Simon, who followed in his father’s footsteps in the police force, was just seven years old at the time of the blast.

“I struggle with the motive and relevance of your actions,” he told Perre in a victimization statement last month.

“You’ve done so much irreparable damage and endured everything so you can plant some dope and walk around South Australia like a wannabe gangster in your big black glasses.”

Bowen’s widow, Jane Bowen-Sutton, said her husband was killed on their ninth wedding anniversary and she experienced endless grief.

“That day I told my sons, seven and five, that their beloved father had been killed and we would never see him again. I’ve had that conversation over and over again for 28 years,” she said.

Genevieve Wallis, who was eight when her father was injured, said the attack left him traumatized, depressed and debilitated.

“The bombing has shattered every sense of safety, belonging and privilege of being a child, and it sickens me that a blatant disregard for human life can exist in another human being,” Wallis said.

In defense filings, Perre’s attorney, Gilbert Aitken, told the court that his client sympathized with the victims’ families but maintained his innocence.

He has appealed against his conviction.

Moment when the high school campfire explodes.

Moment when the high school campfire explodes. Domenic Perre sentenced to life in prison for NCA bombing of Adelaide in 1994

James Brien

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