The mother of Sharon Lee Mason, a Perth schoolgirl who was murdered decades ago, has died just three days after her daughter’s killer was granted parole after 25 years behind bars.
Sharon was 14 years old when her mother, April Fawcett, last saw her alive in 1983.
Her body was found nine years later, buried behind a shop formerly owned by Arthur Greer in the Perth suburb of Mosman Park, by a bobcat operator carrying out earthworks.
Greer, who had a long criminal record, was charged and later found guilty of murder after a trial and a retrial.
Less than a week ago, on May 9, WA Attorney-General John Quigley approved the 80-year-old’s release on the grounds of failing health, stipulating he was to be immediately deported to the United Kingdom.
Three days later, Ms Fawcett died.
A death notice in the local newspaper wrote that she passed away peacefully on Saturday May 12, 2018.
“Loved wife of Terry (dec), mother of Sharon (dec), sister-in-law of George, Sandra, Marg, Kurt, Judy and families,” the notice continued.
“Peacefully sleeping after much suffering. Mother and child reunion.
“Rest in peace. Another star in Heaven.”
‘Perhaps it’s just like she’s letting go’
An old school friend of Sharon’s, Jane Reynolds, told the ABC she was shocked and devastated by the news.
“I think the mother has suffered terribly over the years and wish for her now to rest in peace,” she said.
“Perhaps … she heard the news of his (Greer’s) release, it’s just like she’s letting go.”
Ms Reynolds said she had not seen Ms Fawcett since Sharon’s funeral, which was held decades ago.
“When Sharon went missing it destroyed both the mother and father,” she said.
“Especially when we didn’t know what had happened to her, that [sense of] always not knowing.
“I can only imagine that she’s battled through this.
“Now she can just rest, lay to rest, the family are all at rest now.”
Ms Reynolds said she had been asked by media in the United Kingdom, where Greer is to be deported, whether she knew if Ms Fawcett was still alive.
“Now I know,” she said.
“It’s all terribly sad.”
Notorious child killer bound for UK
Greer, who has spent 25 years in Perth’s Acacia Prison, had his next parole review scheduled for 2019, but applied to have it brought forward due to his failing health.
Greer was reportedly described by an earlier parole board as a predatory sexual psychopath. (Supplied)
“The board formed the opinion that Greer’s age, limited mobility and his deteriorating health act together to reduce his risk of reoffending,” Mr Quigley said in a statement at the time.
He said Sharon’s family requested he “not taste freedom in Australia again”.
“Arrangements are being made for Greer to leave as soon as possible for the UK, relinquishing WA taxpayers from the ongoing cost of his 25 years of incarceration and compounding medical needs.”
There had been recent moves to appeal Greer’s sentence.
Eminent QC and former West Australian governor, Malcolm McCusker, added his name to the list of WA legal figures who said the prosecution’s case against Greer was flimsy.
Greer has always maintained his innocence.