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'I want to meet my sister's killer': Jonty Bush

Former Young Australian of the Year Jonty Bush.
Former Young Australian of the Year Jonty Bush.

THE sister of a young Sunshine Coast mum who was slain by an obsessed boyfriend has revealed she wants to meet him in prison.

Jonty Bush, who has spent years helping the victims of similar crimes, said her sister's killer Kris Slade, is up for parole.

Slade stabbed Jacinta Bush more than 45 times in a Mooloolaba resort in 2000. He then tried to kill himself, unsuccessfully.

Jonty Bush, a former Young Australian of the Year, said she is seeking special approval to meet Slade as part of her way of dealing with the tragedy 15 years on.

"I want to meet him somewhere where I am secure in my safety,'' she told the Daily in an exclusive interview.

"I don't want to meet him in Coles in Maroochydore. I don't want to bump into him in the street.''

"I want to do it in a way where it is controlled and there is some protection in place.''

"Where I feel I can be honest without fear of how it is going to impact on him.

"I am forgiving and benevolent in nature but I am wise enough to know there is an unpredictability in him."

She said she was unaware of such a meeting happening in Queensland.

Ms Bush said Slade had been a 'totally controlling' boyfriend, who while never violent, showed worrying signs in the lead-up to the brutal death.

But she says as a 20-year-old she didn't recognise the signs because family violence was portrayed more about battered women with broken bones.

"To be honest, I barely knew him. He was in our life for four to five months.

"I can't even get a fix on who he was as a person."

She has many questions around Slade, including whether he should ever be released, whether 15 years is adequate for taking a life, as well as thoughts about what he has done with his life and whether he can be rehabilitated.

"I have reflected on Kris. He was 21-year at the time. He was a young man.

"I don't need to understand what happened that day. I don't think there is an answer that will be satisfactory but simply to talk about where he is at now and his plans for the future.''

She said she did not want to remain an angry victim or let him change who she was.

"I am a person who believes in the beauty of others, who believes in second chances for others, believing that people are inherently good."

But she added: "I don't want him living next door to me. I don't want him knowing where I live.

"I don't want him released if the parole board don't feel he's ready to be released.

"But they are separate matters.

"In terms of my own forgiveness and my own ability to face him, I would like to say to him 'I'm not out to get you. When you are released that's it for me. I have no ill will."

"My hope for him is that he comes out, he's spent his time wisely, he's got educated, he's had some reflection, he's had significant counselling and he can start again, marry, fall in love.''

"Having said that, I accept that there are some people that are beyond that (rehabilitation) and he might be.

"I don't think forgiveness is saying this person deserves to be out.

"It's about saying I'm not attached to you anymore. I'm unplugging.''

"My grief, my healing, my journey are very much separate to his justice journey.

"If it is still not enough to guarantee the safety of another young woman, he shouldn't be released.''

RELATED: How Jonty Bush has emerged from two tragedies in her life

Jonty Bush admits she has gone through many emotions over the past 15 years and wishes things could have been different.

"He should have been someone who came into my life and was gone within six months.

"I should be standing here today struggling to recall what his name was.

"I should be here with my sister and her family, saying: "Remember that guy you dated? What was his name again?"

"That's what it should have been but it wasn't and I have to make sense of that.''

She says she now tells women to watch for the signs of control and potential violence, and follow their gut instinct.

"He was coercive, he was controlling. He brought up in me a gut reaction that something wasn't right.

"I felt it the minute I met him and I downplayed it."

Topics:  editors picks mooloolaba parole stabbing


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