A man who bundled the body of his stepdaughter into a suitcase before setting the corpse on fire in an attempt to conceal the six-year-old’s death will likely be released from jail next month.
Robert Smith is serving a minimum 12-year sentence for manslaughter and being an accessory to the murder of six-year-old Kiesha Abrahams in 2010.
Smith was jailed in 2013 alongside Kiesha’s mother, Kristi Abrahams, who was convicted of murder and jailed for at least 16 years.
Kiesha died in her bed at their Hebersham home in Sydney’s outer west after being knocked unconscious by her mother when she refused to put her pyjamas on.
The couple did not seek medical help after Kiesha was beaten and instead put her in the shower and then to bed, where she died.
Despite the brutal crime, the NSW State Parole Authority (SPA) formed an ‘intention to grant parole’ and plan on releasing Smith as early as April 24, sparking protests in Mount Druitt.
Robert Smith (left) is currently serving a maximum 16-year sentence for manslaughter and being an accessory to the murder of Kiesha Abrahams in 2010. However, the NSW State Parole Authority (SPA) has made their intention clear to grant his release next month
Kiesha (pictured) died in bed at their Mt Druitt home in Sydney’s west, after being knocked unconscious by her mother when she refused to put her pyjamas on. The couple put her in the shower and then to bed, where she died
Angry residents surrounded a property in Mount Druitt that Smith once lived in, calling for him to remain in jail.
‘We say no parole for child killers,’ Alison Anderson told 9News.
‘He hasn’t served his time’.
Others in the suburb came to blows with counter-protesters arguing he had done his time.
Smith’s non-parole period has now ended, meaning the SPA had to consider his freedom.
The SPA is obliged to begin assessing if an inmate is suitable for release 60 days before the date they are eligible and must make a final parole decision no later than three weeks before the inmate’s eligible release date.
When the five members of the SPA met to discuss Smith’s potential release, they came to the consensus that they intend to free him on parole.
Angry western Sydney locals have taken to the streets to protest the potential parole of Robert Smith, who concealed the murder of six-year-old Kiesha Abrahams in 2010
The matter is now listed for a public review hearing on April 4 which will be held in open court, providing the opportunity for victims or the state to have their say.
‘A final parole decision will not be made until the Authority considers all the available information before it, including any submissions that may be made at the review hearing,’ the SPA said.
If parole is formally granted, Smith could be released from jail as early as April 24.
Kiesha became a well-known face after she was reported missing by Abrahams and Smith in August, 2010.
Abrahams initially said she had put Kiesha to bed in their Hebersham home at about 9.30pm but had disappeared by the following morning.
She then called police to tell them her daughter was missing, sparking an extensive search in Sydney’s western suburbs that caught nationwide attention.
Abrahams (pictured) initially said she had put Keisha to bed in their Hebersham home at about 9.30pm but had disappeared by the following morning
Abrahams called police to tell them her daughter was missing, sparking an extensive search in Sydney’s western suburbs that caught nationwide attention
Abrahams and Smith made emotional pleas at the time, but police were not convinced of their story and a lengthy murder investigation followed.
Eight months after Kiesha was reported missing, police arrested Abrahams and Smith in 2011.
Abrahams was charged with murder after human remains were discovered in bushland at Mt Druitt on what would have been Kiesha’s seventh birthday.
Smith hid Kiesha’s body in a suitcase inside a wardrobe for five days before taking it to bushland at Shalvey, not far from their home.
He then doused her body in petrol and set it alight before buried the charred remains.
Abrahams was jailed for 22 years and Smith was jailed for a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of 16 years at his sentencing in 2013.
Abrahams was jailed for 22 years and Smith was jailed for a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of 16 years