April 3, 2002

Former Test umpire Randell granted parole

Former Australian Test umpire Steve Randell has been granted parole and will be released from a Hobart prison later this month.

The Tasmanian Parole Board ruled late this afternoon to free Randell at the end of a period in which he has served 32 months of a maximum four-year sentence for indecent assault.

Randell, now 46, was found guilty in the Tasmanian Supreme Court in August 1999 on 15 separate counts of assault against nine schoolgirls between 1981 and 1982. The charges related to a period during which he had been the girls' teacher at a Catholic primary school in the city of Burnie on the Tasmanian north-west coast.

After being sentenced to his term in Hobart's Risdon Prison, he lost his job with the Education Department of Tasmania and was also relieved of his contract with the Australian Cricket Board.

Randell was refused parole when he made an initial application last year but he successfully re-applied for early release at the beginning of this year.

Today's decision by the Parole Board means that Randell will be released from prison prior to the end of April but that he will remain on parole until August 2003. Throughout that time, he will remain under the direct supervision of his parole officer.

In a statement, the three-member Board confirmed that it had taken into account a range of factors in making the decision to uphold Randell's request for early release. These included the remarks made by the judge in the original court case, the propensity for Randell to reoffend, the views of his victims and their families, and his conduct throughout his stay in prison.

Randell remains one of Australia's most experienced international umpires, having stood in 36 Tests and 88 limited-overs matches.