Sharon Siermans' legacy: parents call for tougher laws

JOHN and Denise Siermans are angry the Adult Parole Board let down their daughter Sharon, a loving mother who was murdered at the hands of a man who should have still been behind bars.

They don’t want an apology. 

They just want state parole laws tightened so the likes of Jason Dinsley, the man who bludgeoned their daughter to death in April this year, are kept in jail.

“No amount of apologies will bring her back,” Mrs Siermans said.

Dinsley was on parole when, on April 6 this year, he killed 29-year-old Sharon with a cricket bat after he tried to rape her.

He was on parole after serving a prison sentence for the horrific rape and robbery in 2006 of a 52-year-old woman at a St Kilda hotel.

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On March 1, 2007, after Dinsley – who had 99 prior convictions – had been sentenced to a total effective sentence of nine years with a minimum of six, the Crown appealed, asking the Court of Appeal to find the sentence “manifestly inadequate”.

The appeal, however, was dismissed on the grounds that increasing Dinsley’s sentence would put him at risk of “exposure to a form of double jeopardy”.

Dinsley was released on parole in 2012. Within only a few months, he murdered Sharon Siermans.

In a cruel twist, two days after Sharon’s murder, the Adult Parole Board, unaware of the Ballarat tragedy, cancelled his parole because he was deemed an “unacceptable risk”.

The parole cancellation was ordered in his absence after Dinsley failed to appear before the Adult Parole Board on April 8.

At the time, Corrections Minister Edward O’Donohue admitted the system had failed and he extended his sympathies to the Siermans family.

“It’s a disgrace,” Sharon’s mother said.

“An apology will not bring Sharon back. Who wants an apology when all we want is a daughter back, a mother back?” Mrs Siermans said.

“We just hope the laws are changed so that no other family has to go through what we are going through. It has to change.”

Sharon Siermans wanted to keep her independence

after splitting from her son’s dad. 

For a while, she and young Aron lived alone. But Sharon’s brother and girlfriend moved in for six months after she became too scared to be in the Doveton Street South house by herself.

Five months after Sharon’s brother moved out, the 29-year-old mother was murdered.

April 6 this year is a date that will forever haunt John and Denise Siermans.

Sharon’s father was on his way home from a game of golf at Beaufort when he noticed police in Doveton Street South, near Skipton Street.

At first he thought a driver had been pulled over for a traffic violation. It wasn’t until he noticed blue and white police tape over the footpath that he realised it was close to his daughter’s home.

Moments later, his phone rang to say police were at Sharon’s house.

It was at this time his stomach dropped and he “lost it”.

He wasn’t sure exactly what had happened, but his gut was telling him it was something bad.

His wife Denise was at a girlfriend’s house watching a movie when she

received a call saying something was wrong at Sharon’s house.

Mrs Siermans can’t remember driving home.

Homicide detectives were waiting for the Siermans when they arrived home and were told the devastating

news that their only daughter had been found murdered in her home.

“We were beside ourselves,” Mr Siermans said. “We were worried that Aron had been killed too.”

The Siermans weren’t reunited with their grandson until six o’clock that night.

For the next few hours, Aron sat on his grandparents’ knees crying.

It has been the support and love from their family and close friends – and even total strangers in the Ballarat community – that has helped the Siermans through their darkest days.

kim.quinlan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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