Jason Downie jailed for 35 years over triple murder of Australian teenage girl and parents

A SCOT who killed a pregnant teenager and her parents after she spurned his advances has been jailed in Australia for at least 35 years.

Jason Downie, 20, stabbed his victims 112 times, having become obsessed with 16-year-old Chantelle Rowe when he emigrated from Scotland with his mother.

Justice John Sulan said the term “frenzied attack” did not adequately describe the triple murders of Chantelle, her father Andrew and mother Rose near Adelaide.

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Downie, originally from Kilmarnock, carried out the attack in November 2010, spurred by sexual obsession.

Downie, who was 18 at the time, had fantasised about Chantelle and became jealous of his friend who was dating her.

He admitted stabbing her more than 33 times, her father at least 29 times and her mother more than 50 times.

Friends of the slain family who sat in the South Australian Supreme Court’s packed public gallery wept and shouted abuse as he was sentenced.

Justice Sulan said: “The cold-blooded, merciless attack upon Chantelle – who was hiding under the bed in fear and who you dragged out, stabbed, sexually assaulted and then stabbed again and murdered – was a chilling act.”

Downie’s lawyer Greg Mead said his client did not remember everything that happened after he broke into the family’s home in Kapunda through the bathroom window.

The court heard that Downie, a car mechanic, had unleashed “superhuman forces” during the attacks.

Initially Downie blamed a mystery man with a shopping bag for the attack, claiming he stumbled upon the horrific scene but was not responsible. Later he amended his story to claim he broke in but did not kill the family.

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A year after the killings, he finally confessed. He wrote a letter claiming he deserved “anything and everything that is going to happen” and said his crimes were “eating me alive”.

During the trial, the court heard that Downie had an unrequited sexual obsession with Chantelle and went there to have sex, the judge said.

Justice Sulan added: “The circumstances of what occurred are chilling, and they are all the more chilling because you do not exhibit any of the criminological characteristics of many people who come before these courts.”

Outside court, Chantelle’s brother Christopher, who was on holiday in Queensland when his family was murdered, was too upset to speak.

His cousin Kylie Duffield read a statement on his behalf in which he said he would slowly try to find a way to survive the tragedy.

“The lives of my dad, mum and sister viciously taken by someone of sound mind qualified this bastard, Jason Downie, to 35 years’ non-parole, while my family and I continue to serve life,” the statement said.

Detective Superintendent Grant Moyle said that no sentence could account adequately for the viciousness of Downie’s crimes.

He said investigators and the person who found the bodies would continue to have nightmares for a long time.

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