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Saturday, March 23, 2013

A true crime of passion

Armed robber, John Killick is about to be released from prison.  In 1999, his girlfriend, Lucy Dudko, swooped down into the exercise yard of Silverwater jail in a helicopter, picked up her lover, and few away in a hail of bullets.  It if reminds you of something you've seen on the movies, you are right, Dudko got the idea from a video she hired starring Charles Bronson in "Breakout."


Lucy Dudko hired Tim Joyce for a chartered helicopter joyride and once in the air, she took a sawn-off shotgun out of her handbag, pressed  it to the pilot's throat and said "This is a hijack."

Lucy Dudko

They landed in a park, tied up the pilot with radio cables and fled.  After 45 days of freedom, they were caught at a Sydney motel.

Killick was in custody after robbing a bank in Bowral and shooting at an off-duty police officer.  He pleaded guilty and was being held on remand, waiting for sentence, when the daring escape took place. Killick had been to prison many times for armed holdups - 1966, 1972, 1981 and 1985.

Model prisoner Dudko

Before meeting Killick, the married mother of one had it all.  She emigrated to Australia from Russia in 1993 with her scientist husband, Alex Dudko and they had a beautiful baby daughter.  She was studying for a doctorate in history at Macquarie University.  But she threw it all away for a middle-aged womanizer who, because he had a chronic gambling addiction, was always broke.  She was a model prisoner and spent seven years in jail and was released in 2006.

After 14 years in jail, Killick is about to be released but the moment he steps outside the prison gates, detectives will extradite him to Queensland where he is expected to face outstanding charges and more jail time.

Now 71 years old, Killick says he's finally kicked his gambling habit after several intensive anti-gambling courses. "Maybe it's my age, but the urge is gone" he said.

His parole was challenged by Barrister Lester Fernandez who pointed out that while Killick claims he hasn't gambled since 2007, he had still been actively betting "on anything" inside jail in the seven years before that, admitting he telephoned family to place bets for him.  Mr Fernandez argued that Killick's long history of pathological gambling presented "acute risk factors" to the public and recommended he stay in jail.

The case has been held over until May 3.