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Nurse Killer Slain In Prison

Sydney Morning Herald

Thursday September 23, 1999

By PHILIP CORNFORD

Murderer Brendon Fernando, 27, serving a life sentence for the rape and brutal slaying of Walgett nurse Ms Sandra Hoare, was stabbed and bashed to death in Lithgow maximum security prison yesterday.

Police last night were questioning his cousin, Vester Fernando, 29, also serving life for what the sentencing judge described as the "worst category killing".

Bad feelings had existed between the Aboriginal cousins since Brendon Fernando gave police an account of the murder of Ms Hoare, 21, who was abducted from Walgett Hospital, where she was alone on duty on the night of December 9, 1994.

Since their arrests a month later, the cousins have been kept in different jails. But Vester, who has a record of violence in prison, was moved to Lithgow last June from Goulburn jail.

Another Aborigine was being questioned about Fernando's killing, along with a number of other prisoners.

His body was found in the education block by prison staff about 2 pm. He had been stabbed in the neck and bashed. No weapon was found.

Brendon Fernando was found guilty of Ms Hoare's murder and aggravated sexual assault, while Vester Fernando was found guilty of murder and assault with intent to have sexual intercourse without consent in circumstances of aggravation.

Brendon Fernando told police he held Ms Hoare down while Vester raped her. They then dragged her 400 metres to a paddock, where Vester almost decapitated her with a machete.

© 1999 Sydney Morning Herald

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