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Serial killer Ivan Milat regrets chopping off his finger

| 27.05,09. 02:25 AM |

Serial killer Ivan Milat regrets chopping off his finger

May 27, 2009 12:00am

SEVERING his finger in a bid for attention was a "ridiculous" act, serial killer Ivan Milat admits in letters to his family.

However, the backpacker murderer doesn't regret the self-mutilation and thinks it was worth it, the letters published by a magazine show.

Milet, serving a life sentence at NSW's Goulburn supermax jail, in January used a prison-issued plastic knife to cut off his little finger below the knuckle on his left hand.

He placed the digit in a envelope addressed to NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter McClellan, the man who twice denied Milat's application for an inquiry into his conviction of brutally killing seven hitchhikers between 1989 and 1993.

From serial killer to serial whinger

"I don't regret it, though it was a stupid act," Milat said in a letter to his younger brother Bill Milat.

In handcuffs, leg irons and sporting a heavily bandaged hand, a silver-haired Milat, 64, was taken to Goulburn Base Hospital for treatment after the incident.

"He is very close to losing his marbles," NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Rod Woodham said of the high-profile prisoner at the time.

But for Milat his painful act achieved its desired result.

Milat gives High Court the finger

In a letter to his brother dated February 2, Milat says cutting off his finger was "a ridiculous thing to do, but in here acts like that is (sic) regarded as normal and really not as severe as some".

"I wonder if I will have enough time to prove my innocence as time flies, but it takes a long time to get a reply from the authority-courts-government.

"That was a big factor in severing the finger off, to highlight the difficulties of a prisoner who wishes to appeal his case."

Prison authorities believe Milat's finger-sawing episode was part of a plan to be shifted to a medical facility to enhance his chances of escape.

Milat 'hurting' after finger stunt

As a result, he complains authorities took away his eating utensils and his much-loved Breville toasted sandwich maker from his cell.

"The prison controllers seem to think I need some punishment, so they took off me my plastic plates and cup and my main meal (evening) in a sealed pack is tipped out on a dinner plate, no means given to cut anything up and I never eat tea at 2-2.15pm (they deliver it to us then)," Milat wrote.

"So by the time I do feel like eating at 6-6.30-odd, it's a soggy, cold mess. And they took my Breville away. I always rely on that, use it to reheat, cook other things, even to toast bread."

He refers to the jail as "the Bronx" and writes that his future life is likely to be "completely isolated" because "everyone around me is fairly up in arms over what I do".

Milat has a history of self-mutilation and in 2001 swallowed razor blades, paper staples, a tiny metal chain and later the same year swallowed part of the flushing mechanism from the toilet in his cell.

Details of the letters are published in the June edition of The Australian Women's Weekly.

Daily Telegraph

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