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James Vlassakis

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James Spyridon Vlassakis (born 24 December 1979) is an Australian serial killer currently serving four consecutive terms of life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 26 years for his role in the Snowtown murders. Vlassakis confessed to four murders, including the murder of his stepbrother, David Johnson and half-brother Troy Youde as well as the murders of Gary O'Dwyer and Frederick Brooks.

Vlassakis met John Bunting when aged fourteen and looked up to Bunting as a father figure. It was alleged Bunting groomed Vlassakis into committing serial murders.

Vlassakis was tried separately from the other accused and was the first to be sentenced for his role in the murders. He pleaded guilty to the four murders he was charged with.


Suppression order

A suppression order was granted restricting any image from publication which could identify Vlassakis. The order was granted to provide protection to Vlassakis within the prison system as he had agreed to provide evidence against his co-accused at their upcoming trials.

The terms of the order were as follows:

Order suppressing publication of the image of Vlassakis in any form, including photographs, sketches and illustrations.
Further order suppressing publication of any description of Vlassakis, that is, of his appearance, which would have the capacity to lead to identification of him by a reader of the description.
The orders will remain in force until further order, but His Honour indicated that it his intention to review orders on the next appearance of Vlassakis in this court.
REASONS:
To prevent prejudice to the proper administration of justice.

In July, 2004, publishers of Australian newspapers The Australian and Herald Sun were convicted on contempt of court charges for the publication of a photograph of Vlassakis on 11 July 2002.

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