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Mum of murdered teen Tania Burgess opens up about surviving children as DL gets parole

The mother of brutally murdered teenager Tania Burgess has revealed that her two surviving children are struggling to talk about their late sister, 17 years after she was left for dead on the street.

Tania was 15 when a boy, then 16, assaulted and stabbed her 48 times on the NSW Central Coast in 2005, leaving her to die.

People rushed to her, where she pronounced the killer’s name, but died a little later.

It was announced on Thursday that the killer, who is now 32 but cannot be identified for legal reasons, will be released on August 1 on parole and can remain anonymous.

In response to news that her daughter’s killer would be released, Mandy Burgess opened up about her family’s grief over the decision — revealing how her two surviving children Gemma and Blake were left “heartbroken.”

“We won’t get a second chance to get Tania back,” she told Ben Fordham 2GB

“It’s so hopeless to see him walk free and start a new life.”

In a tragic confession, Ms. Burgess said her surviving children barely talk about their deceased sister.

“They haven’t talked much about Tania since it happened. They’re just numb. The conversations were quite short. I think they’ll both be devastated if they think he’s going to get out,” she said.

Chris and Mandy Burgess with their murdered daughter Tania and their other daughter Gemma.  Mandy is candid about the impact of Tania's murder on her siblings Gemma and Blake

Chris and Mandy Burgess with their murdered daughter Tania and their other daughter Gemma. Mandy is candid about the impact of Tania’s murder on her siblings Gemma and Blake

The now 32-year-old murderer, who can only be called as DL because he committed the crime as a minor, will be released on August 1.

The now 32-year-old murderer, who can only be called as DL because he committed the crime as a minor, will be released on August 1.

Mandy Burgess spoke of her family's grief over the decision - revealing how her two surviving children Gemma and Blake were left 'heartbroken'

Mandy Burgess spoke of her family’s grief over the decision – revealing how her two surviving children Gemma and Blake were left ‘heartbroken’

Ms. Burgess said she was terrified that the killer would be in the community.

“He’s out in the community somewhere and nobody knows who he is or what he’s done and that’s probably the scariest thing about it,” she said.

The mother said her children were terrified when they received the news late Thursday.

“Gemma and Blake got the news quite late, yesterday afternoon. I think Blake heard it on the news and Gemma, she was so busy working she had no idea. I called her at about 5, 5:30 am. They didn’t know what to say,’ she said.

“Then they were children and now they are healthy adults who have their own lives to live. It was difficult to talk to both of them yesterday afternoon.’

Despite pleas from the family that he should not remain anonymous, the 32-year-old killer can only be referred to as a DL because the crime took place when he was a minor.

Justice James Wood said at the NSW State Parole Authority hearing that he had accepted expert advice that DL was strongly recommended to be released under supervision before his full sentence expired next year.

“The priority now is on surveillance to promote his reintegration and the protection of the public,” said the Serious Offenders Review Council report.

DL must notify authorities on a daily basis of all his movements, be monitored electronically and, under other strict conditions, must be treated by a forensic psychologist.

Judge Wood expressed his deepest condolences to Tania’s parents, Mandy and Chris, who were present in court.

After being identified by a dying Tania, DL was arrested on the night of the horrific murder.

After being identified by a dying Tania, DL was arrested on the night of the horrific murder in 2005

After being identified by a dying Tania, DL was arrested on the night of the horrific murder in 2005

Mandy said Tania was a 'beautiful, caring and loving' teen who was just beginning to blossom at the age of 15

Mandy said Tania was a ‘beautiful, caring and loving’ teen who was just beginning to blossom at the age of 15

During his trial, it took the jury just 90 minutes to convict him. He was given a maximum sentence of 22 years with a non-parole period of 17 years.

The sentence was reduced by four years on appeal in 2018, making him eligible for parole since mid-2018.

On Wednesday, Tania’s mother Mandy said that DL had never repented and now had a chance at adult life, which he denied her daughter.

“You just wipe 17 years and he can start a new life and yet we lost our daughter,” she said.

‘You can only dream what kind of life she would have had. She was such a beautiful caring, loving teenager.

“It has been taken from us all. She was just a girl, she just started blooming when she was 15.’

After getting off the school bus, Tania was taking a shortcut home through the Forrester’s Beach Resort parking lot when DL, a boy she’d taken the bus with but wasn’t going to school with, attacked her.

After vacationers saw him standing over Tania, four people ran to her assistant as she lay dying in a pool of blood, gasping for breath.

Tania's parents, Chris and Mandy Burgess, have argued that DL should never be released and given the chance at an adult life that their daughter was denied forever

Tania’s parents, Chris and Mandy Burgess, have argued that DL should never be released and given the chance at an adult life that their daughter was denied forever

While most of DL’s stab wounds were superficial, one reached Tania’s heart.

The motive was unclear, but during the Supreme Court trial in 2008, the court heard that he had confessed to feeling rejected by Tania.

After being named by Tania, he was arrested within hours at his home in nearby Bateau Bay, where police found bloodied clothing in his bedroom. Mandy said she tried not to remember that day.

“I’m trying to block out those horrific images of what we saw that day and remember Tania for what she was,” Mandy said.

She said it would be better for DL ​​never to be released and continued to claim it would be “safer” for the community if his full identity were released.

“To wake up one morning and hear that he hurt someone else in the community, and let another family go through what we went through,” she said.

“I couldn’t possibly imagine that happening in this universe,” she said.

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