Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 
 

Leigh ROBINSON

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Convicted rapist
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: June 8, 1968 / April 28, 2008
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: Valerie Ethel Dunn, 17 (his former girlfriend) / Tracey Greenbury, 33 (his former girlfriend)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife / Shooting (12-gauge shotgun)
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Status: Sentenced to death on November 28, 1968. Commuted to 30 years in prison in May 1969. Released in 1983. Sentenced to life imprisonment without parole on January 28, 2010
 
 
 
 

photo gallery

 
 
 
 

Leigh Robinson murdered his teenage girlfriend, Valerie Dunn, in 1968. Originally sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to 30 years imprisonment and he only served 15 years before being released on parole.

On 28 April 2008 history tragically repeated itself. Following an argument, Robinson executed his girlfriend, 33-year-old Tracey Greenbury, with a shotgun as she cowered in her neighbour's doorway. Given Robinson's age and the horrific nature of the murder, Justice Simon Whelan had little option but to sentence him to life imprisonment without parole.

 
 

Double killer Leigh Robinson sentenced to life in jail without parole for the murder of Tracey Greenbury

By Russell Robinson - HeraldSun.com.au

January 29, 2010

SUPPORTERS of Frankston mother Tracey Greenbury erupted in applause in court as her killer, Leigh Robinson, was sentenced to life in jail without parole.

He was found guilty in September of murdering Ms Greenbury with a single shotgun blast to the back of her head.

Robinson, who pleaded not guilty, had pursued the mother-of-two Greenbury,33, into her neighbour's house then shot her at point-blank range.

Handing down the sentence today, Supreme Court Justice Simon Whelan said Ms Greenbury had been terrified and posed no threat to Robinson.

"Motivated by annoyance at some aspects of your relationship with her, you chased her down a suburban street in broad daylight ... carrying a loaded and cocked shortened shotgun,'' Justice Whelan said.

"When you caught her you callously shot her in the back of the head as she was attempting to crawl away from you before the eyes of her petrified neighbour.

"You have now taken the lives of two women who were in a relationship with you and have deeply damaged the lives of all of those who were close to them.

"There is a pressing need to permanently protect the community from you.''

Robinson, who was laughing and joking before the hearing, shrugged his shoulders when Ms Greenbury's supporters erupted in applause when the sentence was announced.

One supporter yelled: "It's all over, just remember that.''

Outside court, Ms Greenbury's father Max said: "He's gone now, he's never going to be released.''

His wife Pam added: "He'll never hurt anyone ever again.''

The couple hugged outside court as they spoke of their joy at the result.

The sentence comes after Robinson's former stepdaughter Louise Lesser said this morning she hoped he would "just rot behind bars".

Louise had been a victim of Robinson's for years and was just 13 when Robinson, then her stepfather, first assaulted her.

She was repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted by Robinson for five years.

"He should never have been released for his first murder," she said.

Forty years earlier he had stabbed his former girlfriend, Valerie Dunn, in her Chadstone home.

He was sentenced to death for her murder, but it was later commuted to 30 years in prison. Robinson served just 15.

On his release, Robinson established a relationship with a mother of five, whom he met when she taught prisoners how to make soft toys. One of her daughters was Louise Lesser.

Robinson raped and indecently assaulted her in her own bed until she left home at 18, she said.

It was then that she complained to police.

"I'd had enough," she said. "It was frightening. I used to sleep with a knife under my bed hoping one day I would have the guts to do something, even scream. But that moment never came."

Louise, 36, contacted the Herald Sun to tell of her ordeal, and chose to reveal her identity.

"I have nothing to hide and I want people to know what he did to me," she said.

Her crucial evidence put Robinson behind bars for five years in November 1994, for raping and sexually molesting her and another under-age girl. Louise said her complaints and Robinson's conviction had alienated her from her mother, Gina. They have barely spoken since.

Gina and Robinson married before his conviction. Asked why she had not told her mother of the sexual assaults before going to the police, Louise said: "Because she'd have believed Leigh over me. He also threatened to kill me if I told anyone. He'd say, 'if you go to the police, I'll kill you'.

"Because of his past I took that seriously. We knew that he'd killed a lady in cold blood."

Louise said she endured Robinson's assaults and remained in the house because of loyalty to her family. "It was for my mum. I idolised her," she said. "I loved her and I loved my family."

But Robinson's dominant and aggressive personality cast a shadow over their daily lives.

"Most days were good, the whole family front was good, but when it came to night time, it was all different," she said.

"I couldn't bring any girlfriends over because he'd make rude remarks, or he would touch them."

She was in Tasmania in April 2008 when Robinson killed Tracey Greenbury - and a family member immediately advised her to stay there.

"While Leigh was out of jail I constantly lived in fear that he was coming to kill me," she said.

Over the years, the mother of four sought sanctuary in drugs and alcohol.

"You can get on with it, but you never get over it," she said.

Sentencing Robinson in 1994, Justice Tony Smith acknowledged her suffering as outlined in victim impact statements.

He told Robinson: "As might be expected, they (both) suffered much psychological trauma as a result of what you did.

"Some of the effects of which persist down to the present time, and I fear may well last into the foreseeable future."

Judge Smith accused Robinson of a "gross betrayal of the trust given to you as a father figure of Louise".

The judge also accepted that Louise's stated psychological problems - "sleepless- ness, fear, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and even thoughts of suicide" - were a result of the sexual assaults.

She said this week: "I miss my Mum, I miss her every day. All I wanted was my Mum. He's destroyed that."

 
 

The inside story of convicted rapist and double murderer Leigh Robinson

By Russell Robinson - HeraldSun.com.au

September 30. 2009

HANDCUFFED in the back seat of the police car, Leigh Robinson pondered the seasoned homicide detective's observation.

 "Yeah, you could say that," he mumbled to Det Sen-Sgt Rowland Legg.

"If they'd hanged me, she'd still be alive."

Sadly, Tracey Greenbury's death warrant was signed six years before she was born.

On the day Robinson escaped the hangman's rope, Tracey's fate was sealed.

It was just a foregone conclusion when her brother Jeffrey, also a convicted murderer, introduced her to the extroverted truck driver almost twice her age.

Tracey Greenbury didn't stand a chance.

Forty years earlier, teenager Valerie Ethel Dunn's card was also marked the moment Leigh Robinson entered her life. Robinson slashed and stabbed the sweet 17-year-old shop assistant to death in her home in Margot St, Chadstone.

He stabbed her twice in the front and 14 times in the back with a black, long-handled kitchen knife on June 8, 1968.

Her boyfriend, Des Grewar, who had bravely gone to her aid, was also knifed in the frenzied attack.

Robinson, then 20, was arrested six hours later. He would later plead not guilty to murder. He was never charged with the attempted murder of young Des.

Robinson was convicted and sentenced to death, which was commuted to 30 years' hard labour after a mercy plea to the Bolte state government.

Robinson served just 15 years.

Tracey Greenbury, 34, was aware of Robinson's murder conviction.

But was she also aware that in the mid-1990s he had served five years for one count of rape and 11 of indecent assault involving two underage girls?

Until then, the Frankston single mother of two lived in the forlorn hope that the 60-year-old "who looks after me and the kids" had rehabilitated.

But Max Greenbury, her father, had misgivings.

Tracey tried to reconcile hisconcerns by telling him Robinson's murder was "way, way back in time". Body:  "Besides, don't people rehabilitate?" she suggested.

But Tracey's trust was brutally shattered when he assaulted her in his caravan, waving a handgun in her face while shouting: "Don't push my buttons."

A week later, on a wet and cold April morning last year, he made good his threat. At point-blank range, he aimed a 12-gauge shotgun at her head and pulled the trigger.

That afternoon, Paula Dunn was listening to the radio news bulletins describing the suspect as a man who had murdered a young girl 40 years ago and had been sentenced to death.

"I was in the kitchen and fainted," said Paula.

Memories of her murdered sister and the revulsion her family had for Robinson came flooding back.

She then rang sisters Pam and Barbara and other family members, including her own children.

Des Grewar was at his north Queensland home when the telephone calls started from Melbourne.

The earth-moving contractor is reminded daily of Robinson by long scars that are still visible on his chest and stomach.

But the news served only to re-ignite the emotional pain that he endured over the past four decades.

"It'll never go away. It's something you carry for life," Des said.

Married with children, Des retains deep feelings for Valerie. "I loved her and I'm pretty sure she loved me."

A year or so earlier, he'd discarded his remaining photo of Valerie, believing life had taken a different path.

But these days his thoughts constantly return to Margot St, Chadstone. They go back to the Dunns' modest house, of Harold - a carpet layer by trade - and Vera, and their four daughters.

Four doors down the road was Ricky Foster and his mother, widely known as "Fossie". They had a boarder: Ricky's old army mate, Leigh Robinson.

The families got along well and a friendship began between Robinson and Valerie.

Robinson, a labourer, had left school at 13. He had a high IQ, but also a troubled personality. This accounts for his expulsion from Oakleigh High School.

He never knew his father. According to official documents, Gwendoline Helen Robinson divorced William George Robinson in June, 1952, when Leigh was just 4.

According to prison psychiatrists, Robinson had a difficult childhood. He lived with his grandmother, then an aunt, before returning to Gwen.

He told prison officials that Gwen, often called "Robbie", had "certain drink problems".

Harold Dunn told police he initially had no objection to Robinson seeing his daughter.

But he was aware of turbulence in their relationship and of Robinson's anti-social behaviour. Robinson had worked part-time for him as a carpet layer. But Robinson was on the fringe of serious criminality well before Valerie Dunn's murder.

In his interview with homicide detectives - just six hours after Valerie's murder - he blamed the break-up on "every bastard who stuck their nose in".

He named one of Valerie's close friends. In her police statement, the friend recounted a terrifying incident two months earlier when Robinson chased them in his car at high speed.

"When we got to my house Leigh Robinson got out of his car and spoke to my mother," she told police.

"He said 'I will kill anyone who gets in the way', and he dragged Val into his car and drove off."

Robinson was arrested after a firearm incident in his car around the same time. It was Harold Dunn, by police request, who approached the agitated Robinson and persuaded him to hand over his gun.

Robinson was also convicted of breaking into an Oakleigh garage and stealing a box of tools.

Harold provided the bail money, and was never repaid.

Valerie's sisters said the Dunn women, particularly Vera, were disgusted by Robinson's loud and extroverted behaviour, and tried to stay clear of him.

By this time, Valerie and Robinson had been going out for about 12 months but she was keen to end the friendship.

Valerie had also begun to fear him, according to younger sister Paula.

Paula's boyfriend at the time was Ray Patterson, whom she would marry.

Patterson spoke of Robinson's darker side, notably his random criminality.

He recounted an incident when Robinson kicked in the back window of a parked car, then climbed in and ripped the radio out of the dashboard.

He would also syphon petrol from parked cars.

After Valerie called an end to their friendship she reunited with a former boyfriend, Des Grewar.

Robinson went into angry denial and developed bitter resentment towards Des, a panel beater from South Oakleigh. But he continued to work for Harold. Robinson was also harbouring violent fantasies, well before his frenzied attack on Valerie.

"I have had dreams and during those dreams I have dreamt that I was going to kill Val," Robinson told detectives in his police interview.

"I dreamt that we were going somewhere in the car and she ribbed me about the way I was driving the car
 and I caused an accident and we were both killed."
On the day of Valerie's murder, Robinson was on a job with Harold.
 
Body:  Early in the afternoon, Harold asked Robinson to drop some materials off at Margot St in his car and then return to collect him.

Robinson never made it back.

About 4pm Robinson pulled up outside the Dunn family home. Valerie and Des were inside.

In his police interview, Robinson claims he asked Valerie if she would go out with him, and she asked where they'd be going.

"Down to the Golden Bowl (a tenpin bowling venue) because I haven't got any money," he told her.

Robinson said Valerie "just pulled a face of not wanting to go to that sort of thing.

"Then I said: 'What, aren't you coming out now?'

"She then said her favourite saying: 'I don't know'.

"That used to get under my skin because every time you asked her something, she said: 'I don't know'.

"She gave me another of those looks and that's when it happened.

"I was going to slap the look off her face, but I just grabbed the knife and swung it."

T HE knife was on the kitchen bench. With one swipe, Valerie fell to the floor holding her side.

"I went down to pick her up and she was yelling out 'Help' and Des came in. He was yelling and I jumped up and Des shot out of the place then, and Valerie got up and tried to follow him.

"And I tried to grab her. I didn't want her to go and to stop her I struck her a couple more times with the knife."

In his record of interview, Des Grewar said he was in the lounge at the time and heard Valerie screaming and calling his name.

"She was also screaming out Leigh's name," he told police.

"I raced out into the kitchen. I saw Val curled up on the floor and Leigh was stabbing her with a knife.

"I reached for Val and he stabbed me in the stomach.

"Val half picked herself up off the floor and I helped her and we made for the front door.

"While I was getting the door open Leigh got Val then. He was stabbing her in the back, in the hallway.

"He was still stabbing Val and immediately after that I went out through the door.

"I went to one of the neighbour's places. I looked back and Leigh was standing at the end of the driveway."

He said Robinson did not utter a word during the attack.

Robinson told police he had stumbled over Valerie in the hallway.

"She was crying and she called my name once. That's when I bent down and kissed her," he said.

"I didn't know what to do. She was crying and rolling on the floor and I just shot out the door."

Robinson says he jumped into Harold's car and drove around the corner into Waverley Rd, where he got out and tried to ring Valerie's house from a public phone box.

But he couldn't get through.

"I wanted to see if she was still alive," he told police. He then rang Detective Roy Cooke, who he knew from a previous criminal matter.

Robinson headed to a friend's house in Devon Meadows and confessed to the stabbings. The friend then accompanied him to police at Cranbourne where he gave himself up and handed over the murder weapon.

In November 1968, Robinson pleaded not guilty to murder despite evidence by Des Grewar and Ray Patterson. A Criminal Court jury found him guilty and Justice George Lush sentenced him to death.

Six months later it was commuted by state Cabinet to 30 years' hard labour, but Robinson completed just 15 years.

Des Grewar was devastated.

Not only had he lost the love of his life, but Robinson was never charged with attempting to kill him.

"I wanted revenge," Des said. "I wanted to do everything I could to make sure Robinson stayed in prison or was hanged.

"I even went to Russell Street (police headquarters) and tried to get him charged with attempted murder."

In his naivety, Des went to the reception desk where he says he was told to wait until Robinson was released and then have him charged.

"For years that's what I wanted to do. But life changes. I just got on with it," he said.

Harold Dunn has endured every day since without his daughter and has a succinct view of it all: "They should have hanged him there and then."

Now retired, former Homicide Squad detective Roy Currie regards Robinson as the worst killer he's investigated.

"During my police career I investigated more than a dozen murders," he said. "I regard Leigh Robinson as one of the most vicious in that group."

Robinson's time behind bars was spent mostly at Pentridge, in A Division, where he became heavily involved in the performing arts.

He also established a strong bond with TV star Gil Tucker, Constable Roy Baker in the Cop Shop series.

Over the years, Tucker gave character evidence when Robinson was in court for theft, and then the rape and indecent assaults of two underage girls.

He and Robinson visited each other's homes, and Tucker was a guest at his wedding.

Tucker, who ironically played a pathologist in a recent television episode of City Homicide, would not discuss with the Herald Sun his close relationship with Robinson.

Robinson's 15 years behind bars were marked by his brief escape from the Morwell River minimum-security prison, with the help of Colleen Thompson, his fiancee at the time.

Their relationship started as pen friends and blossomed when the mother of four visited him in Pentridge. Robinson tried several times to marry her while still serving his sentence, but each request was ignored by prison management.

They were arrested after 24 hours and Robinson had three months added to his term, while Thompson received a good behaviour bond.

In 1983, when Robinson walked out of Pentridge Prison a free man, Tracey Greenbury was still in primary school.

Years later, their paths would intersect and briefly track for several tumultuous months, until that cold, wet April morning last year when he called on Tracey with a loaded shotgun. Before then, Robinson would be in and out of jail.

In 1991, he went back inside for two years after pleading guilty to 14 counts of receiving stolen goods, one of burglary and two of unlawful possession.

In 1993, Robinson married Gena, a mother of five he met while serving time for Valerie Dunn's murder.

She taught prisoners how to make stuffed toys. They started living together soon after his release.

THEY tied the knot after Robinson had been charged with the sex offences going back to 1987. In 1994, he was convicted and sentenced to five years.

A year into his sentence, Tracey Greenbury gave birth to her first child, Harley. She and partner Jeremy would have another child, Jamie-Lee.

But it was a troubled relationship.

The following year, 1996, the Greenbury family was rocked when son Jeffrey murdered a 70-year-old man in a Seaford caravan park.

The 27-year-old served 10 years and it was through those prison connections that his sister was introduced to Robinson. After Robinson's release, his brief marriage to Gena ended.

Despite the divorce they remained in close contact. Robinson phoned Gena while on the run after murdering Tracey Greenbury. She has since been to prison to see him a number of times.

After Gena, Robinson had a steady stream of girlfriends.

He got a job carting chickens and found digs in an old caravan and annex on the Pearcedale property of his trucking boss. He was known to his workmates as "Big Leigh".

Robinson also got to know Tracey Greenbury. They met at a backyard barbecue at the Mornington home of Jeffrey Greenbury.

They started going out but the relationship was rocky and Tracey had growing doubts about the truck driver.

Like Valerie Dunn 40 years before her, Tracey would pay the ultimate price for crossing Leigh Robinson.

Max Greenbury vividly recalls in the week before she was murdered how Tracey told him that Robinson had viciously assaulted her in his caravan.

He said Tracey told him: "Dad, he held a gun to my head."

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact