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Victim's settlement immediate: Tolley

14:43 Thu Dec 6 2012

After waiting 11 years for the Department of Corrections to admit its failures led to the 2001 RSA killings, the sole survivor will wait just a few hours longer before a settlement over her horrific injuries comes into effect.

Susan Couch was left with brain injuries after the December 2001 attack by William Bell which killed three others.

Ms Couch had been suing Corrections for exemplary damages of $500,000, claiming that Bell, who was on parole for previous aggravated robbery convictions at the time, was not properly supervised by the department.

In August, Ms Couch had her request for a jury to hear the case against the department denied.

However, after recent talks, the two sides have agreed to a settlement, which comes into effect immediately at 7pm on Thursday.

Corrections Minister Anne Tolley admits Ms Couch has waited a long time for justice.

She is pleased an agreement has been reached.

"That woman has been through a really traumatic experience, very badly beaten up, and then she's fought her way through the courts. I think she will be looking forward to having a Christmas where she has drawn a line under it."

Responding to Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar's suggestion that Corrections is only settling to avoid a potentially embarrassing court case, Mrs Tolley said Mr McVicar "is entitled to his opinion".

"They do their best. I'm pretty confident that significant changes have been made."

The settlement amount isn't clear yet.

Bell is now serving a 30-year non-parole life sentence for murdering Wayne Johnson, Mary Hobson and Bill Absolum and the attempted murder of Ms Couch, who was left for dead.

Getaway driver Darnell Kere Tupe was sentenced to 12 years' jail with a minimum non-parole period of seven years for three counts of manslaughter and one of aggravated robbery.

He was released on parole in April this year.