Mother of murdered 3yo daughter finds peace after meeting with her killer

A woman whose three-year-old daughter was killed 23 years ago has met with the man who murdered her.

Luke Sibley, now 40, was a teenager when he killed Brittany Crothall in her sleep on February 6, 1997. He then went into her mother's room and attacked her with a knife and hammer.

Sibley was a boarder at Jayne Crothall's house and had been evicted the day before he killed Brittany.

He later pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder and received a life imprisonment sentence with a minimum non-parole period of 13 years.

Jayne went into a restorative justice program five years ago as a way to find peace and personal safety by talking to her daughter's killer face-to-face.

Jayne told The Project's Kanoa Lloyd she initially didn't meet with him with the intention of getting restorative justice.

"I was really, really against it. There is nothing to restore. There is no justice here. I just wanted to meet him and look him in the eye to see whether he would come and hurt me or my children. It was my original intention," she says.

Jayne says all she remembers from the day Brittany was killed was sitting up and realising the warm sensation she was feeling on her face was actually blood. She looked up and Sibley was standing in the doorway with a hammer.

"I said to him, 'What are you doing?' He took a few seconds to answer and he said, 'I don't know'. But then he just lifted [the hammer] up and started smashing me on the head."

She tried to keep her screaming to a minimum because she didn't want to wake Brittany up, not realising that she was already dead.

It was only later on when Jayne was in the hospital that she realised what had happened to her daughter.

"While I was waiting in the hospital, my mum and dad walked in and I sat up and said, 'Where's Brittany?' And dad said, 'I'm sorry, she's died'."

Jayne says her reason for wanting to meet with Sibley was so she could know if he'd hurt her family again.

"When it looked like they were going to release him, I thought the only way that I am going to know whether he will come and hurt me is to sit down and look him in the eye and ask him.

"I had written him a letter and told him what my life had been like... I talked to him about Brittany and what he had taken away, how my mum found it so hard to get close to my sons. 

And it affected my relationship with my children that I have now."

But she found that giving Sibley the opportunity to apologise was an "incredible" part of his rehabilitation and now she's "ready" for him to be released.

"I've done everything that I can to prevent him from reoffending on the outside by giving him my blessing, for want of a better word. I do sincerely hope that he does go out there and does some good."