Witness to return pounds 250,000 reward

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The Independent Online
A British tourist whose evidence helped to secure the conviction of one of Australia's worst serial killers has pledged to give away a pounds 250,000 reward to charity and the victims' families.

Paul Onions was the only known survivor of an attack by Ivan Milat, the so-called "backpacker murderer".

Mr Onions, 30, an air-conditioning engineer from Willenhall, West Midlands, told Australia's Channel Nine television that he would like to "donate all the money to the victims' families and the New South Wales Homicide Support Group. Surely there should be some morals left where you don't need money to give evidence?"

As a result of Mr Onions' testimony, Milat was jailed for life last July for murdering seven backpackers. His identification of the killer was crucial in getting the mass murderer convicted. Police had offered the reward before Milat was captured.

Mr Onions was touring Australia in 1990 when he was given a lift by Milat. He escaped death by throwing himself in front of an oncoming car, forcing it to stop, after Milat shot at him and wrestled him to the ground alongside the Sydney- Melbourne road.