One of Queensland’s worst sex offenders, Robert John Fardon is now free to roam the streets after a court ruled he no longer has to remain under supervision.
The 70-year-old’s supervision order was due to expire last October after the State Government lost an attempt in August to continue strict monitoring.
Justice David Jackson ruled at the time that there was a low risk of Fardon re-offending and there were not reasonable grounds for extending the supervision order.
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The State Government lodged an appeal which saw the supervision order extended until a fresh hearing was held.
In a ruling released on Wednesday, Justice Helen Bowskill deemed that she “was not satisfied, on the evidence before the court, that the respondent is a serious danger to the community in the absence of a further supervision order.”
The ruling was made on January 9 but was only made public until today meaning Fardon has been free to roam the community for a week already.
In her judgement, Justice Bowskill said that the consistent expert opinion of three psychiatrists was that Fardon posed a low risk of re-offending and a further supervision order should not be made.
She found there is no evidence of ongoing sexual preoccupation or that he suffers from any form of sexual paraphilia and he is not a paedophile.
Fardon will still be subject to reporting conditions under tough new child sex offender laws for the rest of his life meaning Police will know where he lives and travels, details of his phone and internet connections, social media accounts, interactions and passwords.
In a statement, Attorney-General Yvette D’ath said “like most Queenslanders, the Palaszczuk Government wants Fardon to be strictly supervised in the community.”
“That is why the Government took legal action to extend the supervision order first put in place five years ago.”
Ms D’ath has already sought legal advice about challenging the decision but has been informed there are no grounds for another appeal.
LNP Leader claims Fardon’s release is a consequence of the Government’s failure to introduce tough laws to keep serial predators under strict supervision.
“Make no mistake, this sadistic grub is unsupervised on the streets because of weak leadership and petty politics by Annastacia Palaszczuk,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk played Russian roulette with the courts and lost. It was clear from last year that Labor had no plan B and that has been proven today.”
Ms Frecklington also raised concerns about the decision to delay releasing the ruling until today.
“I am deeply concerned that Fardon has been walking free on the streets for the last week and nobody could say anything. Queenslanders have a right to know.”