“We’re horrified” Convicted paedophile released from Qld prison

One of the state’s most notorious paedophiles has walked free from a Queensland prison, sending shockwaves down the spines of child protection advocates.

After 25-years in custody, Douglas Brian Jackway, who was once a former suspect in the murder of Daniel Morcombe, was yesterday released under a strict 15-year supervision order.

The 44-year-old has been behind bars for the sexual assault of a young boy and girl in the 1990s, but a judge yesterday ruled his behaviour and “maturation” had improved.


“He has taken significant time, with the assistance of rehabilitation programs and treatment, to reach a point of maturation and develop methods to exercise self-control over his emotions and behaviour for the Court to reach a view that he can be managed on a supervision order,” a judgment summary said.

“Any risk of his reoffending can be reduced to an acceptable level and the community can be adequately protected by a supervision order.”

Jackway will be living at the Wacol precinct that houses sex offenders and will have to abide by strict conditions including a curfew and will have to wear a GPS tracker.

Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection organisation Bravehearts, has told Nine the news has come as a massive shock.

“Oh, I think like most normal thinking people, we’re horrified. Just horrified that somebody so violent, so opportunistic, so clearly dangerous could be even considered for release, it’s mind boggling,” Ms Johnston said.

“With all the work that’s gone on over the years to bring about new legislation that can detain prisoners if they remain dangerous, to see them still walking out the door is ghastly.

“It is you know, the civil rights of convicted child sex offenders are more important than the human rights of children and their families.”

Ms Johnston said she doesn’t believe the strict supervision order will be enough to protect the community, describing Mr Jackway as “bad to the core”.

“For some offenders, yes, these things can work, perhaps they can be released, but not this guy,” she said.

“Not these really high end offenders that are violent, opportunistic and he’s not been a good prisoner. He’s not been a model prisoner. He’s been in and out for 25 years because he’s bad. Bad to the core. And he shouldn’t be allowed out.”

Ms Johnston has described the release as a kick in the guts for victims of child sexual assault and their families.

“I think it’s really hard for survivors everywhere to find the courage to go to police and to take their offender through the legal system… And then when you see these sentences that have been handed down, and then for the very worst of them, when you see courts releasing them, it’s an absolute betrayal,” she said.