Triple child rapist to be released back into community

A CHILD rapist who has spent half of his life behind bars will soon be released into the Ipswich community.

Graeme Paul Hancock will have to comply with a long list of strict conditions - including staying away from schools, not accessing the internet and a 24-hour curfew - after Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth on Monday ruled he be released from prison.

The 31-year-old Wacol man has a long history of abusing little girls, including touching a four-year-old relative and her friend inappropriately when he was just 16 years old.

In 2004, he was sentenced to five years behind bars for three counts of rape and 23 other offences against a five-year-old girl, a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old-girl.

He was released in February 2009, but four months later he was busted taking photos of a four-year-old girl during a trip to Southbank and storing photos of female children taken on public transport on his phone.

In October 2012 he breached a supervision order by downloading child pornography onto a USB drive at an internet cafe and was subsequently found to have child exploitation images and videos on a laptop in his Wacol home.

The cafe crime happened while he was wearing a GPS tracker.

In 2013 he pleaded guilty to a range of offences and received a suspended sentence, but in early 2014 a Supreme Court judge ordered him to complete specified sex offender treatment programs before he could be released.

Justice Applegarth told the court that Hancock had complied with the previous judge's order.

He said the only alternative to releasing Hancock was essentially locking him up and "throwing away the key".

However, Justice Applegarth said Hancock would steadily lower his risk of re-offending if he received ongoing treatment that was not available in prison.

He said Hancock also needed the chance to start building social networks outside of his supportive family and that could not be done behind bars.

Justice Applegarth said keeping the defendant in jail would just de-motivate his attitude towards change and lead to more offences when he was eventually freed.

The court heard anti-libido drugs - or chemical castration - had pushed the defendant's testosterone levels to extreme lows and that Hancock would undertake self-applied aversion therapy once he was out of prison.

Two psychiatrists and a psychologist told the court on Monday it was impossible to say Hancock would never re-offend.

However, they said with the right treatment geared toward his low intellectual level the chances of further attacks could be lowered significantly.

In allowing Hancock to be released on a 10-year supervision order, Justice Applegarth said the defendant must find accommodation in a Queensland Corrective Services-approved child-free area and be kept a under a 24-hour curfew with only QCS-allowed outings into the community.

He will also have to continue weekly or bi-weekly psychology sessions and wear a GPS tracker.

"It seems that he realises that the best way to address his problem is to seek the support of his family and if he disappoints them he may lose that potential source of support," Justice Applegarth said.

"But it's obvious that the real issue here is monitoring Mr Hancock under a supervision order and there are also significant challenges for him to maintain good self-management and to alleviate boredom, alienation and unsatisfactory associations (with other offenders) that have been canvassed during the course of this hearing."

The Attorney-General's Department and Hancock's defence team did not oppose any of the release conditions.

- APN NEWSDESK


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