Drinking problem puts child rapist back behind bars
A man who raped a four-year-old child, and who has repeatedly breached community supervision orders, has been returned to jail because he drank alcohol.
But a Supreme Court judge has questioned whether the dangerous sex offender should in future be given a supervision order barring him from drinking, because it was not working.
The indigenous man violently raped the girl after heavily abusing alcohol and drugs and sniffing paint.
He was first released on a supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act in 2010, but has been returned to custody after breaching conditions.
He was back in jail in 2018 on a continuing detention order until he was released under a five-year supervision order in May.
But he recently breached that order by consuming alcohol and being involved in a physical altercation, the Supreme Court heard.
Psychiatrists have previously found the risk of the man committing serious sexual offences was low enough for him to be released on a supervision order and he has not reoffended.
But in the past 10 years, the longest period the man had spent in the community was five months, because of breaches of supervision orders, mainly because of drinking alcohol.
He has twice been returned to custody on continuing detention orders.
Justice Peter Davis said the man was never going to get out of jail until his substance abuse issue was dealt with.
"This idea of saying you're back in the community, don't get drunk isn't working,'' Justice Davis said.
"This man's just in a cycle.''
The man is suspected of having suffered from foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and he has been diagnosed with an anti-social personality disorder.
Justice Davis said the man would just keep going from supervision orders, back to custody, possibly a continuing detention order and back to supervision orders.
The judge said a total prohibition on alcohol was not coming to grips with the fact that it was unlikely to occur.
Justice Davis ordered the man be detained under a continuing detention order.
He asked the Attorney-General to question psychiatrists about whether it was necessary to impose a no-alcohol condition on any future supervision order and whether there were alternatives.
In May, Justice Peter Applegarth said the man, who had complex problems and reduced cognitive functioning, should not be kept in prison for years on end because the government refused to provide supported accommodation and resources to safely and securely support him.
He said the man had become institutionalised because the system created by the Act did not provide the accommodation and supports needed.
The cost to the State of numerous psychiatric reports, numerous Supreme Court proceedings and keeping the man in custody over the last 10 years "must be enormous'', Justice Applegarth said.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Drinking problem puts child rapist back behind bars