Rae Wilson

Warrant issued to return sex offender Fardon to prison

UPDATE 6.30pm: Queensland's highest court has issued a warrant to return notorious sex offender Robert John Fardon to prison.

Fardon got a glimpse of freedom when he was released into the Wacol precinct, near Ipswich, about 4pm on a strict five-year supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offender) Act.

Fardon has spent much of his adult life in prison after he was convicted of sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967.

But Justice Philip Morrison, after hearing hasty arguments in an urgent Attorney-General application in the Court of Appeal late on Friday, granted the stay about 6pm.

The Attorney-General appealed Justice Peter Lyons' supervised release decision, delivered earlier on Friday, arguing the justice might have erred in assessing Fardon's risk to the community and that the decision to release Fardon was against the weight of the evidence.

Justice Morrison said the second ground could not be developed enough given the vast material needed to back it up so he adjourned the hearing until Wednesday.

But he said he was persuaded the Attorney-General had established arguable grounds.

Justice Morrison said he was particularly drawn to concerns about whether Fardon would abide the supervision order.

He noted the offender's antipathy towards Queensland corrective services officers and his general defiance in attitude, epitomised by Fardon absconding to Townsville last time he was released.

But Justice Morrison reiterated this was an interim measure and the stay would expire at 4pm on Wednesday, October 9.

The hearing will resume at 10.15am that morning.

Earlier, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, speaking outside the courts complex, said corrective services had assured him Fardon would be under 24-hour surveillance and GPS tracking device pending the appeal court outcome.

"The best thing for the people of Queensland is to have Mr Fardon remain behind bars," he said.

When asked what would happen if the stay and appeal were ultimately rejected, Mr Bleijie said he had exhausted all legal opportunities.

"We then have to make sure on the corrective services front, and on the police response, that this individual is 24/7 monitored," he said.

"He will not be able to go anywhere without someone in corrective services and police knowing every footstep, every breath he takes, every place he goes."

 

 

 

UPDATE: Convicted sex offender Robert John Fardon has been released from jail as the Queensland Attorney-General makes a last ditch attempt to have a supervision order stayed.

Justice Peter Lyons ordered the 64-year-old's released on a strict five-year supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offender) Act on Friday morning.

He refused a stay of his order under the Court of Appeal could hear the matter next Wednesday.

But Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, speaking outside the courts complex, said he filed an urgent application to have a stay heard in the appeal court at 4.30pm on Friday.

He said the corrective services had assured him Fardon would be under 24-hour surveillance and GPS tracking device pending the appeal court outcome.

"My goal at 4.30pm is to get this man to remain behind bars," he said.

"The best thing for the people of Queensland is to have Mr Fardon remain behind bars but obviously we are to some extent beholden to what happens at 4.30pm.

"If the court rejects the application for the stay and rejects an appeal then we have exhausted all legal opportunities.

"We then have to make sure on the corrective services front, and on the police response, that this individual is 24/7 monitored.

"He will not be able to go anywhere without someone in corrective services and police knowing every footstep, every breath he takes, every place he goes."

In 2003, Fardon became the first person detained indefinitely under the DPSOA.

He has spent much of his adult life in prison after he was convicted of sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967.

Fardon has previously reoffended within weeks of being released.

This is the third time he has been granted release but the Attorney-General has always succeeded in preventing Fardon's freedom in the past.

The Court of Appeal will now hear the application.

 

EARLIER: A Supreme Court justice is poised to rule on whether to stay his own release order for convicted sex offender Robert John Fardon.

Justice Peter Lyons approved the final set of conditions for the 64-year-old's release on a strict five-year supervision order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offender) Act on Friday morning.

Jonathan Horton, acting for the Attorney-General, immediately sought a stay of the release order so Fardon's release could go through the Queensland Court of Appeal a third time.

He said protection of the community was paramount and there were concerns Fardon would quickly become sexually exploitative.

Barrister Dan O'Gorman, acting for Fardon, said the supervision order was so strict his client could not even walk down to the local shops without permission.

He said three primary justices in the past two years had found the community would be protected as long as a supervision order was in place.

Mr O'Gorman said this was an inescapable fact and his client should be entitled to enjoy the fruits of Justice Lyons' judgment.

Despite three times being granted release from custody on a supervision order, Fardon has never left jail because the Queensland Government has succeeded in keeping him behind bars.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told media on Wednesday he would do everything he could to keep Fardon locked up.

He said that might mean a law change and he would explore every option.

In 2003, Fardon became the first person detained indefinitely under the DPSOA.

He has spent much of his adult life in prison after he was convicted of sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967.

Fardon has previously reoffended within weeks of being released.

Justice Lyons will rule on the stay at lunch time.



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