Controversy over brutal rapist release.

Larry Murphy pleaded guilty to the rape charges and served `10 years with a 25% remission for good behaviour. The nature of his crime was horrendous and the woman assaulted was lucky (if such a word is appropriate) to survive.

He refused a treatment program in prison.He is a psychopath with a
personality disorder. The circumstances of this case highlight the need for law reform in this area to make assessment of convicted sex offenders a mandatory part of the prison process. A professional forensic psychiatrist should have been asked to assess this man and the outcome should have dictated the intervention regime. Incarceration seems to have been the only consequence of his guilty plea.

The issue of continuing danger to the public and potential treatment options should be part of the regime. Electronic tagging and follow-up should be mandatory in these cases as should the confiscation of passport.

This is an area where the Minister for (Justice and) Law Reform should
activate instead of having a blasphemy bill passed. I support some of the calls for individual assessment, tagging where appropriate and ongoing supervision made by the Rape Crisis network which require changes to the law. I do NOT support sharing of information by state agencies about individuals who may not have been convicted of a crime but who are suspected to be a risk to communities. Due process is important and mob rule is always a danger with unsubstantiated and untried allegations.

There are many unsolved missing women cases that need a fresh look and investigation.

Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, is still in jail in England and was
refused release because of the perceived continuing danger to the public. Fred and Rosemary West of the Gloucester “House of Horrors” would never be allowed onto the street, nor the Boston Strangler.

We need to change the law to protect the community. Meanwhile let there be no ‘soto voce’ calls for lynchlaw. The cost of changes to the law include the provision of a forensic psychiatric service, councelling manpower and more probation officers. Let’s have some action from the government.