Jarrod Bleijie
Jarrod Bleijie Tom Huntley

Bleijie blocks release of violent sex killer

A GLIMPSE of freedom for a dangerous sexual offender with a fetish for violent sexual fantasies has been short lived.

Justice Philip McMurdo ordered Mark Richard Lawrence be released on a strict supervision order, including 31 strict conditions, on Friday morning.

But new Queensland Solicitor-General Peter Dunning successfully sought a stay to appeal the decision.

Justice Robert Gotterson heard an application on behalf of Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie in the Queensland Court of Appeal on Friday afternoon.

He said he would deliver his decision "as soon as I can" and continued the stay, preventing Lawrence's release from Wolston Correctional Centre until further notice.

Lawrence, 52, has been in jail for more than 30 years for rape, manslaughter and escaping from custody.

His crimes began at a young age when he was enrolled at the Ipswich Opportunity School were he reportedly tried to rape a student.

By his 18th birthday, Lawrence had been before the Ipswich Court three times for assaulting children.

He has been granted release previously before but lost his freedom on appeal.

Justice McMurdo, in his judgment, said it was doubtful Lawrence had eliminated his deviant sexual fantasies entirely but Dr Joan Lawrence and Dr Donald Grant expressed views which were favourable to Lawrence's prospects of managing his sexual behaviour.

"The important point in (Dr Lawrence's) view was that (Lawrence) now appeared to be genuinely minded to control the risk from those fantasies and was developing the means to do so," he said.

"Therefore, the unknown is not so much whether (Lawrence) will experience the onset of these fantasies but rather whether he will remain willing and able, outside the custodial environment, to avoid their development and their potentially dangerous consequences.

"It is that uncertainty which results in some ongoing risk that the respondent would commit a serious sexual offence and perhaps a life threatening offence."

Justice McMurdo noted no one could read Lawrence's mind for the onset of deviant fantasies and it was possible "even his treating psychologist would be unable to detect some dangerous development in that respect".

But he said the two psychiatrists who had assessed Lawrence had markedly changed their views on his progress and their opinions must be given substantial weight.

"It is remarkable that each of the psychiatrists has so changed her or his view since the previous review of (Lawrence's) detention that each believes the level of risk is moderate and able to be contained ... by an appropriate supervision order," he said.

Justice McMurdo said he was persuaded the community could be adequately protected through a supervision order.


Catch up with new faces at Byron Chamber

Catch up with new faces at Byron Chamber

Business Catch Up this Thursday April 26.

Byron dawn service commemorates Beersheba charge

Byron dawn service commemorates Beersheba charge

The day Beersheba came to Byron Bay

Dan Sultan confirms second Northern Rivers show

Dan Sultan confirms second Northern Rivers show

The artist has announced an extension to his current tour

Local Partners