'I wanted to humiliate my victims in the most awful way'

"I JUST wanted to humiliate my victims in the most awful way I could think of".

Those were the words of a Central Queensland rapist who has been declared a dangerous sexual offender under Queensland laws after attacking four women on the streets of Rockhampton on three separate nights in 1998.

He has been given chances to rehabilitate but he keeps contravening his supervision order.

Peter Scott Griffin, 48, is one of more than 100 prisoners in this state who have been dealt with under Queensland's Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act since it was introduced in 2003.

The legislation allows the Attorney-General to apply for court orders to detain a prisoner in custody past their sentence date, or order they be released under strict supervision if their risk to the community is considered acceptable.

In the past three financial years, the number of dangerous prisoners being released on supervision and being ordered to stay in jail has increased.

Figures from Queensland Corrective Services show 134 people were on these supervision orders last financial year.

This was 15 more than the previous financial year, 2014-15, and 20 more than 2013-14.

In 2015-16, 24 people were added to the number ordered to remain in jail under continuing detention orders. This was one more than the previous year.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General said the government believed the existing legislation was regarded at the strongest and most effective regime in the country.

He said the DPSOA was the most appropriate post-conviction mechanism for dealing with and monitoring sex offenders.

The spokesman said the Attorney-General was willing to look at serious, well-considered proposals to improve the functioning of DPSOA.

Griffin served his full 13-year jail sentence along with an extra year under the dangerous prisoner laws.

He was granted release from jail in 2012 on strict supervision, with a list of 27 conditions he must abide by.

 

But court documents ARM Newsdesk obtained showed Griffin had breached his conditions various times, including when he was caught masturbating in a shopping centre and another time when he was charged with stealing and obstructing police.

After each breach he was sent back to jail and then eventually released on supervision again.

He is back behind bars awaiting a court decision on whether or not he breached supervision a fourth time earlier this year.

Queensland Corrective Services can seek a warrant if there is a reasonable suspicion a prisoner has or is likely to breach their supervision conditions.

In 2015-16, corrective services sought 34 warrants for breaches or possible breaches. This was one less than the previous financial year and five more than 2013-14.

Consultant forensic and treating psychologist Simone Shaw said offenders breached minor conditions frequently, but these breaches did not necessarily mean they were at risk of re-offending.

"If an offender was not subject to such an order, they would probably be constantly 'breaching' - staying out after dark, not telling the police they have a new tattoo, drinking or using drugs," she said.

"For particular offenders this behaviour may have nothing to do with their offending, so other than being a breach of a compliance condition, has no bearing on risk of sexual recidivism."

Queensland psychiatrist Dr Michael Beech, who assesses prisoners and determines their potential risk of re-offending under these laws, said he believed the dangerous prisoner laws had helped reduce re-offending rates.

Before giving evidence to a court to determine the risk of whether an offender was likely to re-offend if released, Dr Beech said experts examined several factors including the number of times a sexual offence had been committed, the victim, the crime's circumstances, personality style and the offender's attitude.

Dr Beech said conditions such as pedophilia and sadism, drug and alcohol problems, and how an offender responded to treatment and future plans were also considered.

Experts use those factors to assess whether or not supervision conditions - such as limiting contact with children or abstaining from drugs and alcohol - could reduce the risk of re-offending and protect the community.

Statistics show sexual recidivism rates are low.

Ms Shaw said the stories behind extreme sexual predators were not typical of someone who had committed a sexual offence in the past.

"The reality of sexual recidivism is in fact a very different story," she said.

Ms Shaw said a study had shown that 76% of sexual offenders had not committed another sexual offence after 15 years.

She said the question about whether society needed this legislation was a complex one.

Bond University associate professor Terry Goldsworthy said the argument about continued detention came down to liberty rights and community welfare protection.

He said there was an onus in extreme cases for courts to take action to protect the community.

 

Front page of the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin August 20, 1999, when Peter Scott Griffin pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting four women. He was later sentenced in 2000 to 13 years jail.
Front page of the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin August 20, 1999, when Peter Scott Griffin pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting four women. He was later sentenced in 2000 to 13 years jail.

WHO IS GRIFFIN?

PETER Scott Griffin, who was born in Emerald, was sentenced in February 2000 to 13 years in jail.

At the time, the judge said Griffin appeared to show little, if any, remorse for his sexual attacks on four women - two of whom he attacked in one night.

This included a 17-year-old girl who he attacked while she was walking in Rockhampton in February 1998.

In May that year, he attacked an 18-year-old woman who was walking near a Rockhampton bridge, forced her down an embankment and raped her. That same night he grabbed another woman's groin area.

In July that year, a 17-year-old girl was walking home from a cafe in Denham St when Griffin sexually assaulted her and stole her handbag.

When police interviewed him, Griffin admitted to being responsible for the attacks.

Years later when psychiatrists were assessing him, he said the attacks happened after a relationship break-up.

When speaking about the attack in February 1998, he admitted he wanted to humiliate the woman.

In parole documents that were in Griffin's court file, he wrote that he had felt ashamed and remorseful.

"I realise there is no justification for what I've done and I take full responsibility for my actions and I do realise that my victims will have to live with and overcome the mental anguish and embarrassment that I inflicted upon them and for that I am truly remorseful," he said.

Three months after he was released from jail after serving his sentence, Griffin was seen masturbating in the carpark of a Rockhampton shopping centre one afternoon.

He told authorities he had been walking around stressed and had felt the sexual urge come on. He told authorities he left because he did not want to offend against anyone.

He has also breached supervision conditions other times, including when he left a grocery store without paying and pushed a police officer who had confronted him about the theft, and one another occasion when he became angry, confrontational and agitated, threatening corrective services staff.

Griffin is currently behind bars awaiting the outcome of another possible breach in his supervision.

It is alleged a woman had been living at his house, which corrective services believe breached one of his supervision conditions.

Under the dangerous prisoner laws, the state government is seeking the court make a decision whether Griffin should stay in jail or be released on supervision again.

The court will make a decision at a future date.

 


'It's laughable': Eliminated Byron bachelorette hits back

'It's laughable': Eliminated Byron bachelorette hits back

Jamie-Lee on life after The Bachelor, her relationship with Brooke.

LETTER: Call to close nude beach due to Queensland sex pests

LETTER: Call to close nude beach due to Queensland sex pests

Call to kill off clothing optional beach.

Local Partners