While the Attorney‑General is deciding whether to appeal Monday’s Supreme Court judgment that sex offender Robert Fardon can be released into the community unsupervised next month, two important issues need to be addressed in the meantime.

Civil Liberties Council Vice-President said that the first relates calls for Mr Fardon’s whereabouts to be made public. These calls have been made by child safety advocates and the Morcombes.  The second is what actual financial assistance will be given to Mr Fardon to live in the community once released.

Mr O’Gorman said that if Mr Fardon’s whereabouts on release are made public, there will be a repeat of the Dennis Ferguson vigilante fiasco when Ferguson was released from jail and was then hounded from one town and one address to another.

“At the time in 2005, then Premier Beattie said the media was to blame for inflaming a vigilante attitude wherever Ferguson appeared”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“In light of the media hype over the last two days surrounding the imminent release of Fardon, the Attorney‑General and the Corrective Services Minister must not give in to demands that if released next month Fardon’s address should be made public”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman also called on the Corrective Services Minister, Mark Ryan, to provide financial housing and counselling support for Fardon on his release.

“Justice Jackson’s judgment earlier this week notes that as a pensioner, Mr Fardon cannot voluntarily continue the psychological counselling which he has had in detention for a number of years”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“It is incumbent on the Corrective Services Minister to provide financial assistance to Mr Fardon on his release both for continued counselling and suitable accommodation in order to make good in practice the psychiatric opinion on which Justice Jackson acted earlier this week, namely that Fardon poses a low risk of reoffending”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that experience shows that a prisoner of Fardon’s background who is released into the community without ongoing support from Corrective Services increases his risk of reoffending.

Mr O’Gorman said that rather than heating vigilante calls for Fardon’s release address to be made public, the Corrective Services Minister should be immediately concentrating on providing assistance to Fardon on release so he can maintain the psychiatric opinion of being a low risk of offending.

 

Mr O’Gorman can be contacted during business hours on 07 3034 0000 or after hours on 0418 787182