Fardon in suspense over his release
* Mark Oberhardt
* From: The Courier-Mail
* June 04, 2011 12:00AM
NOTORIOUS rapist Robert John Fardon could remain in jail for two months before he finally knows whether he can return to the community.
In the Court of Appeal yesterday, Justice Richard Chesterman agreed to extend a stay on an order that would have immediately freed Fardon back into the community but under a supervision order.
His decision came after community outrage that Fardon, a serial offender with a shocking record of callous sex offences, might be released. Those who spoke out against his release included a woman he brutally raped.
A full Court of Appeal will now hear an application by the Attorney-General, Paul Lucas, to keep Fardon behind bars on June 23.
However it will likely be another month before a decision is made.
In his written reasons, Justice Chesterman said lawyers for Fardon had made some powerful arguments and if there were "no more" in the case he would have refused the application.
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"They indicate that the risk that the respondent might commit a serious sexual offence before the appeal can be heard is not unacceptably high," he wrote.
"But, in the end, I am persuaded that the order of the primary judge should not take effect until the determination of the appeal."
Justice Chesterman said since the matter could be heard on June 23 Fardon would only be detained for a brief period.
He also said the primary judgment did not deal with concerns a supervision order would effectively reduce the risk of him offending to "acceptable limits".
"For that reason there may not have been a proper assessment of whether the supervision order will adequately protect the community," he said.
In the past week the State Government has come under fire for not committing money to GPS tracking for dangerous pedophiles like Fardon despite its relatively low cost.
In the Supreme Court on May 20, Justice Julie Dick ordered Fardon be released under a 50-point supervision regime, but the order was stayed until yesterday to allow Mr Lucas to appeal.
Mr Lucas had applied to keep Fardon in jail indefinitely, alleging he had contravened a supervision order.
Dan O'Gorman, SC, for Fardon, argued the breaches were trivial and should not prevent Fardon's return to the community and that he should not lose his freedom for another three weeks.
In a separate case yesterday, a man who raped a female taxi driver at knife point and forced a prisoner to perform oral sex on him had his strict community supervision order rescinded.
Mr Lucas went to the Supreme Court seeking to cancel the supervised release order for Anthony James Donovan.
Justice David Boddice agreed and Donovan was returned to serving an indefinite sentence yesterday.
Ah, so there is some justice left in this system of ours. Thankyou Attorney-General Lucas. Keep up the good work.