Geraldton Guardian - - Front Page - Francesca Mann

The mother of a 16-year-old girl has spo­ken out against the planned re­lease and hous­ing of a con­victed sex of­fender in Ger­ald­ton.

Tracey Wild said she was “dis­gusted” and “ap­palled” by the de­ci­sion and would do what she could to keep the man in jail.

A 67-year-old man with a hor­rific of­fend­ing his­tory is due to be re­leased next week af­ter he was granted per­mis­sion by Supreme Court Jus­tice Gail Archer to live with his Ger­ald­ton-based part­ner.

Her house is near sev­eral schools, prompt­ing the launch of a pe­ti­tion to stop his re­lease.

Jus­tice Archer last month said the risk posed by the man could be coun­tered by a long list of con­di­tions to be in­cluded in an eight-year su­per­vi­sion or­der, in­clud­ing wear­ing a GPS track­ing de­vice.

Sev­eral pe­ti­tions have been launched in an at­tempt to get the de­ci­sion re­versed, in­clud­ing one by Ms Wild.

“We don’t want this per­son in our com­mu­nity, or any com­mu­nity,” she said. “He doesn’t de­serve free­dom. “He took away in­no­cent peo­ple’s free­dom and you can’t give that back.

“If he thought he could be re­ha­bil­i­tated he would have done that a long time ago. Why give him a sec­ond chance?”

Ger­ald­ton mayor Shane Van Styn said he was “ab­so­lutely dis­gusted” with the planned re­lease.

“The scum­bag should be left to rot in jail where he be­longs,” he said. “I was hor­ri­fied that he’d be liv­ing any­where, to be hon­est.”

Mr Van Styn said the City would help cir­cu­late a com­mu­nity pe­ti­tion to go to State Par­lia­ment in an at­tempt to get the de­ci­sion re­versed.

Mem­ber for Ger­ald­ton Ian Blayney said the de­ci­sion ul­ti­mately rested on At­tor­ney-Gen­eral John Quigley’s shoul­ders.

“This is in Mr Quigley’s court,” he said.

“If noth­ing else, he can ap­peal the de­ci­sion of the re­lease.

“Mr Quigley is play­ing a long blame game and not do­ing his job to pro­tect the peo­ple of Ger­ald­ton.”

The man com­mit­ted his first of­fence against his 12-year-old sis­ter-in-law in 1975, for which he was fined $200.

He re­ceived a min­i­mum of a 21⁄2-year jail term in 1987 for abus­ing his daugh­ter over sev­eral years.

On the drive from prison af­ter the 1987 prison term, the man abused his seven-year-old nephew, and con­tin­ued to abuse him for two years.

Af­ter the man was re­leased from jail for at­tacks on another boy, he abused his nephew again.

In 2003, the man was jailed in­def­i­nitely af­ter plead­ing guilty to 37 se­ri­ous sex of­fences and even­tu­ally was or­dered to serve 12 years.

He re­ceived a con­tin­u­ing de­ten­tion or­der in 2015, which was re­scinded by Jus­tice Archer late last month.

His re­lease was op­posed by the Depart­ment for Com­mu­ni­ties and State lawyers.

Pic­ture: Francesca Mann

Ger­ald­ton mother Tracey Wild says she is ap­palled at plans to re­lease a child abuser with a hor­rific his­tory and has launched a pe­ti­tion to keep him in jail.

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