The mother of a 16-yearold girl has voiced her concern after it was announced serial sex offender “DAL”, who was due to be released into Geraldton, will be allowed to live in Perth temporarily.
Tracey Wild was one of many concerned community members who spoke out last week about the planned release of a 67-year-old man with an
horrific offending history. The man, known only as DAL, was granted permission by Supreme Court Justice Gail Archer to live with his partner in Geraldton.
After his intended address became publicly known, the Department of Justice confirmed the man would be accommodated temporarily at a court-approved location.
Ms Wild said although the decision was a win for Geraldton, it was a loss for Perth.
“What is it going to take before they realise this person needs to stay in jail?” she said.
“It only takes one slip-up; why should any community be vulnerable to that?
“This is absolutely without a doubt the wrong decision.”
The court-approved location has been suppressed by the Supreme Court.
A spokesperson from the Department of Justice said court-approved accommodation took into consideration a person’s prior offences, their supervision order requirements and support needs to prevent potential high-risk situations.
The man will be subject to an eight-year supervision order consisting of 47 specific conditions, including wearing a GPS tracking device.
Earlier this week, Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney presented a petition in Parliament urging the Government to overturn the court’s decision and to keep the man in jail indefinitely.
The petition, presented on Tuesday and signed by 3400 Geraldton residents, argued the man should not be released, given the advice of State lawyers and the Department of Communities that he remain in jail.
“I appreciate the effort people put in to round up that number of signatures in five days,” Mr Blayney said. “It tends to underline the level of concern there was in the community.
“While I am very pleased that this outcome has been achieved for Geraldton, I hold concerns it may become a problem for another community.
“I think it would cause a lot less disruption if he did (stay in jail), but my feeling is since all the people who look after this issue are in Perth, it’s probably a better place for him to be.”
The man committed his first offence against his 12-year-old sister-in-law in 1975, for which he was fined $200.
After abusing his daughter for several years, the man received a minimum of a 21⁄2-year jail term in 1987.
On the drive from prison after the 1987 term, the man abused his seven-year-old nephew, and continued to abuse him for two years.
The man was jailed indefinitely in 2003 after pleading guilty to 37 serious sex offences.
He received a continuing detention order in 2015, which was rescinded by Justice Archer late last month.