Se­ri­ous con­cerns pris­oner a dan­ger to com­mu­nity Se­rial rapist re­leased

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A SE­RIAL rapist has been re­leased on a su­per­vised five year or­der de­spite be­ing d e e med a t hi g h r i s k o f re­of­fend­ing.

Stu­art Wil­liam Arm­strong, a se­ri­ous vi­o­lent of­fender due to his 17 year his­tory, was this week de­clared a free man but with strict con­di­tions.

The 40-year-old can­not

re- main in jail af­ter com­plet­ing at least 80 per cent of his six year sen­tence for the at­tempted rape of a 24-year-old woman he stalked and at­tacked on the out­skirts of Ayr on March 19, 2005.

But the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s ap­pli­ca­tion re­veals se­ri­ous con­cerns about Arm­strong, la­belled a dan­ger to the com­mu­nity last year and or­dered to be ex­am­ined by two psy­chi­a­trists be­fore re­lease.

T h e f i r s t d o c t o r s a i d Arm­strong was at high risk of re­of­fend­ing due to his sig­nif­i­cant his­tory and thought he showed some re­morse but lim­ited em­pa­thy.

He said ‘‘ if faced again with in­ter­per­sonal and gen­eral stresses . . . ( it would) even­tu­ally lead to an as­sault on a woman’’.

The sec­ond doc­tor said Arm­strong, who has com­pleted the High In­ten­sity Sex­ual Of­fender Pro­gram, had shown ev­i­dence of matu- ra­tion, a health­ier attitude and a de­sire to stay off drugs and al­co­hol.

The five year or­der place from March 14.

Arm­strong’s his­tory in­cludes sev­eral long stints in jail.

His first at­tack was in 1988 on a woman in her Townsville flat, when Arm­strong raped and sodomised her.

He was sen­tenced to four and a half years, but within weeks of re­lease in 1991, he

is in struck again. In a late-night at­tack on Mel­ton Hill, he threw a woman over an em­bank­ment, rip­ping off her dress and at­tempt­ing to rape her as she lay bleed­ing from a h e a d wo u n d b u t t wo passers-by in­ter­vened.

Sen­tenced to 12 months for that of­fence, Arm­strong on re­lease threat­ened a woman with a knife in broad day­light in a Bris­bane shop­ping cen­tre carpark, and tried to hi­jack her car. He was de- tained at the scene by mem­bers of the pub­lic and was again jailed.

In 2001, in Ayr, a woman re­ceived a phone call say­ing her boyfriend wanted to see her at his home. When she ar­rived, the boyfriend wasn’t there, but Arm­strong was.

He as­saulted her, tried to smother her with a pil­low and bashed her so se­verely there was blood splat­tered around the bed­room walls and car­pet.

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