A serial rapist who terrorised women in Perth’s western suburbs in the 1980s will remain behind bars after a Supreme Court judge ruled there was an "unacceptable risk" to the community if the man was released from prison.
Dennis John Lyddieth, who has spent 20 years in jail, was last year declared a dangerous sex offender.
Lyddieth, 61, committed 48 serious offences against 13 young women whose homes he broke into at night.
He committed other offences when he was released on parole in 2002.
After an annual review of Lyddieth’s continuing detention order, Supreme Court Justice Eric Heenan ruled that Lyddieth should not be released into the community.
"At this point, I consider that on the balance there would be an unacceptable risk to the community if Mr Lyddieth were to be released on a supervision order," Justice Heenan said.
In his decision ruling that Lyddieth’s continuing detention order should not be rescinded, Justice Heenan said it must not be forgotten that the 61-year-old’s offender involved "appalling behaviour" to young women, especially those living alone, made worse by deliberate targeted planning which preceded the attacks.
"The court must, therefore, bear in mind that the consequences of Lyddieth reverting to his former pattern of offending would be extremely grave and absolutely devastating for any innocent victim unfortunate enough to be the target of his unsuspected attentions," Justice Heenan said.
Lyddieth’s lawyer Mara Barone had argued the current legislation was adequate to protect the community if he was released into the community on a supervision order.
Justice Heenan said while it was accepted that Lyddieth had made some improvement, he was left with the "distinct impression that more demonstrated progress needed to occur before those positive signs could be regarded as a sufficient response to any continuing risk of reoffending".
"A certain degree of lack of frankness suspected to exist because of his denial of sexual fantasies creates unease because, as put by (the State), he may be concealing that information because revealing it would disclose a greater level of risk than might otherwise be supposed," Justice Heenan said.Lyddieth will have another annual review of his order next year.