Aged sex offender freed to 'unsafe' living

A judge has criticised corrective services for leaving an elderly sex offender to chose between indefinite detention or housing without health support.

The Supreme Court of Queensland on Wednesday heard an application by the Attorney-General to have Desmond Ronald Grant, 78, released on a supervision order.

Grant has completed a five-year prison sentence for sex offences and is now physically frail and has several health conditions, including diabetes, and needs a walker to enable his limited mobility.

Justice Peter Applegarth said in his judgment it was "entirely understandable" that Grant had sought hostel-style accommodation with home care support rather than stay in prison.

The only suitable accommodation currently available for Grant was a temporary living precinct on prison grounds at Townsville designed for people due to leave custody but who are still looking for a home.

"In making those choices, (Grant's) health may be compromised, he may suffer a serious medical episode in unsupported accommodation at a precinct," Justice Applegarth said.

"His life may be much shorter than it would have been if Queensland Corrective Services had developed suitable accommodation and policies, or had the flexibility to apply current policies to an individual with his complex medical problems."

Justice Applegarth found the community would be kept safe after transferring Grant to such a precinct, as he would not have access to potential victims in the form of teenage boys, but Grant himself would not be safe.

"The precinct is distinctly unsafe for someone with his complex medical conditions," Justice Applegarth said.

"To consign a person, even a detestable sex offender, to such an unsafe situation is, to say the least, unsatisfactory."

Justice Applegarth said it was inexplicable that Grant's solicitors had not made inquires about his ability to transport himself to and from the precinct to purchase groceries.

Corrective services had found an assisted living centre with appropriate in-house support that was willing to house Grant but there was no vacancy.

Justice Applegarth said he hoped a bed would become available at the centre not long after Grant's December release rather than him move to a precinct that did not allow taxi and food delivery services.

"Despite all of these difficulties and risks, the first respondent prefers to take his chances in the Townsville precinct than stay in prison," Justice Applegarth said.

Justice Applegarth placed Grant on a supervision order for 10 years, finding it was not appropriate to impose indefinite detention.