A violent sex predator who violated a young woman in her home will remain behind bars after refusing to engage in sexual offending rehabilitation programs.
Stephen Bruce Porter was jailed for 15 years in 2008 for a horrific sexual assault in a stranger’s northern Brisbane home.
The then 43-year-old man was found guilty at trial for repeatedly raping a 19-year-old woman in her home in 2007 after he broke in and blindfolded his victim.
The woman had her hands tied behind her back with an electrical cord throughout the terrifying ordeal.
Porter had also strangled her when she tried to escape.
Following the multiple violent sexual assaults, Porter, who was positive for hepatitis C at the time of offending, took the woman to her bathroom and washed her in a bid to avoid detection.
He was convicted of three counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault, burglary with violence, deprivation of liberty and robbery with personal violence.
Bid for freedom
When his sentence expired after serving the full 15 years jail term, the Queensland State Government last year secured a continuing detention order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act.
The matter again was brought before the Brisbane Supreme Court order in August this year as part of its annual review process, where Porter maintained his innocence once again.
Justice Soraya Ryan heard Porter wished to appeal to the High Court to quash his conviction.
Justice Ryan found Porter had refused to engage with the psychiatrists commissioned to assess him for purpose of the detention order review.
She said in her published findings that “little had changed” in way of the original 2022 assessment of keeping Porter in jail under the DPSO.
Refusing to seek help
Psychiatrist Dr Ken Arthur gave evidence that Porter had a long record of noncompliance with community supervision and he had shown next to no change in regard to his attitude or behaviours.
“Ultimately, prisoner Porter remains an untreated sex offender who has failed to take any responsibility for his offending behaviour or engage in treatment to mitigate his risk of recidivism,” Dr Arthur said.
“There is no new information regarding the presence of sexual deviancy or his level of sexual activity/sexual preoccupation.
“We do not know anything of his attitudes towards women or functioning in relationships. He has not shared his plans for the future nor identified any support networks.
“As such, I think it is unlikely that he will co-operate with supervisory staff or engage in treatment if released to supervision.”
Dr Arthur said Porter’s “stance of noncompliance” towards supervision continued to prohibit him to professionally conclude the release from prison should be grants.
“It remains difficult to recommend his release under supervision without a thorough risk assessment and the successful completion of a group sexual offender treatment program,” he said.
“This would provide useful information regarding his attitudes, capacity for self-reflection, motivation to change and allow the development of a relapse prevention plan.”
A second psychiatrist, Dr Anna Lenardon, informed the review that she thought Porter likely had psychopathic traits.
While she was unable to personally examine him due to his refusal, Dr Lenardon said Porter had “degree of sexual deviance” based on the nature of his offending in 2007.
Next steps for Porter
Justice Ryan upheld the order to keep Porter behind bars after finding him a continued risk to the community if released.
“On the materials available to them, the psychiatrists assessed the respondent’s risk of committing a sexual offence involving violence, upon his release into the community, as ‘substantial’ or falling into the ‘above average’ category,” she said.
“He was an untreated sex offender. It could not be said that any risk he posed had been lessened by his time in custody.
“Nor could it be said that the prospect of a return to custody, if he were to offend again, would operate as a deterrent, given his attitude to release – which was that he would prefer to remain in jail than to be in the community as a convicted sex offender.”
Despite Porter’s lack of effort to reform, Queensland Corrective Services has previously him a placement in a sexual offenders’ treatment program.
Justice Ryan stated QCS will continue to offer these programs to Porter.
She said should Porter wish to be released from jail, he would need to work towards proving he is not a “serious danger to the community”.
She said he could achieve this by engaging with a “psychiatrists commissioned to assess him for the purposes of the DPSOA or complete a sexual offenders’ treatment program or, preferably, both”.