A rapist with a history of violent and alcohol-fuelled sex offending who remains a “serious danger” to the community was released from prison on a supervision order today, three years after finishing his last jail sentence.
Shane Narkle will be allowed to live in a unit in Rivervale after Supreme Court Justice John McKechnie found the community could adequately be protected by a four-year supervision order with strict conditions.
The address of the unit and any information which could lead to members of the public identifying the location, other than Narkle’s photo and suburb being placed on the public sex offender register, has been suppressed by a court order.
Under the supervision order, Narkle has been banned from drinking alcohol – which has been identified as the cause of his offending - and will be placed on a curfew.
The 48-year-old was declared a dangerous sex offender in January 2010 after he completed a six-year jail term for offences including two counts of aggravated sexual penetration. He had previously been sentenced to an eight-year jail term for an aggravated sexual assault committed in 1987.
Narkle was held in custody indefinitely after a judge found there were no conditions which could satisfactorily reduce his risk of re-offending to an acceptable level.
During a review in November 2011, Justice McKechnie refused to replace the indefinite custody order with supervised release.
In a report to the court during the latest statutory review of Narkle’s indefinite detention last month, psychiatrist Mark Hall said he remained at a high risk of re-offending violently and sexually if he was not subject to continuing detention or a supervision order.
Factors contributing to the risk included his denial of his sexual offences, negative attitudes towards women, antisocial and narcissistic personality and a high likelihood of resuming alcohol use.
But Dr Hall conceded Narkle’s risk of further offending was more manageable than a year ago.
In today’s judgment, Justice McKechnie noted Narkle’s failure to engage in counselling over the past year. But he also took into account an improved accommodation option, family support and an established relationship with a social worker in a support service.
“The Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act does not require that the community is completely protected from the risk of a dangerous sexual offender,” Justice McKechnie said.
“In balancing the continuing detention of a person solely for risk of offending, Parliament has required that protection has to be adequate in the circumstances, not absolute. I am satisfied that release on a supervision order with strict conditions would adequately protect the community.”