Police Minister Liza Harvey has expressed horror at a Supreme Court decision to release a repeat rapist from prison despite fears he may attack again — as the notorious sex offender danced with glee as he walked from prison.
Patrick Alfred Dennis Comeagain, 41, jigged as he was allowed out of Casuarina Prison yesterday afternoon after a release order granted by Justice Ralph Simmonds.
That order was made handed down despite objections from the Director of Public Prosecutions and police, and Comeagain failing drug tests while in jail.
Mrs Harvey immediately voiced her displeasure at the ruling, warning Comeagain that any breach of one of the 43 conditions of release would mean an immediate return to jailbehind bars.
“The safest place for him is behind bars — but we are bound by the decision of the court,” Mrs Harvey said.
“I can only imagine (the victims’) horror in seeing this man released — and I share it.”
Comeagain’s serious sexual offending began in 1987 and continued for more than a decade.
In 1994, he abused a nine-year-old girl, for which he received a 10-year jail term. Just 34 days after his release on parole in 1999, he raped two women in their own homes.
He was jailed for 12 years without parole and during that stint did not take part in any sexual offender’s treatment program.
In his judgment, Justice Simmonds admitted it was common ground that even with conditions there “was still scope for serious sexual reoffending by Mr Comeagain”.
But he concluded Comeagain could be “adequately managed” with a strict 10-year supervision order.
After hearing he was to be freed, Comeagain told the court: “It has been a long time coming.”
The release conditions include electronic tagging, restrictions on contact with victims, a curfew, an alcohol ban and to have no contact with anyone under 16.
Justice Simmonds also suppressed the publication of the suburb where Comeagain will live with his fiancee, whom he met in jail.
Ms Harvey said Comeagain would be placed on the State’s sex offender register, and people living near him could be see his picture by searching the Community Protection WA website.