The Queensland government will not challenge the release of a notorious sex offender in the High Court as it has run out of options.
The Queensland government will not challenge the release of a notorious sex offender in the High Court.
Acting Attorney-General David Crisafulli says legal advice provided to the government on the release of Robert John Fardon is that they “just can’t win”.
Fardon was released into supervised accommodation in December after the Court of Appeal rejected the Newman government’s efforts to keep him locked up.
He has spent most of his adult life in prison for sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967, when he was 18.
In 2003 he became the first prisoner detained indefinitely – subject to periodic review – under new laws designed to keep the state’s worst prisoners locked up.
Upon being released late last year, Fardon was subject to a 24-hour curfew and forced to sport a tracking device.
Following Queensland’s loss in the Court of Appeal, the government sought advice on challenging Fardon’s release in Australia’s highest court.
However, Mr Crisafulli said on Wednesday night the government was out of options.
“We did everything we could but some of Queensland’s top silks, including the Solicitor-General, all advised we were out of options,” he said in a statement.
Mr Crisafulli said Fardon was only allowed out for essential trips accompanied by an escort and couldn’t leave his front door without permission.
“We didn’t want him out in the first place,” he said.
It was now a matter of keeping him on a very tight leash, Mr Crisfulli added.
The first stages of Fardon’s release started in October, when Supreme Court Justice Peter Lyons deemed Fardon fit for release.
The move prompted an immediate appeal.
The attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie also rushed through contentious “Plan B” laws that gave him power to overrule court orders releasing dangerous prisoners if it was in the public’s interest.
But the Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Bleijie’s appeal in December and declared his legal amendments invalid.
Before he walked out of jail in December, Fardon had been granted release twice before.
However, on each occasion he was returned to custody for breaking court orders.