News

Convicted killer and rapist to remain in prison indefinitely

A CONVICTED killer and rapist, who has spent 30 years behind bars, will remain there indefinitely.

After being granted release under 31 supervision conditions in May, Mark Richard Lawrence's release was overturned on appeal yesterday.

Lawrence, 52, has a criminal history dating back to 1978 where he was convicted in the Ipswich Children's Court of aggravated assault of a young child.

He has been in jail since 1983 after being convicted of the manslaughter of a psychiatric patient at Wolston Park Hospital. In jail he has continued to commit crimes, escaped from custody in 1991 and raping a fellow prisoner in 1999.

According to the court Lawrence's offending was prompted by his desire to carry out "compelling sexual fantasies about rape and murder."

After his sentences expired in 2008 he was kept in prison indefinitely because he had been deemed a dangerous offender.

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As part of the regular review of his indefinite sentence Justice Philip McMurdo, after hearing from a number of Lawrence's psychiatrists, declared in May he could be released and properly supervised under 31 conditions.

The decision was appealed by the Attorney-General who claimed Justice McMurdo had erred by assuming Lawrence had been truthful in his dealings with the psychiatrists.

The Court of Appeal agreed, stating the community could not be protected by a supervision order.

The court established Lawrence's dealings with psychological practitioners had been "self-serving" and there were "substantial grounds for doubting their truthfulness" that he had overcome his "deviant sexual fantasies."

"Our conclusion is that adequate protection of the community could not be ensured by the respondent's release under a supervision order," the court's decision stated.

"Only a continuing detention order could adequately protect the public. The appropriate order is that the respondent continues to be subject to the continuing detention order."

The appeal was upheld and the indefinite detention order continued. A

ttorney-General Jarrod Bleijie applauded the decision of the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision to allow Mark Richard Lawrence to be released from prison under supervision.

"Mark Richard Lawrence's violent history spans three decades, including manslaughter, rape and escape from custody, and the Government will always fight to ensure dangerous offenders are kept away from the community."

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Topics:  court of appeals, mark richard lawrence




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