Sex offender Robert John Fardon.
Sex offender Robert John Fardon.

Serial rapist allowed ‘day spa’ visits

SERIAL rapist Robert John Fardon was allowed visits to sex clubs while under the supervision of correctional authorities. Justice Helen Bowskill noted Fardon's visits to the venues in her decision.

"(Fardon) had commenced, with permission, attending at a male 'day-spa' in order to meet his sexual needs and had no difficult or adverse experiences while doing so," she said.

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Queensland Corrective Services - supervising Fardon at the time - would not elaborate on what was meant by "day spa" but it was likely a reference to male sex-on-premises venues also called saunas.

The department also declined to detail what, if any, safeguards were put in place during his visits.

"For privacy, safety and security reasons, it would not be appropriate for QCS to disclose ... specifics," a spokesman said.


DESPITE warnings the state's most notorious sex-offender was "not cured" of his deranged urges, two Queensland judges found that Robert John Fardon should be free to live unsupervised in the community.

In August last year, Justice David Jackson dismissed an application by lawyers for Attorney General Yvette D'Ath who were pushing to have Fardon's 2013 supervision order extended beyond its October expiration date.

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In his decision, the judge took into account evidence from psychiatrist Michael Beech, who said the risk of rapists reoffending after the age of 65 was very low.

"As Dr Beech says, the respondent's anti-authoritarian attitude is on display, but he has to a very large degree co-operated with case officers and there is no evidence of an ongoing proclivity to criminal offending," Justice Jackson said. "There is no evidence of ongoing sexual preoccupation.

"The respondent has been stressed at times, irritable and angry, frustrated and abusive, or isolated and withdrawn. But he has shown no evidence of specific hostility ... towards further sexual violence." While the Attorney General appealed the decision, Justice Helen Bowskill last week also found Fardon should be released.


Lawyers for the Attorney- General argued that "a further supervision order would reduce the opportunities for (Fardon) to reoffend by removing from him stressors which may destabilise the present emotional equilibrium, thereby heightening the risk of reoffence".

But Justice Bowskill said three psychiatrists said even in the face of stressful circumstances, "it is unlikely that the respondent would react or respond by reoffending".

The judge took that issue into account when considering whether to grant a seven-day suppression order about Fardon's release, conceding in her judgment that "intense" media scrutiny Fardon attracted could make his transition into ordinary life difficult.

"In a democratic society such as ours … there is something unsettling about the argument that an ... order curtailing the personal liberty of a citizen, who has already served a substantial penalty for their crimes, should be made to avoid the stress and destabilisation caused by intense media scrutiny and attendant community vigilantism," she said.

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