Sex offender's risk reduced after expressing remorse

THE risk of notorious sex offender Robert John Fardon re-offending has been reduced to "moderate" with medical professionals saying he is now verbalising remorse for his actions.

During the 64-year-old's latest bid for freedom, psychologist Nick Smith told Brisbane Supreme Court he had met with Fardon weekly since June, 2012, and there was "a definite recognition of the harm he has caused".

Mr Smith said he could not be sure whether Fardon would act negatively if placed in a stressful situation should he be released.

"When he is in a heightened state of anxiety he could react negatively," he said.

"I cannot say unequivocally that any explosive outbursts will not happen again."

Mr Smith said the ongoing legal procedures had played on Fardon's mind.

"Given the further legal procedures, this has elevated his stress levels," he said.

"The media attention he has received has also caused issues for him inside prison."

In 2003, Fardon became the first person detained indefinitely under Queensland's Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act.

Fardon has spent much of his adult life in prison after he was convicted of sex offences against women and girls dating back to 1967.

Psychiatrist Michael Beech said Fardon had become institutionalised after about 36 years behind bars and would find community integration difficult.

He said prison was regimented, everything was provided for prisoners and Fardon did not have to think for himself.

Mr Beech said changes to communication and technology would be a huge learning curve for Fardon.

He said he suspected Fardon would stretch the limits of a release order until he ended up in a relationship where something bad could happen.

The hearing continues on Tuesday.

Gympie Times


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