Dangerous killer rapist back in the community


A dangerous Queensland sex offender and killer has been released from jail, after the Attorney-General failed to prove he was likely to breach a current supervision order.

Mark Richard Lawrence, 59, who fantasised about abducting, raping and "killing a girl'' when he was 15, appeared to live out some of that fantasy in 1983, the Supreme Court heard.

Lawrence, with a co-offender, abducted and sexually assaulted psychiatric patient Julie Ann Muirhead, 29, before Lawrence killed her by cutting her throat with a broken glass bottle.

He later told a psychiatrist he had ejaculated while cutting the woman's throat.

Lawrence was convicted of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment.

An extra seven years were added to his sentence in 2002, for the rape of a fellow prisoner in 1999.

Mark Richard Lawrence.
Mark Richard Lawrence.

Lawrence had previously sexually offended against children, the court heard.

He spent more than 30 years behind bars, detained after his sentences finished under a continuing detention order, until he was finally released under a supervision order in April, last year.

While living outside jail in the Wacol precinct accommodation for dangerous sex offenders, Lawrence had to comply with dozens of conditions, see a psychologist and a psychiatrist and have anti-libido medication injections.

But he was sent back to prison in December, after being arrested on suspicion that he was "likely to contravene the supervision order''.

Concerns were raised after Lawrence experienced seizures, said he wanted to change his GP and psychiatrist and said he felt the supervision order was too restrictive.

Corrective Services staff and psychiatrists said at the time Lawrence was showing acute risk factors, including disengagement with medical requirements and emotional collapse.

Julie Muirhead sexually assaulted and killed by Mark Richard Lawrence.
Julie Muirhead sexually assaulted and killed by Mark Richard Lawrence.

Justice Peter Davis said as Lawrence had aged and undergone medical treatment, his risk of reoffending had diminished.

"Worryingly though, the psychiatric opinion has always been that if Mr Lawrence did reoffend, he may commit a sexually-motivated murder,'' Justice Davis said.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr Ness McVie said Lawrence claimed his sexual fantasies of abducting, raping and killing adult women were in remission while he was on anti-libidinal medication.

The psychiatrist said Lawrence's anti-social personality disorder was also in remission, but he also had psychopathic traits and had been diagnosed with paraphilia sexual sadism.

Dr McVie said Lawrence's risk of sexual offending would be high if he was released without supervision.

He said if he stopped taking his medication, he would most likely abduct, rape and kill a woman and his sexual interest in young male children could resurface.

Dr McVie and forensic psychiatrist Dr Andre Aboud recommended his release, saying the risk of him committing offences could be managed if he complied with the supervision order and took anti-libidinal medication.

Justice Peter Davis. Picture: Liam Kidston
Justice Peter Davis. Picture: Liam Kidston

Justice Davis said there was no real suggestion that Lawrence's condition had diminished to the point where it was "likely'' that he would commit a serious sexual offence, if he was released on supervision and he complied with conditions.

"The Attorney-General has failed to prove that Mr Lawrence now is likely to contravene the supervision order,'' Justice Davis said.

On March 30, Justice Davis ordered Lawrence to be released from custody, under the existing supervision order.

Originally published as Dangerous killer rapist back in the community

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