Court photo.
Court photo. Chris Ison ROK221012ccourt6

Dementia worsens for CQ child sex offender, 80, locked up

AN ELDERLY Rockhampton child sex offender who breached his supervision order by arriving early to a medical appointment and dropping a mate home has been jailed indefinitely.

More than a decade since his offences, the 80-year-old man, who suffers from dementia, first breached his supervision order years after being released from jail by arriving early for a QML Pathology appointment in December, 2015.

A few days later he again arrived early, 25 minutes, to another appointment and shortly afterwards he dropped a friend home to Gracemere.

A psychiatric evaluation concluded the man's dementia was worsening and he was evaluated a moderate, "perhaps" high, chance of re-offending.

During the past 22 months authorities searched, without joy, for a suitable secure nursing home for the man.

Now a Supreme Court judge has ordered he be held in jail indefinitely for his "control, care and treatment".

However, Supreme Court Judge Martin Burns said he "took comfort" from assurances from the Attorney-General's legal counsel that the search for appropriate accommodation would be ongoing and if something materialised the man and his legal representatives would be advised.

The man, who was not identified in the court documents, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in 2007 for three counts of attempted indecent treatment of children under 12 years and one count of indecent treatment of a child under 12 years.

The complainant children all lived in a caravan park where the man and his wife lived.

He had toys glued to the railing of his caravan, which attracted children.

In the matter before Justice Burns, the court heard expert psychiatric evidence from three doctors, each of the opinion the man suffered advancing dementia which was likely to become worse.

"Unless the respondent is accommodated in that type of environment (secure nursing home), his risk of re-offending against children will be, at least, moderate and, perhaps, high," Mr Burns wrote in his judgement, which was delivered on November 2 and published this week.

"It is now one year and 10 months since the contraventions occurred. In this period a great deal of effort has been put into finding the respondent suitable accommodation.

"Recently as many as nine separate inquiries of nursing homes have been made by those within Corrective Services.

"The respondent is currently wait-listed for a place at a number of these homes."

After twice arriving earlier than allowed under his supervision order, the man's final breach happened on December 22, 2015, when those monitoring his movements received an alert indicating he had left his home without permission.

Monitoring of his GPS device showed he was travelling from Rockhampton to Gracemere and then back again.

He told a Corrective Services officer he dropped a friend home.

Two days after this, the man was brought before the court and he has been held in custody since.

He also faces non-sexual related charges on another matter that have been referred to the mental health court.

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