Just when you thought judgements couldn’t be any less caring for the safety of our children, and appeared to place more concern for the rights and welfare of convicted child sex offenders, along comes this judgement from Western Australian Judge Michael Corboy.
Child rapist Christopher John Bentley was released from prison because the judge decided it was “unfair”for him to lose his spot on the queue for social housing.
A violent repeat rapist was released from jail on Christmas Eve after a judge decided it was more important for the prisoner to retain his place in the queue for social housing than it was for him to remain behind bars.
Christopher John Bentley, 57, was sentenced to 12 years in a WA jail for drugging and raping a 16-year-old babysitter in 2000.
1 year later, he stalked and hunted two women in Bunbury. During one assault, a woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint in her home when Bentley knocked on the front door and asked to use her phone.
In my opinion Judge Corboy has failed to take into account the fact that Bentley has proven by his actions that he holds no respect for the law, and has no problem breaking his parole conditions. He deserves no more chances.
In deciding to release Bentley, we at FACAA believe the judge has not given enough weight to the fact that Bentley was also declared to be a “serious danger to the community.”
In the wake of Bentley’s release from prison, opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis called on the state government to reverse the decision.
“This man has attacked women on a regular basis and he has shown twice already that any conditions that a court might put on him just simply don’t apply to him,” he said.
We at FACAA believe keeping his place on the housing commission waiting list is a very poor reason to choose to free and place trust in a multiple time rapist who has proven he takes no notice of the law or his parole conditions and is a clear danger to any young woman or teen who is unfortunate enough to cross paths with him.
There are some people who prove themselves to be just too anti-social, and too dangerous to live freely in our community. When someone has chosen to commit such heinous crimes, not just once and broken parole not just once, they should lose the right to live freely among us and certainly should lose the right to have considerations like cheap housing taken into account when deciding when, or indeed if, they should be released.
Apart from the rapes, Bentley has a long criminal history, with convictions in Perth and Cairns for burglary, assault and drug-related crimes.
He was declared a “serious danger to the community,” but in May 2018 he was still released from jail on a five-year supervision order with 53 separate conditions attached.
He was arrested three months after his release when he entered a woman’s home without permission from his corrections officer.
Bentley was released again in February 2019, but was arrested 3 months later after testing positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine and was charged with contravening the order.
He pleaded guilty in August and was fined $500.
Despite his history of re-offending, Supreme Court judge Michael Corboy released Bentley on Christmas Eve due to “exceptional circumstances.” Justice Corboy said Bentley had been on a government housing waiting list for eight years and was likely to lose his place near the top of the waitlist if he stayed in prison.
He was released on an interim order, again subject to a number of conditions, including not taking any drugs. Prosecutors argued Bentley was “not to be trusted,” but Justice Corboy found in Bentley’s favour.
“This court has commented in the past about the lack of appropriate accommodation for dangerous sexual offenders and the impact that the scarcity of accommodation can have on deciding whether the community will be adequately protected if an offender is released subject to a supervision order,” Justice Corboy said.
“The loss of Bentley’s priority for public housing could significantly and adversely affect his interests.”
We ask, what about the interests of his survivors and future victims ?
We believe their interests were significantly adversely affected by his being released ?
Seriously, how many times must this guy show our judges that he will re-offend before they keep him locked behind bars where he belongs ? And more importantly how many victims must he claim before he has his file marked never to be released ?
When did, not wanting to lose your place in the housing commission line up become a reasonable excuse to be released from prison?
“It’s an absolute disgrace that families and homeless people who are law-abiding citizens can’t get a publicly-funded home but these dangerous criminals seem to be able to do so.” opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis said
In a statement on Friday afternoon, W.A Attorney General John Quigley backed Judge Corboy’s decision to release Bentley saying, the Department of Public Prosecutions had opposed Bentley’s release, calling for a continuing detention order instead.
However, he said Justice Corboy’s ruling fell within Labor’s sex offender laws, which allowed a dangerous sex offender to be released if a judge was satisfied they wouldn’t break release conditions.
“Justice Corboy was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Bentley would substantially comply with the standard conditions until the contravention hearing later this month,” he said.
It’s 2020, our children simply deserve better than this !