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

Vile rapist Fardon a free man

QUEENSLAND'S most notorious sex-offender Robert John Fardon is walking the streets a free man after a last-ditch bid to stop him living unsupervised failed.

The Courier-Mail can today reveal the State Government was unable to stop the 70-year-old being released into the community without restrictions after a gag-order enforced by the courts was lifted this morning.

John Robert Fardon is living in the community. Source: Nine News/Twitter
John Robert Fardon is living in the community. Source: Nine News/Twitter

Fardon is considered one of Queensland's worst sex offenders and was jailed for 13 years in 1988 for the violent rape of a woman. Shockingly, he committed a further rape just four months after being released from jail.

Fardon is also responsible for the rape of a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint.

He had been under a supervision order that requires serious sexual offenders to report to and receive visits from police, abide by curfews or monitoring and not live within certain distances of schools or children's playgrounds since 2013, which was due to lapse last year.

Despite the Attorney-General making several attempts to extend the order, Fardon has been living unsupervised in the community since last Wednesday.

Courtroom sketch of Robert John Fardon
Courtroom sketch of Robert John Fardon File

For years, he had been forced to stay with other sex offenders near a jail precinct but he has this week been seen at shopping centres and catching public transport among women and children.

Fardon is also responsible for the rape of a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath insisted new laws brought in last year to boost supervision of sex offenders would mean Fardon remained monitored, saying police will know where he lives and travels and will have details of his phone and internet connections.

He had been under a supervision order that requires serious sexual offenders to report to and receive visits from police, abide by curfews or monitoring and not live within certain distances of schools or children's playgrounds since 2013, which was due to lapse last year.

Despite the Attorney-General making several attempts to extend the order, Fardon has been living unsupervised in the community since last Wednesday.

For years, he had been forced to stay with other sex offenders near a jail precinct but he has this week been seen at shopping centres and catching public transport among women and children.

The public have not been able to be informed of this until today because of court orders restricting publication.

The State has made several attempts to extend Fardon's supervision order.

Robert John Fardon arrives at Townsville watchhouse after being arrested in 2007. Picture: Laird Cameron
Robert John Fardon arrives at Townsville watchhouse after being arrested in 2007. Picture: Laird Cameron

In the original hearing, the Queensland Supreme Court found he would not be an unacceptable risk if released.

The Attorney-General late last year appealed this decision to allow Fardon to live unsupervised.

The appeal was allowed after the Queensland Court of Appeal found the 69-year-old had a "prolonged period of past dangerousness" that could be a "powerful consideration" to extend the supervision order.

A new hearing was held, but lawyers for the Attorney-General could not convince the court to extend the supervision order.

The media and the public was blocked from being present in the handing down of this final decision in court last week and the details of his release and the secret hearing have only been revealed this morning.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has released a statement in which she said there were no further grounds to appeal.

"After the application to extend his order was rejected by the Supreme Court again, the Palaszczuk Government requested legal advice as to whether a further appeal would be successful.

"We have been informed that there are no grounds for an appeal."

In December 2013, Robert Fardon was released under supervision orders to live at a house for sex offenders on restricted parole.
In December 2013, Robert Fardon was released under supervision orders to live at a house for sex offenders on restricted parole.

Ms D'Ath insisted the new laws brought in last year to boost supervision of sex offenders would mean Fardon remained monitored.

"Robert John Fardon will be an automatic reportable offender for the rest of his life under the Palaszczuk Government's tough new legislation to protect the community from child sex offenders.

"After Fardon's order under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 ceased on January 9, he immediately came under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004.

"This means police will know where Fardon lives and travels, details of his phone and internet connections, social media accounts, interactions and passwords for the rest of his life.

"If Fardon fails to meet these reporting conditions, he could face five years in jail.

"Like most Queenslanders, the Palaszczuk Government wants Fardon to be strictly supervised in the community.

"That is why the Government took legal action to extend the supervision order first put in place five years ago."

FARDON'S FILE OF SHAME

1967 - Convicted at age 18 for attempted carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 10. Released on a good behaviour bond.

1978 - Raped a 12-year-old girl, wounded her sister. Fled to the Northern Territory but was caught and jailed.

1988 - Broke parole by travelling to Townsville. Violently raped and assaulted a woman. Sent back to jail.

2003 - Became the first person in Queensland to be jailed indefinitely under new laws targeting repeat sex offenders.

2006 - Released on a supervision order with 32 conditions.

2007 - Breached the order by going to a school, breaching curfew and travelling to Townsville. He's briefly returned to prison before released in October.



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