Authorities defend sex offender release in Tuart Hill decision

Dennis John Lyddieth.
Dennis John Lyddieth.

PUBLIC outrage continues over the release of a convicted sex offender in Tuart Hill.

Dennis John Lyddieth was released with 44 conditions on November 9.

An online petition calling for Lyddieth to be returned to jail has been signed by 42,674 supporters at the time of going to print. The petition, created by Tuart Hill resident Shane Ray, will be sent to Attorney General Michael Mischin.

Mr Ray said the man was a threat to the community given he had reoffended in 2002 after he was released.

“After 13 counts of indecent assaults, his release on parole in 2002 saw him re-offend seven times within 5-6 months before being re-jailed,” Mr Ray said.

“He’s even said he wants to be known as a ‘nice rapist’.

“I’ve got a teenage daughter and I shudder at the thought of my daughter, or someone else’s, encountering this ‘nice rapist’.”

Mr Mischin said the current sex offender legislation was working as it was intended.

“The judge has made his decision on risk analysis based on the evidence before him, whether one agrees or disagrees, he is responsible for that decision,” Mr Mischin said.

“I too would be concerned if I found that there was a known offender living somewhere in my neighbourhood.

“The reality is there are people out there in the community that do not have criminal records who are a risk to the public.”

Mr Mischin said there were 46 people subject to the Dangerous Sex Offender Act the majority of who are in detention.

“I am confident that the authorities monitor these people properly; if they step out of line they are dealt with.

“The decision is from a Supreme Court judge. I can’t keep people who have not yet committed an offence but are at risk of it in jail indefinitely.”

Opposition justice spokesman John Quigley said the State Government had failed to protect the community by releasing the “serious serial rapist.”

“He was described by sentencing judge as a menace to the community, he did 19 years, was paroled and reoffended within six months of his release,” Mr Quigley said.

“The prison psychologist described him as a ‘sick psycho’.

“No electronic bracelet will protect the community.”

Mr Quigley urged the Government to release a review of its Dangerous Sex Offenders Act.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said Lyddieth was released on strict conditions and authorities would act quickly if he breached even one.

“Some of these offenders have a very poor compliance rate with these conditions so he will be managed very intensively by the Department of Corrective Services and our Sex Offenders Management Squad who are well resourced to do it,” she said.