Disabled sex offender to be freed

August 1, 2014, 1:48 pm

An intellectually impaired paedophile has been released from indefinite detention in Western Australia on a strict five-year supervision order.

Stephen Michael Jonsson was in 2012 classed as a dangerous sex offender (DSO), which meant he would stay behind bars until a Supreme Court judge decided he could be released.

After his first annual review last year, it was determined that Jonsson continued to present an unacceptably high risk to the community if appropriate measures to modulate that risk were not taken.

It was also determined that it was very unlikely there would be any long term reduction of risk with continued detention. But Jonsson was reluctant to leave the prison environment because it fulfilled his unmet needs for non-sexual intimacy and friendship.

He had also enjoyed taking care of greyhounds, chickens and the vegetable garden in prison. He reported feeling comfortable there because he was treated kindly, in contrast to some of his experiences in the community.

There were occasions when he expressed a wish to be released but when provided with information regarding supervision requirements, he withdrew the request.

Amid concerns Jonsson would regress into a further institutionalised state, he was moved from Hakea Prison to Bunbury Pre-Release Unit, where he adjusted well to the prospect of being released.

According to his psychologist, he also consistently expressed awareness of what would be required of him on a community based order, and indicated he would comply with such requirements.

After private Disability Services Commission-registered agency Teem Treasure went to great effort to secure appropriate accommodation for Jonsson and train staff to supervise him, Justice John McKechnie decided to release him on August 6.

Jonsson will be subject to strict conditions including wearing a GPS tracking device.

Jail ‘only place’ for disabled sex fiend

Amanda Banks Legal Affairs Editor, The West Australian November 21, 2012, 5:20 am

A 48-year-old intellectually disabled man who has been declared a dangerous sex offender faces a “life sentence” because no government department will take responsibility for his difficult case, a Supreme Court judge has warned.

In a decision on Monday, Justice John McKechnie said he had no choice but to make an indefinite custody order for Stephen Michael Jonsson to ensure adequate community protection.

Jonsson has an overall IQ of 66 and has been a client of disability services agencies since he was three. He was physically abused by his father and had early behavioural problems. He was put in an institution at 10 and stayed there for 19 years.

Jonsson was sentenced to supervision orders in 2007 and 2008 for offences including two of indecent dealing with young girls. In February 2011 he was jailed for 14 months for lurking near a train station and detaining an eight-year-old girl in a men’s toilet with intent to cause her detriment.

He was assessed in jail as suitable for sex offender treatment for people with intellectual disabilities but the course was cancelled.

His lawyer accepted he was a serious community danger with the options being community supervision or continuing detention. Evidence was given that if released, Jonsson would need 24-hour supervision at a cost of at least $250,000 a year.

Justice McKechnie said neither the Disability Services Commission nor Department of Corrective Services would fund the supervision. Only a non-government agency would make a proposal.

Corrective Services Commissioner Ian Johnson said he understood the supervision required for Jonsson would cost more than $1 million a year.

“If a person is of such a risk that they require full-time supervision, then the only place we can do this is in a prison,” he said.

Disability Services Commission director-general Ron Chalmers said the agency would fund Jonsson’s disability-related needs if he was released but could not provide “security-related services”.

Disabled sex offender could face indefinite jail

BELLE TAYLOR, The West Australian October 26, 2011, 11:56 am

An intellectually disabled man jailed for indecently dealing with a child may be declared a dangerous sexual offender.

Supreme Court Justice John McKechnie reluctantly agreed today to allow an application from the Director of Public Prosecutions to have Stephen Michael Jonsson considered as a candidate for the tag of dangerous sexual offender, which means he can be detained in custody indefinitely and only released under strict conditions.

Justice McKechnie expressed concern about the DPP’s application before granting a hearing date for the matter in December.

“We are not a society who has yet reached a stage where we lock people up because they are intellectually handicapped,” Justice McKechnie said. “We are a society who lock up dangerous sexual offenders who are an unacceptable risk.”

He said the case of Jonsson did not “leap off the page” as other potential dangerous sexual offender’s did.

Jonsson was due to be released on November 4, but will now remain in jail until the DPP’s application is heard in Perth Supreme Court on December 5.

The 47-year-old will be assessed by two psychiatrists who will write reports which will detail his likelihood of reoffending.


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