Sex predator Colin Charles Humphrys. Artwork: Tim Ide.
Sex predator Colin Charles Humphrys. Artwork: Tim Ide.

Child sex monster will die in jail

SERIAL kidnapper and child sex predator Colin Charles Humphrys will never be released thanks to a court ruling upholding the validity of tough anti-paedophile laws.

On Tuesday, the infamous paedophile's final bid to ensure his freedom failed in the state's highest court, all but guaranteeing he will die in jail.

The ruling - following on from campaign by Humphrys' victim, "XX", The Advertiser and the Carly Ryan Foundation - will also lock an estimated 300 sex offenders in their cells.

Outside court, XX said Humphrys' defeat signalled a new era for the state - provided authorities worked together to ensure greater safety for children.

"We have a real win here for the community, but there is no 'set and forget' with this … offenders are constantly evolving how they are able to operate," he said.

"Now the worst of the worst is out of the way, our government agencies must function together effectively and in line with community expectations for child protection."

Humphrys in the 1980s. Picture: SA Police.
Humphrys in the 1980s. Picture: SA Police.

In March 2018, the Supreme Court ordered Humphrys be released - under then-current state law - on monitored licence into the Bowden-Brompton area.

Amid community outcry, and in a bipartisan move, Parliament rewrote the law so that offenders had to prove they had rehabilitated before seeking release from jail.

The Court of Criminal Appeal upheld Humphrys' original release - as it was correct under old laws - prompting prosecutors to challenge it under the new laws.

Humphrys, in turn, argued the new laws were invalid - conceding that, if his bid failed, he did not qualify for release under the strengthened legislation.

He argued they breached a longstanding High Court decision that said laws must not target individuals.

On Tuesday, Justices Tim Stanley, Kevin Nicholson and Sam Doyle agreed the new laws were "narrow" but in no way invalid.

They ruled the laws applied to "a category of persons", making them "clearly distinguishable" from the High Court decision.

They agreed the laws did not interfere with the judicial process but rather gave courts "further jurisdiction" over paedophiles.

The man known as XX who was, as a child, kidnapped and abused by serial sex predator Colin Charles Humphrys.
The man known as XX who was, as a child, kidnapped and abused by serial sex predator Colin Charles Humphrys.

The ruling means 300 other sex offenders who, like Humphrys, are incapable of controlling their sexual instincts will be deemed ineligible for release from jail.

Outside court, XX said he first encountered the state's paedophile laws 28 years ago, when an offender who was on licence at the time groomed and abused him.

After that abuse had been reported, and the offender rearrested, he was then abducted by Humphrys.

"I always felt like I was set up from the start … I'm glad that no other South Australian child will have to feel that level of abandonment," he said.

He said he was grateful to Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, Carly Ryan Foundation founder Sonya Ryan and the community for supporting his cause.

"To be honest, I don't think the enormity of (the decision) has sunk in … it's so great to have had a positive court decision," he said.

Ms Ryan said the court's decision was "of great comfort".

"This ruling confirms that some risks are just not worth taking when it comes to the protection of our community," she said.


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