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Court warned high-profile child rapist could strike again

'HIGH RISK': Notorious child rapist Douglas Brian Jackway
'HIGH RISK': Notorious child rapist Douglas Brian Jackway

NOTORIOUS child rapist Douglas Brian Jackway poses a "high risk" of attacking more victims at random if released from jail.

That was the warning from a psychiatrist in Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday as the high-profile predator made a bid for freedom.

Jackway, now 40, has spent most of his adult life in jail for abducting and brutally raping a nine-year-old boy at Gladstone when he was 18, and a 10-year-old girl while he was still a teenager.

He is best known for being a one-time suspect in the Daniel Morcombe investigation, having travelled from his then home at Ipswich to the Sunshine Coast around the time the teenager disappeared.

Under Queensland's dangerous prisoner laws, Jackway, who remains at Wacol jail, must front an annual hearing to determine whether he continues to pose an unacceptable risk to the community.

He claims he does not.

But Dr Andrew Aboud, a psychologist at Wacol, warned that while Jackway's behaviour had dramatically improved over time, he was still prone to "impulsive" behaviour which was a feature of his sadistic offending.

Referring to the Gladstone attack where an intoxicated Jackway saw three boys on the street, grabbed one, threatened to cut his throat and raped him, Dr Aboud said if Jackway were to breach a condition of the supervision order not to drink or use drugs it would put him at "high risk" of offending.

He suggested a "speculative" scenario in which Jackway might be tempted to have a drink, realise he is going to be breached and has nothing to lose, walks to the pub to get more drinks, sees a vulnerable child along the way, abducts and attacks them.

"If he was having a bad day and made a rash decision his risk would escalate quickly," Dr Aboud said.

"I don't believe he is looking to commit an offence against a child but I do worry it could happen very quickly should he happen across a potential child victim."

The report of another psychiatrist, Dr Donald Grant, described Jackway's risk as "moderate".

He told the court he believed a combination of substance abuse and significant emotional stress would would have to exist before Jackway re-offended.

Jeffrey Rolls QC, for the Attorney General, said to release Jackway now would be to "set him up to fail".

Defence barrister Catherine Morgan claimed the "goal posts" were being constantly moved on her client who had completed courses as directed and was working in a "position of trust" as a painter at the jail.

She said her client was "barely an adult" when he raped the boy at Gladstone and he now "faced the same challenges as any other prisoner" who had been institutionalised for such a long period of time.

She argued there were a lot of "ifs" in determining whether her client should be released and insisted the resources were available to ensure Jackway's risk was "adequately managed".

The decision was reserved.

- NEWSDESK

Topics:  child rapist douglas brian jackway editors picks risk

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