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Child's Rapist To Walk Free

A man who raped a nine-year-old girl is to walk free from prison after a judge found it was a denial of natural justice to jail him indefinitely.
Queensland Attorney-General Rod Welford is set to appeal against the decision handed down today after the last-minute bid to keep David Gregory Watego in jail failed.
Watego was jailed for 10 years in 1994 for raping a nine-year-old girl while on a cocktail of alcohol, marijuana and amphetamines. At his sentencing, the court was told the child was subjected to prolonged periods of penetration.
Mr Welford has alleged Watego, a prisoner at Palen Creek Correctional Centre south of Brisbane, had since told prison authorities the girl was his cousin's step-daughter.
A two-page criminal history released with the judgment today showed Watego's sexual offences date back to 1981 in both Queensland and NSW. Queensland Supreme Court Justice John Muir dismissed the interim order application to detain Watego indefinitely for care, control and treatment. In a 12-page judgment today, Justice Muir found two psychiatric reports, including one which found Watego had little internal control to prevent reoffending, were inadmissible.
"I am of the view also that ... the principles of natural justice require the application to be dismissed," Justice Muir wrote.
Mr Welford had filed the application a week ago under the Dangerous Prisoners' Sexual Offenders Act, introduced this year.
The interim order sought was for Watego to undergo psychiatric examination by two psychiatrists with a view to preparing independent reports.
Mr Welford had argued Watego was a serious danger to the community and should be held in custody until the application was determined.

Ainsley Pavey (31-10-2003)

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