Serial Child Molester Walks Free
AN unreformed, unrehabilitated serial child molester who a
psychiatrist believed should have been chemically castrated
prior to his release walked away from a Brisbane prison yesterday.
Looking hunched and haggard as he walked into the mid-morning sun,
"Raymond Phillip Downs, 48, was released from Wolston Correctional
Centre into the care of a Catholic Prison Ministry counsellor.
Downs' criminal history involves sexual assaults on pre-pubescent
girls over many years with his interest apparent since he was a teenager.
He has pedophilia convictions for aggravated assault and indecent
dealing with young children dating back to 1974 and has been jailed
four times – in 1978, 1987, 1992 and 2002.
His enrolment in prison sexual offenders rehabilitation programs
Last week Attorney-General Rod Welford failed to keep Downs, who
has three young children, locked up indefinitely under the Dangerous
Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 which allows for the detention
of sex offenders past their full-time sentences.
In deciding to release Downs, Justice John Byrne took into account Crown
psychiatric assessments that he was of moderate to high risk of committing
a sexual offence within the next seven to 10 years.
Carrying his possessions in an assortment of old packing boxes yesterday,
Downs answered all questions with a terse "no comment".
He provided The Courier-Mail with a signed, handwritten note that read: "To
Whom it Concerns, I do not wish to make a statement to you as it will
jeopardise my rehabilitation back in to society.
"If you persist in pestering me in any manner you will leave me no
alternative, only to place it in the hands of my 'solicitors'," the
Downs was taken to the Catholic Prison Ministry in South Brisbane, and
was expected to spend the next few weeks in a local boarding house before
reuniting with his family in Mackay.
Last week the court heard a psychiatric assessment of Downs which
concluded his prognosis for reoffending was "poor" – that is, there
was a very high risk that he would reoffend.
In the psychiatrist's view, rehabilitation was not likely to be of
assistance except with possibly the use of the anti-libidinal drug
Androcur, an anitandrogen that blocks the actions of male sex hormones
and reduces their production.
The Crown argued that Downs should stay in prison for another year.
In coming years Downs will be placed under residential restrictions – banned
from going near schools and having affiliations with clubs involving children,
and unable to access Internet pornography.
He may be able to meet with his children under the supervision of the
Department of Child Safety.
The Courier Mail (25-2-2005)
Jason gregory/ Louise Crossen