A man who bashed and raped a five-year-old girl will remain in jail after the WA Supreme Court found he is still a serious danger to the community.
The court has released its reasons for keeping convicted child rapist Stephen Neil White behind bars for at least another two years.
The 53-year-old man was found to be a danger to the community and made subject to a continuing detention order (CDO) by the court in 2013.
This was the fourth time the order has been reviewed in accordance with the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006.
Girl raped, bashed
White attacked a five-year-old girl in Kununurra in June 2001, dragging her away from a tent after hitting the woman looking after her on the head.
When the girl screamed and cried, White struck her across the back of the skull with a rock weighing more than two kilograms, inflicting a life-threatening injury.
After raping the girl, White carried her to hospital, lying to staff about how she had received her injuries.
The attack to place in the vicinity of the east Kimberley town of Kununurra. (ABC News: Erin Parke)
White later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 13 years jail, subsequently increased to 17 years after an appeal by the State.
White had previously served jail time for the rape and attempted rape of women in South Australia in 1984.
Justice Jenkins said evidence from mental health professionals left him satisfied White remained a threat.
“The only order which is compatible with the protection of the community is to affirm the CDO,” Justice Jenkins said.
Risk remains high
A report from consultant psychiatrist Dr Gosia Wojnarowska found White’s risk of sexual re-offending remained high and had not lessened since it was last reviewed in 2016.
The court noted White’s own lawyer did not dispute that his client remained a serious danger.
Another major factor in the decision was a lack of appropriate accommodation outside prison for White, or the daily supervision he would require.
“Suitable accommodation would ideally be a hostel which caters for people with the respondent’s complex needs,” Justice Jenkins said.
“No such hostel has been found.”
The court said private accommodation was the least desirable option because of the support services White would require, adding that the two and a half hours a day of supervision he is entitled to under the NDIS wasn’t adequate.
“The proposed level of supervision is insufficient for the respondent to manage in the community, let alone manage his risk of reoffending, as he has limited ability to manage everyday tasks,” Justice Jenkins said.
Justice Jenkins also considered a review of White’s recent prison behaviour, most notably incidents in September 2018 when he assaulted another prisoner with a chair and showed predatory behaviour towards a female prison officer.
“These incidents confirm the findings I have made about the respondent’s continuing risk of committing serious sexual offences,” Justice Jenkins said.
“Although they fall well short of amounting to such offences, they indicate the respondent’s continuing problems with impulse control and sexualised behaviour.”
White’s Continuing Detention Order will next be reviewed in 2021.
In the meantime, the court said White should continue to undergo counselling and suitable accommodation options explored.