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Judgment handed down in Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation v Robin Fletcher

08 February 2017

In 1998, Robin Angas Fletcher, the respondent, was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight years, for sexual offences committed in 1996 involving two adolescent females. He has been subject to a restrictive supervision order - either under the repealed Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 or the later Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (‘the Act’) - since completing that prison sentence.

Today, Justice Priest dismissed an application by the Secretary to the Department of Justice and Regulation (‘the Secretary’) for the renewal of this supervision order, and ordered instead that it be revoked.

Under the Act, a supervision order may be renewed only where the Secretary establishes to a high degree of probability, by acceptable, cogent evidence, that the respondent presently poses an unacceptable risk of committing a relevant offence if he is in the community without supervision.

The principal evidence relied upon by both parties was from two forensic psychologists who had assessed the respondent on multiple occasions since 2006. Based on their risk assessments, they concluded that the respondent presents the same likelihood of sexual reoffending as does the average sex offender released into the community.

Further, Justice Priest determined that the evidence did not justify a conclusion that the possible consequences of any future relevant offending by the respondent will be any greater than is generally encountered by adolescent female victims of aberrant sexual activity perpetrated by an adult male.

Ultimately, Justice Priest held that the respondent does not pose an ‘unacceptable risk’ within the meaning of the Act, and thus, the supervision to which the respondent was subject must be revoked.

NOTE: This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the published reasons for judgment.

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