Rockhampton rapist allowed to remain in community

AN ATTEMPT to keep a Rockhampton rapist in jail indefinitely seven years after he was first released on parole has failed.

Gregory John Mitchell, 50, was jailed for 15 years in 1997 for a gang rape which occurred in September 1996. His co-offenders Mark Mason and Stanley Saunders were jailed for 14 years and 12 years respectively.

In an offence which Supreme Court Justice Glenn Martin described as "callous, demeaning and brutal" the three attacked and raped a woman they knew and had been drinking with that night.

After the woman's boyfriend had been arrested for drink driving, they offered her a ride to the police station to see him. Instead Mitchell drove the car to a remote location where the three violently attacked and raped her.

During the attack Mitchell told Mason and Saunders: "I don't believe how psycho I get sometimes."

In 2007, after 10 years in jail, Mitchell was released on parole. He has spent a further two years behind bars since for breaching parole conditions through positive drug tests, committing assaults, unlawfully supplying a weapon and arranging an assault while he was in jail.

The court heard Mitchell has undertaken 18 courses ranging from a high intensity sex offender program to a tertiary education entrance program and introductory computer skills while he was in jail.

In a 2011 course it was noted he was a "highly motivated participant" who was regarded as "strongly committed to change and, in particular, abstinence".

The Queensland Attorney-General's office initially called for Mitchell to be jailed indefinitely but admitted in April he was a strong candidate to be placed in community supervision.

Psychological reports tendered to the court found Mitchell had been making "genuine improvements" but still needed ongoing individual psychotherapy.

Justice Martin said the reports found he was a "moderate at worst" risk of committing further sexual offences but was likely to return to drugs if he was not supervised.

"There is a high risk that, unsupervised, he will return to the use of illicit substances. If that occurs, his risk of sexually offending will increase appreciably," he said.

Mitchell was placed on a five year supervision order and allowed to stay in the Rockhampton community. 

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