A Queensland man with a history of child sexual offences will be released from prison on Wednesday despite concerns he could be at risk of reoffending.
Darrel Brendan Gaske, 51, has a history of sexual offences dating back to 2000 and was due to be released from prison on Wednesday after serving three and a half years for charges relating to touching a young girl’s genitals while in the presence of her father, possessing child exploitation material and taking images of a naked young girl.
In the Supreme Court at Brisbane on Monday, the Attorney-General applied for Mr Gaske to either be detained in custody for an indefinite term for care, control or treatment or if released, to be subject to an extensive supervision order.
The court heard Mr Gaske’s history of sexual offences began in May 2000, when he was sentenced to three years’ probation for stealing children’s underwear from clotheslines and possessing a child abuse computer game.
He allegedly told police at the time that he ejaculated onto the stolen underwear while watching the child pornography.
In 2010, he pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent dealing for touching and kissing a young girl’s genitals in 2001 and pinching another girl’s nipple and buttock in 2008.
He was sentenced to two years imprisonment, with parole eligibility after eight months.
In April 2014, he pleaded guilty to six indecent dealings with a child under 12 and possession of child exploitation material.
He was also charged for failing to comply with reporting conditions set out under the Child Protection Act relating to previous convictions.
The charges related to an instance where Mr Gaske touched a young girl’s genitals as she sat in a chair next to him while watching television in the presence of her father.
The young girl told her mother and after a police search of the respondent’s place, a laptop and USB were found that contained 140 images of naked children.
The court heard he told police he had an interest in girls aged between 3-12 and said while he was aware it was an offence to download the images, he had a “theory” it was not pornography as it did not involve the children having sex.
The 2014 charges also relate to another instance where Mr Gaske hid clothes from a young girl during a fishing trip and took photos and videos of the naked child.
These offences occurred eight months after his release for offences which had occurred in 2010.
Reports from three psychiatrists found Mr Gaske represented a moderate to high risk for future sexual recidivism and if released, suggested he be placed on a strict supervision order.
Dr Michael Beech, who interviewed Mr Gaske in September this year, wrote he was “uncertain to what degree a supervision order will reduce the risk”.
“A supervision order would likely involve further psychological treatment, but Mr Gaske does not seem to have benefited from this in the past,” he said.
“In my opinion the risk would be reduced with a supervision order, but it would still remain in the moderate to moderately high range.”
Psychiatrist Dr Andrew Aboud reported if Mr Gaske was released subject to a supervision order he would consider the risk of sexual reoffending to be “manageable”.
Judge Ann Lyons reviewed the conditions proposed in the draft Supervision order and found them sufficient to “ensure the adequate protection of the community”.
Once released from Wolston Correctional Centre at Wacol, Mr Gaske will be subject to a string of conditions including notifying corrective services officers of address, weekly plans, associations with people and employment.
He is also not allowed within 100m of schools or childcare centres, is to have no contact with victims, to abstain from drugs and alcohol and to seek prior approval before accessing the computer or internet.
He must also visit a mental health professional and has consented to anti-libidinal hormonal treatments.