Tuesday, July 16, 2013

AUSTRALIA - Mentally ill man placed on sex register for life

Newspaper and coffee
Original Article

This man apparently needs help, not further ostracism. How does putting him on the registry for life make him take his medication, prevent any other crime or protect anybody?  So are we now going to start labeling all mentally ill people sex offenders for their and others "protection?"


A schizophrenic Canberra man will be flagged as a sex offender for life, after a magistrate said she could not be confident he would stay on his medication.

The man, who cannot be named, appeared in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday to fight a push by prosecutors for his name put on the sex offender register for the rest of his life.

The 34-year-old was already on the register when he committed an act of indecency on a young woman last year. He was sentenced to one year's jail earlier this year. One day before the offence he had called police operations, asking them how he could meet women, and if he could just walk up to them and ''cop a feel''.

His defence lawyer argued against the change, saying being on the register had not prevented the last offence. He also argued police could have picked up on his strange behaviour when he made the calls a day before the offence.

But Magistrate Bernadette Boss said it was not the role of the court to assess whether the register was an effective tool. That was a matter for the legislature and the executive.

She said the central issue was that the man, when he stopped taking his medication, would succumb to the side effects of his illness, which led him to sex offending.

Dr Boss said she could not be confident he would stay on his medication, and approved the application. Christopher Knaus

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