An application for Trent Jennings to return to a psychiatric hospital has been denied by the Lismore Local Court.
An application for Trent Jennings to return to a psychiatric hospital has been denied by the Lismore Local Court. POLICE MEDIA

Court sends sex killer to Sydney

RECAPTURED fugitive killer Trent Jennings's request for psychiatric assessment - and to be returned to Morisset Hospital's psychiatric unit - was denied in Lismore Local Court on Thursday.

Jennings was arrested at Bayshore Dr, Byron Bay on Tuesday morning after almost four days on the run following a tip-off from a member of the public who had seen news reports of his escape from the minimum security facility.

In 2005 the Supreme Court found Jennings not guilty of the murder of Giuseppe Vitale, 32, following a casual sexual encounter in 2003 after meeting online, because he was in a drug-induced psychosis at the time.

After tying up Mr Vitale, he stabbed him in the neck with an 11cm knife.

The 26-year-old did not apply for bail which was formally refused by registrar Mark Bromhead.

Legal aid solicitor Rita Mula made the request for Jennings who did not appear in person.

Mr Bromhead said he was not prepared to order the assessment, ordering Jennings to appear before a magistrate in the Sydney Central Local Court next Wednesday.

"As these matters originate in the centre of Sydney (they) will be adjourned back to the Central Local Court," he said.

"The only way the gentleman could have returned to the institution (was if he) had not committed more offences so at this stage, as bail is not applied for, it will be formally refused."

Jennings has been charged for allegedly tying up a 50-year-old Zetland man he met online, robbing him and stealing his black Mercedes 4WD.

Police have been criticised for taking three days to alert the public after Jennings failed to return from day leave last Friday - the day the Zetland man reported the attack which Jennings is alleged to have committed on leave the day before.

Meanwhile, the NSW chief psychiatrist Dr John Allan rejected calls from Opposition Leader John Robertson for jail security to be called whenever mental ward inmates fail to return from day release, arguing communication had not broken down.

"It's a bit premature to be talking about that," he told ABC radio.

"We actually just need to find out a bit more about what's happened."

Police stopped Jennings at Coffs Harbour the night he stole the car, but were unaware he was an escaped inmate or had been involved in any wrongdoing.

Jennings had been late in returning from day release the previous night after allegedly committing the offences in Zetland but Dr Allan said that did not warrant contacting police saying it was "important to give people a little bit of leeway".

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