Rapist will be supervised

THE woman who was brutally raped and stabbed at Byron Bay by an offender who was due to be released from prison is happy that the courts have ordered his supervision for a further five years.

Craig Darryl Richardson served his 16-year prison sentence for the rape and attempted murder of the woman earlier this year, but was held for months after concern about his suitability to be released.

Justice David Davies found there was a “high degree of probability” that Richardson, who was jailed in 1995, posed an “unacceptable risk of committing a serious sex offence” if not kept under supervision.

The NSW Supreme Court judge decided against making an order keeping Richardson in jail, concluding that prison sex treatment programs would not be suitable for him.

While happy Richardson will be supervised, the Northern Rivers-based victim, who asked to remain anonymous, believes the justice system could be more inclusive of victims. She also believes she will never have true closure from the crime.

“I suppose for victims to have true closure they would need their assailant to apologise and to realise what they had done,” the victim said.

“But I’m pretty sure Craig Darryl Richardson would never understand what he did or that he didn’t have the right to be like that or treat another person in that way.”

The mother-of-two said it was important Richardson was supervised on release. The supervision will involve electronic monitoring, telling authorities where he is living and his intention to visit towns or cities, and non-association orders.

“While he will be under supervision, which is very good, the system is not 100% foolproof,” she said. “I would feel terrible for anyone who has to live around him, but I do feel pleased about the amount of effort that has been put in by the Crown Solicitor’s Office, the Department of Justice and the Mental Health Review Tribunal.”

During her three-hour ordeal, Richardson raped and sexually assaulted the woman at knifepoint, stabbed her, tied her up, jumped on her back and shovelled handfuls of sand into her mouth.

The now 43-year-old offender, who is schizophrenic, was not released when he became eligible for parole in 2004 and has served his full sentence.

Justice Davies said Richardson was “scheduled”, or involuntarily admitted, into a psychiatric facility for treatment in March. The order has been extended until September.

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