A sadistic killer and rapist will stay behind bars at least until next week as Queensland’s attorney-general goes to court to block his release.
A sadistic killer will remain behind bars at the weekend after Queensland’s attorney-general moved to stop his release.
Mark Richard Lawrence, 52, was supposed to be released from prison on Friday after 30 years behind bars when a Supreme Court judge ruled he wouldn’t be dangerous if strictly supervised.
But Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said he would challenge the order and asked the court to freeze Lawrence’s release until his appeal.
At a last-minute hearing late on Friday, Solicitor-General Peter Dunning argued if the decision to free Lawrence was incorrect, the consequences could be catastrophic.
“It’s not as though it’s a history of low-level sexual offences. These are of the most serious character,” Mr Dunning argued in the Court of Appeal.
Defence barrister John Allen said there was no reasonable chance the appeal would succeed.
“It’s not a light thing to deprive someone further of their liberty,” he said.
Justice Robert Gotterson said he would make a decision “as soon as I can”.
The judge indicated it probably wouldn’t be early next week because he had commitments on Monday and Tuesday.
A temporary stay on the prisoner’s release is in place until Justice Gotterson decides, and an appeal probably won’t be heard until mid-June.
Lawrence was placed in a Brisbane psychiatric hospital in his teens for assaulting girls and boys.
At 22, he killed a psychiatric patient by slitting her throat with a broken bottle.
He was jailed for 15 years and while in prison he raped a fellow inmate.
In 2011, the Supreme Court ordered his release but the decision was successfully appealed by then attorney-general Paul Lucas.
On Friday, Justice Philip McMurdo decided the community could be protected if Lawrence was kept under strict supervision, but Mr Bleijie disagreed.
The attorney-general also tried to stop the release of notorious sex offender Robert Fardon in 2013, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Fardon is living in a residential facility at Wacol, in southwest Brisbane.