A Queensland offender with a long history of sexually abusing women has been granted bail in Brisbane after being accused of stalking a teenager.
A serial sex offender accused of stalking a 17-year-old girl will walk free from prison after he was granted bail.
Kenneth Herbert Clarke, who has a long history of sexually abusing women, was charged in June with stalking a young woman at a shopping centre in Ipswich, west of Brisbane.
The stalking is alleged to have occurred over several months from around Christmas 2013 while Clarke was under a strict supervision order.
It’s alleged the serial offender engaged the girl in unwanted conversations, at one stage having daily contact with her which tapered off over subsequent months.
There is no allegation he sexually assaulted her.
Clarke was released from prison in 2011 after serving seven years behind bars for repeatedly raping a 38-year-old woman.
His history of crimes against women and girls dates back to 1980. It includes convictions for sexually assaulting a woman, abusing a ten-year-old girl and indecently dealing with a five-year-old girl.
Defence barrister Scott Neaves argued Clarke should be granted bail, saying he didn’t persist with the conversations when he became aware they weren’t wanted.
Mr Neaves said Clarke would live in transitional accommodation at Wacol in Brisbane’s southwest if he was released.
Crown prosecutor Amanda Robinson said while the charge was at the lower end of the stalking scale, Clarke’s “deplorable” criminal history meant he should stay behind bars.
“His criminal history is simply so bad that the risk of reoffending can’t be addressed,” she said.
Ms Robinson said Queensland Corrective Services had indicated they would increase Clarke’s psychological treatment and their monitoring of him if he was released.
Justice Peter Lyons said the allegations were troubling but he intended to grant bail after taking into account the conditions of Clarke’s supervision order, which include that he live in controlled accommodation, undergo counselling and avoid unsupervised contact with women under 16.
“It seems to me that the risk of reoffending is likely to be adequately managed,” Justice Lyons said.