Serious Sex Offenders To Stay In Jail Under New Bail Laws

Serious Sex Offenders To Stay In Jail Under New Bail Laws

Western Australia Attorney General Michael Mischin

New Bail Laws To Keep Sex Offenders In Jail

Victor P Taffa

  • Legislation will make it easier for the courts to keep serious sex offenders behind bars
  • Changes introduced swiftly after ‘Evil 8’ case 

Liberal National Government will introduce tough new bail laws into State Parliament today to ensure serious sex offenders are kept in jail until they are sentenced for their heinous crimes.

Attorney General Michael Mischin said the legislation created a presumption against the release of serious offenders who had admitted their guilt or had been found guilty, and were waiting to be sentenced.

Current law allows offenders to apply for bail if they are in custody, or ask for an extension of bail if they are already on bail, even if their guilt has been established.

 

“The new law will address the issue which emerged in the so-called Evil 8 case, where paedophile Ryan Trevor Clegg was released on bail to live near a school and childcare centre before his sentencing.” Attorney General Mischin said.

“Under the proposed changes, judicial officers in their bail deliberations will have to consider whether it is likely an offender will receive a non-custodial sentence, and whether there were any exceptional circumstances to justify why the accused should not be kept in jail.”

The new law will apply to serious offences against the person, including

  • Abduction,
  • Assault and sexual assault,
  • Attempted murder,
  • Murder,
  • Robbery,
  • Threatening behaviour.

Attorney General Mischin said the State Government took community safety very seriously and had acted swiftly to change the law.

“Community safety and the protection of our children are of paramount importance to this Government.” Attorney General Mischin said.

“It was unacceptable that an offender of this type was living so close to a childcare centre and a school, and work began immediately to correct the law to ensure it did not occur again.”

Fact File

  • The amendments aim to correct the changes made to the Bail Act by the former Labor Government in 2008, which removed the presumption that those likely to be imprisoned for their crimes should be remanded in custody
  • WA Police and the departments of the Attorney General and Corrective Services had input into the changes