Fears as Launceston paedophile released

A NOTORIOUS Launceston paedophile is back on the street, prompting a call for Tasmania to change its community protection legislation.

Christopher John Wright was sentenced to two years’ prison with a non-parole period of 20 months in February 2014 after committing indecent acts to two girls and indecently assaulting one of them at a Launceston park in October 2013.

In 2011, Wright also made child exploitation material when he took photographs on his phone of himself committing a sex act on a 10-year-old girl in the Launceston area on February 14, 2010, and taking photos and videos of his indecent assault of the same girl on April 25, 2010.

At the time Wright was living in Granville Street, West Launceston.

The Justice Department said last week that Wright was released from prison again on June 9, 2015, but would not confirm his current location, or provide a copy of Wright’s parole board decision which would have revealed the department’s thought process behind his release.

A spokesman said Wright’s victims had been notified about his release and he was released from prison after 15 months because he had served his time.

Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston said Wright, and others like him, should be detained indefinitely.

‘‘Bravehearts advocates that the first response should be the continued detention of dangerous sex offenders,’’ she said.

‘‘It is our position that dangerous sex offenders should not be released back into the community, until such time as they are assessed as low risk and that that risk can be managed in the community.’’

A spokesman for Bravehearts also recommended that Tasmania and other states adopt a ‘‘restricted notification register’’ that would see names and details of repeat sex offenders made public through a government website.

Such a register is  used in Western Australia.

A Department of Police and Emergency Services spokesman reiterated that a new sex offenders legislative package would be released later this year in an effort to toughen up sentences for paedophiles and other sex criminals.

‘‘Sentences imposed in respect of some sexual offences are too lenient and that legislative reform is necessary to address this disparity, which is why the Hodgman Liberal government remains committed to its long-standing position to introduce minimum mandatory sentences for convictions of serious sexual offences against children,’’ he said.

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