Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Decades ago, when I was hosting the eponymous Hinch current affairs program on television, I nicknamed Adelaide 'suppression city', because their magistrates and judges seemed to issue more suppression orders involving convicted sex offenders than any other state capital. That dubious title has since been claimed by Melbourne, where our judges seem to scatter suppression orders like legal confetti. These suppression orders, which in the past I have defied—in the public interest, in the name of community safety—have got me into a lot of trouble, even jail and house arrest.
When I founded the Justice Party, one of our main policies was, and still is, the setting up of a national public register of convicted sex offenders—an Australian version of Megan's Law, which has been operating nationally in the United States for more than 20 years. I've already got a name for it: Daniel's Law, after Daniel Morcombe. He was abducted near a bus stop in Queensland, abused and murdered in 2003. He was kidnapped and killed by a man with a criminal record for sex crimes involving children in the Northern Territory.
When Victorians elected me to the Senate, I said that, in the absence of such a public register, I would, when warranted, use parliamentary privilege to name a convicted sex offender—and I plan to name a rapist tonight. There was a case revealed on page 1 of the Herald Sun yesterday under the headline, 'Doctor stalker. Female GPs warned about evil sex pest'. And then the kicker: authorities can't reveal the attacker's identity. His name was suppressed by the court. You have to ask: why are a rapist's rights more important than a victim's or a possible victim's rights? The story, picked up by 3AW's Neil Mitchell and lawyer Justin Quill—who feels as passionate about this issue as I do—said:
ONE of Victoria's worst sex offenders is feared to be stalking female doctors after slipping away from supervision at Victoria's 'village of the damned' for a string of GP visits. Police and the Australian Medical Association have issued warnings about the convicted rapist after several female GPs were placed in 'dangerous and unacceptable situations' during recent consultations in Melbourne's northern suburbs.
Although he has a history of raping, stalking and assaulting women, court orders—which I believe to be dangerous, irresponsible, court orders—prevent the AMA from revealing his identity to medical centres so they can stop these appointments. The Herald Sun also reported that it could not name him.
Well, I can and I will. This convicted rapist is 40-year-old Kyle Patterson. He has been living, supposedly under supervision, at Corella Place, the so- called 'village of the damned' near Ararat. Patterson has repeatedly travelled to Melbourne demanding to see only female doctors at clinics in the Preston, Brunswick and West Brunswick areas over the past four months and sometimes unaccompanied. AMA Victoria president Lorraine Baker has said that it is unacceptable more is not being done to protect GPs from the man, particularly in private one-on-one consultations. She said:
The police have been informed, but appear limited in their powers to assist.
That really is noddy land—a dangerous noddy land.
Female GPs have been exposed to a stalker who has a history of raping, stalking and assaulting women. It is alleged that Patterson has lied about being a regular patient of specific female doctors so that he can avoid being booked in to see their male colleagues. Patterson was convicted on two counts of rape in 2008 after sexually assaulting his housemate's partner. He was also convicted of assault in 1995, which experts believe had a sexual element. He also has a background of crimes of violence, stalking and breaching intervention orders, and has committed crimes while on bail. Following concerns over a series of separate consultations, the AMA emailed its members to warn them of the stalker's behaviour and criminal history, but was not allowed to reveal his identity. In the past fortnight, clinics have again been contacted by police to inform them he is again travelling to Melbourne with the intent of seeing female GPs.
As well as being rated one of Victoria's serious sexual offenders, Patterson is considered to have an intellectual disability—but not so bad that he didn't enter a neighbour's property with the intention of a sexual attack after watching pornography; not so mentally impaired that he waited until his housemate had gone out before raping his girlfriend; not so mentally impaired that he knew what he was doing was wrong and he actually said sorry to the young woman after that brutal attack. And yet he gets his name suppressed and his identity hidden. Well, not anymore. Just remember the name—especially if you are female doctor in Melbourne. His name is Kyle Patterson.