A man who raped a woman during a violent home invasion, and as a juvenile killed a pregnant mother and her baby in a high-speed crash, will be set free after decades behind bars.
Kingsley Arnold Pickett was 14 when he caused the crash that killed Margaret Blurton and her one-year-old son Shane on Boxing Day in 1991.
As an adult, the violent repeat offender, who has lengthy juvenile and adult criminal record, raped a 27-year-old woman during a home invasion and burglary amid a five-day crime spree in 1998.
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Pickett, who was by then 21, also took part in a violent riot at Perth’s Casuarina Prison as a remand inmate in the same year and assaulted correctional staff and police officers.
He was given an indefinite jail term for his crimes but he took his case to the Western Australia Court of Appeal and won.
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He was re-sentenced to 14 years and seven months’ jail without parole but has remained behind bars under the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act.
The Supreme Court reviewed his case several times, which is required by law, and on Wednesday ordered that Pickett, now 45, should be released on a five-year supervision order with 45 strict conditions.
These include electronic monitoring, ongoing counselling, a curfew, maintaining a diary of his movements, not drinking alcohol or visiting licensed premises and allowing police to search his mobile phone.
Pickett will remain behind bars until next month when the release order will take effect.
In his judgement, Justice Anthony Derrick said Pickett, who has spent more than half of his life in juvenile detention or prison, had admitted and accepted responsibility for his offending and was receiving psychological counselling.
Kingsley Arnold Pickett will be set free after decades behind bars. Credit: Supplied
“He stated that he had originally denied the sexual offences because he felt ashamed, but that counselling and support had assisted him to admit the offences,” he wrote.
“He stated that he had matured with age and had a great desire to return to the community to spend time with his family.
“I am satisfied that the respondent will comply with the standard conditions in a manner and to an extent that will ensure adequate protection of the community from the unacceptable risk of him committing a serious offence.”
A psychiatrist found Pickett’s progress was “quite impressive” and that he was confident he could function in the community without reoffending.
She said Pickett had accepted his level of dangerousness in the community and was stable on his current medication regime, with a less than five per cent chance of re-offending.
‘That fear is palpable’
“Her impression was that (Pickett’s) assertions that he wanted to comply with the conditions of any supervision were earnest and genuine,” Derrick said.
Opposition Justice spokesman Tjorn Sibma said the WA community had every reason to be anxious about Pickett’s release.
“I share that anxiety and that fear is palpable,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure that it does not take its eyes off this individual, and it has to ensure that those 45 conditions are enforced.
“This is a very serious, very dangerous person.”