Noosa’s Christmas Day rapist ‘screwed up badly’
A Christmas Day rapist who kidnapped, tied up and repeatedly violated a Japanese tourist in Noosa National Park almost two decades ago is fighting for unsupervised release from custody, telling a Queensland Supreme Court: "I screwed up badly".
Kym Spoehr, 68, attacked the woman who was walking alone and tied her to a tree, before holding her captive in a bizarre and terrifying ordeal, which went for hours in 2001.
He was sentenced to 14 years' jail for the attack and has been placed on a continuing detention order after a court previously deemed him too dangerous for release.
During a review hearing to determine whether he should be released from custody with a supervision order, Brisbane Supreme Court Justice Peter Applegarth heard evidence from two psychiatrists who had treated Spoehr over the years.
Both said that despite the man now taking medication, there was limited data to show what he was capable of if released into the community unsupervised.
However, both medical professionals argued the offence he was at most risk of committing would be "a rape on an adult female".
Dr Andrew Aboud told the court Spoehr's risk of reoffending would be heightened by situations where he becomes angry.
He said the horrific rape Spoehr was sentenced for was born out of anger toward another man who had stolen his money and it turned sexual after he "happened upon his victim".
He said Spoehr felt his life had spun out of control but he gained control by "rendering his victim helpless".
He said the man had led an itinerant and isolated life, living in the bush alone.
Dr Aboud said the "ideal scenario" would see Spoehr released on a supervision order in a house alone, so he would not have to socialise with others.
Spoehr argued the medication he was now taking had made a "world of difference" and the protracted rape was an "anomaly" in his life because he was suffering from untreated psychosis at the time.
"Psychosis is the underlying cause of what went wrong," he told the court via video link from Wolston prison on Monday.
"My integrity and honesty has always been good.
"I screwed up badly and I paid a big price for it."
He argued: "I really just want my life back" and that he hoped to focus on inventions and patents if released from custody.
"I've paid a high price for having a mental illness that got away from me on that day," Spoehr told the court.
"I don't have a criminal mind."
Justice Applegarth told Spoehr he had not told the court what support networks he would have in place or where he would live if released from custody without a supervision order.
He told Spoehr he may have only committed one sexual offence but it was "incredibly serious" and involved him carrying a "rape kit".
Spoehr told the court it was not a "rape kit" but he had carried duct tape and rope to "knock goannas".
"I'm not the person a lot of people are trying to make me out," he said.
Lawyers for the Attorney General are pushing for a five-year supervision order with a range of conditions to mitigate the man's risk of reoffending, arguing there would be "catastrophic consequences if the risk manifests itself".
Justice Applegarth has reserved his decision.