Outrage as serial paedophile killer labelled a ‘model prisoner’
A SERIAL paedophile who killed a Sydney schoolgirl 33 years ago is a "model prisoner" who has walked the streets on 20 separate days before his jail sentence expired, a court heard.
Michael Anthony Guider is due for release next Thursday after serving 17 years for the manslaughter of nine-year-old Samantha Knight and the state government has launched a legal bid to lock him up beyond the term of his prison sentence.
Victims and their families were shocked at a preliminary hearing when Guider's lawyer revealed the "model prisoner" had been approved 20 "day leaves" in the community where he was only escorted by a chaplain and given an electronic monitoring anklet.
Samantha's mother Tess Knight comforted another victim Chantelle Daly, who left the room in tears and "fell apart" when they faced the 68-year-old predator in Sydney's Supreme Court on Monday.
Guider wore sunglasses when he appeared via video link from Long Bay prison, but his lawyer quickly said he "does not wish to be present during the balance of the proceedings" and the screen was turned off.
"It really broke me," Ms Daly said outside court.
"I couldn't breathe. I felt like he was in the room and I felt like I was a six-year-old girl again."
Ms Daly, one of 11 other children Guider drugged and molested, hates that he still holds such power over her, and says it's a "taste of what's to come" once he's ultimately released.
The mother of two said learning Guider had been let out into the community on day trips was "the ultimate slap in the face" and she has no doubt he'll remain a threat.
"It's scarier now than it was back then," Ms Daly said.
"You're a prisoner for horrific crimes. You're in jail for committing the ultimate evil, you can't be a 'model prisoner'. It's a disgusting statement."
The NSW Attorney-General is seeking a continuing 12-month detention order and a five-year extended supervision order for Guider.
Before next Wednesday Justice Richard Button will rule on whether to place Guider on an interim detention order (IDO) or an interim supervision order (ISO) until a final hearing is expected to be held in August.
Guider's barrister Matt Johnston conceded it was appropriate to impose an ISO but opposed an IDO.
If Guider were allowed to live in the community, he'd stay in a halfway house attached to Long Bay Jail and abide by 56 conditions that would be "stricter than any parole", Mr Johnston said.
The government's barrister David Kell said the cunning sexual deviant, who has a "remarkable" capacity to gain the trust of parents and groom their kids, is at risk of violent reoffending.
Samantha's mum told reporters the safety of the community must be paramount.
"We're not satisfied that he's safe for release," Ms Knight said outside court.
Over the weekend she rallied protesters to march along Bondi Beach and sign Ms Daly's petition to pass Knight's Law, calling for killers who refuse to reveal where their victim's bodies are hidden to remain behind bars.
Ms Knight says Guider has never shown remorse for drugging, sexually abusing and killing her daughter, while Mr Kell said he lacks complete insight into his offending.
"Today he's continued not to provide details of the circumstances of the offence and location of the body," he said.
After his arrest in February 2001, Guider pleaded guilty to manslaughter and avoided full scrutiny of a trial, but has since claimed he only did a plea deal due to police pressure, the court heard.
Guider has said "he will deny it until his dying day", Justice Richard Button said.
Samantha vanished from her beachside unit on Imperial Avenue, Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs on August 19, 1986, after changing out of her school uniform to buy sweets.
Posters featuring the blonde, smiling schoolgirl were plastered around Sydney but she was never found.
Guider initially denied any involvement, telling police Samantha may have been kidnapped by aliens, Satanists or white slave traders.
But the amateur archaeologist later admitted to a psychiatrist that Samantha overdosed on sleeping pills he gave her and other kids so he could "take happy snaps", the court heard.
The gardener also told fellow inmates he buried her body at Cooper Park in Bellevue Hill before digging up the remains and placing it in a dumpster with landfill where he worked at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli.
The ex Royal North Shore Hospital gardener was already serving a 16-year sentence imposed in 1996 for 60 other offences against 11 children when investigators concluded he was responsible for one of Australia's most puzzling crimes.
EXCLUSIVE: HIGH-RISK OFFENDERS WHO CAN'T BE FREED
Two violent sex offenders and a terrorist are among the state's prisoners who have served their sentences but are too dangerous to be freed.
They are among the five offenders being held behind bars under continuing detention orders, the same orders the NSW Attorney-General wants to apply to serial paedophile Michael Guider.
There are another 180 high risk offenders who have been released into the community on extended supervision orders - which include strict conditions such as electronic monitoring - but 44 of those are currently back in jail for breaching the terms of the orders, according to Corrective Services NSW.
Victims' advocate Howard Brown said these offenders left the courts no option but to keep them locked up.
"It's obvious that judges are not giving long enough sentences but it's also a small group of recalcitrant prisoners who refuse to take part in any form of rehabilitation so there is not really any choice other than a CDO or putting them under supervision," Mr Brown said.
The law was tightened in December 2017 so the Supreme Court must consider when imposing a CDO whether the offender presents an "unacceptable risk of committing either a serious sex or violent offence if they are released".
Previously the rule was whether the offender could be adequately supervised in the community.
Last year Justice Natalie Adams imposed a one-year CDO on sexual deviant Anthony James Barrie, 48, after finding she was satisfied to a "high degree of probability" that he was a risk to the community.
Other offenders subject to a CDO include sex offender Brett Thomas Russell, 56, and convicted killer Scott David Lynn, 42.
Last month - a convicted terrorist, whose identity has been suppressed - was made subject to a nine-month CDO after his threats continued behind bars including threatening to rape and behead prison officers and their families.
- Janet Fife-Yeomans