WA sex offender refused release again

A dangerous sex offender, with a history of rape and biting women's breasts, remains locked up in WA because he has not demonstrated an ability to self-care and there is no suitable accommodation for him.

Ever since Mark Robert Unwin, 38, completed his last prison sentence of two years and four months in 2011, he has remained in custody under a continuing detention order.

Justice Lindy Jenkins refused to revoke Unwin's continuing detention order at a review in October but her reasons have only now been published by the WA Supreme Court.

She noted Unwin had been distressed over the issue.

"He feels he has served his sentence and does not deserve to be detained under the CDO," Justice Jenkins said.

"His borderline intellectual functioning means he does not understand why he must be detained."

Justice Jenkins said to ensure public safety, Unwin could only be released if he resided at a place that provided a high level of supervision and support.

"However, there is no such place available," she said.

"Unwin is being detained in prison for control, care and treatment, and not for punishment."

Justice Jenkins accepted the evidence of forensic psychiatrist Peter Wynn Owen that over the past year there had been no significant change in Unwin's presentation.

A trial of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor was unsuccessful, Unwin's use of methadone and telephone helplines for sexual gratification indicated poor coping mechanisms, he demonstrated manipulative behaviour, and his counselling had not progressed enough.

"It was therefore Dr Wynn Owen's opinion that Mr Unwin's risk of serious sexual offending remained high unless he was subject to detention or community supervision," she said.

Justice Jenkins said Unwin should continue with counselling, participate in a substance abuse program if possible, and trial a SSRI closer to his next review.

"Probably the most important matter is for Mr Unwin to be given an opportunity to prove that he is capable of stable living in a minimum security prison and to demonstrate that he is capable of self-care," she said.

"If deficits are identified in his ability to care for himself, he should be given the opportunity to learn new skills and to practice them."

Justice Jenkins said further attempts should also be made to obtain supported accommodation and mentoring for Unwin closer to his next review.

© AAP 2018