My matter is for the Attorney- General, and it is about a serious sex offender, Christopher William Empey. Empey is on the sex offenders register, having spent 12 years in prison for a rape in 2002 so extreme and violent that it included him stomping on the victim’s head and left her so grievously injured that she even had to learn how to walk and write again. That is all incredibly disturbing in itself. However, I also want to turn specifically to some seemingly unfathomable events in late 2018 and early 2019 in Empey’s case. According to news reports at that time, on 23 November 2018 he chose to cut off his GPS ankle bracelet that was being used by authorities as part of a series of monitoring conditions placed on him. He then eluded capture for more than six weeks before he was finally arrested in the Snowy Mountains and extradited back to Victoria. At an initial court hearing on 11 January 2019, he faced charges of damaging the bracelet and failing to comply with his monitoring orders. It is from here that things become really murky. From my investigations of what subsequently occurred, Empey was meant to return to court three months later. However, by that time all the charges—incredibly—were seemingly withdrawn, so he appears to not have been convicted of any crime at all, even on the one count remaining by April of intentionally damaging property.

There are obviously many aspects of this that are deeply troubling, not the least of which is why multiple charges were not laid and pursued in such circumstances. It also begs the question of what sort of message the striking out of every possible charge against Empey will have sent to other subjects of monitoring orders, as well as the kind of precedent it establishes for future cases. Even more worryingly, it also raises the possibility that this case may in fact have followed precedents from similar cases before it that have also resulted in no charges or convictions.

Assuming any or all of what I have recounted about these events surrounding Empey are correct, the action I seek from the Attorney-General is confirmation of whether there have been no legal repercussions for him for breaching his monitoring conditions as a serious sex offender and/or if there was any appeal against this outcome. I would naturally also like to know whether the government has subsequently taken any action to make sure such an unbelievable outcome does not arise again.