25 Feb 2019

Sex offender released after serving under half his jail term

1:10 pm on 25 February 2019

A man who has served less than half of an 11-year sentence for sexually abusing girls as young as 11 has been released from prison.

A closeup of the lock of a  jail cell with iron bars and a bunch of key in the locking mechanism with the door open

Photo: 123RF

In a decision made last November, the Parole Board deemed that the risk Brian George Hughes posed to the community could be managed with appropriate conditions.

One victim was 12 years old when Mr Hughes first started to sexually abuse her up to three times a week over five years from 1998 to 2003. Another was 11 years old and was sexually abused on two different occasions.

A psychological treatment report in November 2018 said Mr Hughes had distorted ideas and he viewed one of the victims as his girlfriend.

"He described he felt entitled to engage in sexual activity with her," the Parole Board said.

"Mr Hughes believed at that time that the victim was happy with the attention he gave her, she enjoyed the abuse. He considered her his girlfriend."

The Parole Board also acknowledged that he had a history of being a "skilled manipulator".

Mr Hughes, who was in his 40s at the time of the offending, had a sentence release date of 2025.

But the Parole Board said while it was aware there was a significant period left to serve on his sentence, Mr Hughes had taken rehabilitative treatment and had a safety plan.

"[Two psychologists] both have reached the view that Mr Hughes has addressed his sexual offending," it said.

"Both psychologists also have assessed his safety plan and are of the view that if he follows that plan his risks can be managed in the community."

He was released last December with special conditions such as not contacting anyone under 16 years old unless another adult, approved by his probation officer, is present.