Review to be carried out after sex attack

THIS WEEK IN 1993: ‘Despicable’ attack on Armistice Day

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HAMPSHIRE Probation Trust is carrying out an investigation into how David Sutherland was able to attack a woman just five days after being released from prison on licence.

The 24-year-old is serving an Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection and will not be considered for release for at least seven years for the attempted rape of a 19-year-old woman on Christmas Eve in the car park in Civic Centre Way, near Fareham Borough Council’s offices.

He was living at bail hostel in Trinity Street, Fareham, after serving five-and-a-half years for a string of previous sex attacks and had been assessed as a high risk by the probation service.

But the conditions of his five-year licence period were not enough to stop him re-offending.

A Hampshire Probation Trust spokesman said: ‘Our sympathies are with the victim and her family following this disturbing crime.

‘Offenders who are assessed as being high risk will be subject to Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements, which brings together the police and probation to share information that will allow offenders to be effectively managed.

‘However, even with the most stringent measures in place, risk cannot be completely eliminated. In this case communication between probation staff and the police ensured that the offender was quickly identified and returned to custody.

‘Hampshire Probation Trust is carrying out an internal review to look at how the case was managed. If there are any lessons to be learnt for the management of future cases, these will be implemented.’

Ministry of Justice spokesman Hugo Biggs said Sutherland was automatically released after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

‘All offenders subject to probation supervision on release from prison have to adhere to a set of strict conditions,’ he said.

‘They are liable to recall to custody if they breach these conditions or their behaviour indicates that it is no longer safe for them or for the public if they remain in the community.’