1492136093976 - Rapist Mark Chisnall wins right to appeal indefinite imprisonment

Rapist Mark Chisnall wins right to appeal indefinite imprisonment

The Supreme Court has allowed a rapist to appeal a decision that would see him locked up indefinitely after he completes his sentence.

Mark David Chisnall, 30, was jailed for eight years in 2006 for rape and had a further three years added to his sentence in 2009 for another rape. 

Between 2001 – when Chisnall was 14 years old – and 2005, he committed four sexual offences in the same Taranaki park. Two of his victims were children between 7 and 9 years old, while the other two were women. He hit one woman over the head with a piece of wood and violently raped another.

Days before the former Whanganui man’s release from Auckland’s Paremoremo Prison on April 27, 2016, the High Court in Auckland granted an interim detention order against him, sending him straight to a self-cafe facility at Christchurch Men’s Prison. 

READ MORE: Rapist to be moved to Christchurch after completing sentence

The Government argued Chisnall’s risk of reoffending was so high he should be kept detained indefinitely.

At the time, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said the order was sought “to ensure that the public was safe from further harm by Mr Chisnall from the date of his release from prison until final Public Protection and Extended Supervision order applications are determined”.

The residence for those under a public protection order was not yet constructed and he would be accommodated in the Christchurch facility until a new facility was completed in Auckland. 

Tony Ellis, counsel for Chisnall, said the order was “unjustified in the circumstances” and there should be a “strong presumption” against detaining people after they had served their full sentence.

Ellis admitted there appeared to be a high risk of reoffending, but an extended period of supervision was adequate, rather than a public protection order.

Chisnall’s case was heard before the Court of Appeal on October 20, 2016 and was dismissed as the court found Chisnall presented a “very high” risk of future and imminent serious re-offending.

On Thursday the Supreme Court granted Chisnall an appeal to consider whether the Court of Appeal was correct to dismiss Chisnall’s case.

An appeal date was yet to be set.

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