One of the state’s worst rapists and paedophiles could be released from jail next week, nine years after he sexually abused a four-year-old girl at a Lake Macquarie caravan park.
The State of NSW has lodged an 11th-hour application to have Kevin Howard, 62, subjected to strict supervision should he be released on parole on September 3.
Even if he is not released on parole next week, Howard’s sentence for filming himself performing a series of sex acts on the girl at Teralba in 2006 expires on October 7.
Howard has spent 17 years of his adult life behind bars, the Supreme Court heard on Monday.
His sex offences date back to 1977 when, as a 24-year-old, he groped and propositioned a woman for sex while he was drunk.
Five months later, he raped a woman at knifepoint in a car park and was jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of four years.
Four months after his release in 1982, Howard and a friend went to “find a woman” in suburban Sydney when they came across a teenage couple walking along a street.
They scared off the boy and kidnapped the 17-year-old partially blind girl before repeatedly raping her in an isolated area.
Howard was jailed for 10 years with a non-parole period of five years, but ended up serving less than four years.
In 1989, while on parole, he approached three girls aged four, five and six in a Newcastle playground.
He pulled down the underwear of two of them and tried to perform a sex act on one of the girls before inviting them to go for a drive with him.
The girls said no and Howard was reported. He received 18 months’ periodic detention.
Howard was then able to abstain from his offending for more than 15 years, until he ended up living in a caravan park at Teralba.
In 2006, he lent his mobile phone to a friend who found photos of a man having sex with a child.
Howard was charged with possessing child pornography before it was discovered that the photos were of him performing sex acts on a four-year-old girl.
He was later jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of eight years.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Howard will be subjected to an interim supervision order regardless of when he is released before a hearing in November to determine whether he should be subjected to further supervision.
In the meantime, he will be assessed by two psychiatrists.
Howard has expressed a desire to live with family in Goulburn or Coffs Harbour, Justice Richard Button noted.
He has been a well-behaved prisoner and is a talented artist who has had little contact with the outside world, the court heard.
“Regrettably, the life history of the defendant demonstrates that he has an entrenched proclivity to commit very grave sexual offences against women and girls,” Justice Button said.