'Playboy rapist' yet to convince parole board to release him

Photo shows Kay Schubach (L) and Kim Gentle (R). Photo by New Idea Magazine

MUST CREDIT NEW IDEA

Plaboy rapist survivor story by Rachel Olding.
Photo shows Kay Schubach (L) and Kim Gentle (R). Photo by New Idea Magazine MUST CREDIT NEW IDEA Plaboy rapist survivor story by Rachel Olding.

Convicted rapist Simon Monteiro says it is "in the public interest" that he be released, but the so-called "playboy rapist" is yet to convince the state parole board.

Dressed in prison greens, Monteiro represented himself at the hearing, delivering an at times combative argument for his parole, which was first signalled in a closed doors meeting by the State Parole Authority last month.

However on Friday the decision was stood over to December 12, until a full psychiatric review of Monteiro's mental health could be completed, as requested by the NSW commissioner.

The authority found it could not make a parol release order in light of "the need to protect the safety of the community," determining that the exact nature of any mental health issues "remained largely unclarified".

The former model and aspiring actor, who changed his name from Simon Lowe, has served nine and a half years of a 12-year sentence for the rape and assault of a girlfriend in Bellevue Hill in 2009.

His offences have been the subject of a petition signed by more than 30,000 Australians, to keep him behind bars and reform the parole system "to ensure that offenders who are not truly reformed and continue to pose a risk to the community are not released, even if their sentence is up."

According to Monteiro, the online petition is "based on a lot of things ... that are not true," and unfairly paints him as "monsters incorporated" and "the anti-christ."

In court he declined his father, Roland Lowe's, request to make a statement to the board, because "the press is there waiting to annihilate me."

However after the hearing Mr Lowe told Fairfax Media his son "has been punished more than enough for 10 years for a domestic crime. Simon should be released because he does not pose a threat to the public interest."

The possibility of his release also caught the gaze of NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman, who said the state would be opposing parole, while making a broader announcement that new legislation regarding parole conditions would be introduced next week.

On Friday counsel for commissioner Peter Coady said it was the commissioner's view "it would be premature to go ahead with a substantive hearing until a psychiatric assessment has been obtained."

Visibly exasperated by the request for a further mental health assessment, Monteiro said the commissioner's request was "just another delaying tactic and part of his vendetta against me."

"Nobody has raised, in the last nine months, the state of my mental health ... it hasn't been suggested, intimated, noted," he said, adding that he had only ever been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, as a result of "being raped as a child."

The decision is welcome news to his victims, who have summarily described Monteiro as "extremely narcissistic" and "with many anti-social mental health issues."

In a submission to the parole board, provided to Fairfax Media, one of his victims, Kim Gentle argued that Monteiro's release into the community "not only puts me at risk again, but also many of his past victims."

Kay Schubach, a fellow victim of Monteiro, was in court for the hearing and said the decision was "quite a vindication".

"To hear the assessment ... and to reserve their decision until he's had another mental health assessment, it does give me hope that justice will be seen in this."

Eight weeks into a relationship with Monteiro, the former eastern suburbs art dealer said she was almost strangled to death in their Point Piper apartment.

She said the NSW parole system needed urgent reform.

"We need a holistic assessment of someone like Simon. We can't just look at certain parts in isolation, or whether he has ticked boxes to meet parole criteria. It's not a big enough picture of who he is."

On Thursday Mr Speakman said current laws that kept "the most dangerous sex and violent offenders behind bars or under the strictest supervision beyond their sentence," would be strengthened by new legislation in the coming week.

This story 'Playboy rapist' yet to convince parole board to release him first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.