The Illawarra's most notorious serial rapist is no longer being monitored by parole authorities after winning a legal fight to have his around-the-clock supervision permanently terminated.
Terry John Williamson, the man dubbed "the Bulli rapist", has spent the past seven years living in the community under strict supervision, including 24hr electronic monitoring, after being released to parole in 2012.
Williamson was sentenced to 24 years' behind bars in 1991 for the appalling rape and sexual assault of 11 victims, including children as young as five, which occurred during his 10-month reign of terror in Wollongong's northern suburbs between 1989 and 1990.
He was given a non-parole period of 14 years but remained locked up for almost 22 years as authorities repeatedly knocked back his parole applications.
He was finally released on the seventh attempt, in February 2012.
When Williamson's overall sentenced expired in May 2014, prosecutors successfully applied to the NSW Supreme Court to have him placed on an extended supervision order (ESO) for a further five years.
As part of the ESO, Williamson was required to adhere to strict conditions including wearing an ankle bracelet, continuing with counselling and remain on anti-libido medication, which he'd been taking since 2004.
However, with that order due to expire on July 3 this year, the State applied to the court to have Williamson slapped with a second ESO, arguing he still presented a high risk to public safety.
Lawyers for the Crown Solicitors Office, on behalf of the government, said Williamson had been subject to "very strict conditions" and assistance for his entire time in the community and there had been no test to see how he would cope when that intense supervision ended.
But Justice David Davies refused to make the order, saying he wasn't convinced that Williamson ought to be subject to continued monitoring.
"There is certainly evidence that the defendant is at risk of committing further serious offences but that is not the test the [Crimes (High Risk Offenders) Act] stipulates," he wrote in a judgment published on July 2, but which can only today be revealed after a non-publication order was lifted.
"Any judge before whom an application for an ESO comes must be satisfied to a high degree of probability that the defendant is an unacceptable risk of committing a further serious offence. In my opinion, the matters alleged in the supporting documentation put forward on the present application would not, if proved, justify the making of an extended supervision order because the court could not be satisfied to a high degree of probability that the defendant poses an unacceptable risk of committing a serious offence."
In making his determination, Justice Davies relied on three recent reports - two from Williamson's treating psychologists and one from his Community Correction officers.
They revealed Williamson had been a model citizen during his time in the community, having never breached his parole, always taken his anti-libido medication and completed all required psychological interventions.
"Over the course of Mr Williamson's parole and ESO, his level of compliance with supervision has been exemplary," one of the psychologists.
The reports also painted a picture of a man trying to get on with life: Williamson's Community Corrections officer said he has a part-time job in the commercial fruit industry (his employer is aware of his prior crimes and remains supportive of him), has lived in a private rental property without incident since April 2016, regularly visits his mother and has joined a social walking group and a motorcycle group.
"During interviews, Mr Williamson has shown insight into his offending behaviour, addressed risk factors and trigger factors associated to his risk," she wrote.
"When on social outings he stays away from negative people as he only wants to surround himself with positive people in his life. He is fully aware that his alias as "the [Bulli] rapist" will always have a negative impact on his life, even though 20 years plus has passed."
While free from around-the-clock monitoring, Williamson is still subject to conditions associated with the NSW Child Protection Register, which allow police to check on him at his designated address.
Terry John Williamson's reign of terror:
- August 5, 1989: Girl, 13, raped by a masked Williamson at Bulli High School.
- September 18: Girl, 15, dragged at knifepoint from a Farrell Road, Bulli, house and raped.
- November 6: Boy 11, abducted from his bed in nearby Park Road, placed in boot of stolen car, driven to Mount Kembla, sexually assaulted and dumped.
- February 5, 1990: Woman, 24, raped in her bed at Tarrawanna.
- February 16: Girl, 13, raped in her bed at Russell Vale.
- March 22: Girl, 5, sexually assaulted in her bed at Tarrawanna. The rapist had earlier threatened her mother but turned to the girl when he realised the woman was seven months pregnant.
- April 15: Three women attacked in two separate incidents at Corrimal. On both occasions attacker's rape attempts foiled.
- May 4: Girl, 16, fights off kidnap attempt at Balgownie.
- May 5: Williamson arrested.
- May 7: First court appearance on the May 4 attempted kidnap, assault charges. Magistrate John Seberry released him on $25,000 bail.
- May 14: Williamson breaks bail, fleeing parents' home.
- May 15: 20-year-old Wollongong woman raped.
- May 17: After three days on the run, Williamson arrested in North Wollongong. Court refuses bail. Held in protective custody.
- May 24: Wollongong Local Court appearance on 53 charges, including sex assaults and kidnappings. Proceedings adjourned.
- September 11: Charge number increased to 63.
- October 2: Solicitor tells court Williamson will plead guilty to most charges.
- October 31: Williamson allowed to attend the funeral of his father who died of a heart attack.
- November 5: Williamson faces four fresh charges in court, bringing total to 67.
- November 12: Pleads guilty to 19 of 67 charges, is convicted on five. Committed to Supreme Court for sentence.
- December 6, 1991: Williamson's mother Robyn publicly apologies to her son's victims and their families.
- December 9: Williamson jailed for 24 years, a minimum of 14.