Despite attempts to keep “high risk” killer Scott David Lynn in prison, he’s back on the streets.
The NSW government wanted Lynn in custody for another three years or at least under strict supervision for the next five.
Instead, the 44-year-old – described by a doctor in 2019 as a “very high risk of causing serious physical harm to others” – has been released on a 18-month supervision order after showing recent “modest progress”.
The 45 conditions set by the NSW Supreme Court include ankle monitoring, a nightly curfew and detailing his movements at least three days in advance.
Lynn was jailed in 2006 for fatally stabbing an unarmed man he’d crossed by chance in Parramatta. After a murder trial ended with a hung jury, he pleaded guilty to manslaughter based on excessive self-defence.
His record showed a long history of attacks including when aged 17, knocking a pool player unconscious from behind and stomping on him.
During years in custody, Lynn accrued 54 misconduct charges including eight for violence. While on a three-year extended supervision order issued in 2015, he was charged with breaching it 10 times.
He was jailed for affray and assault during the same period.
Supreme Court Justice Mark Ierace in May 2019 ordered Lynn remain in detention for 15 months, before extending it until Friday.
But he this week refused to make another detention order, unable to be satisfied there was a high probability Lynn posed an unacceptable risk of committing another serious offence if released.
Though Lynn’s progress in the past 18 months was limited, it was “encouraging” in context of his whole life.
“There are significant improvements in the degree of the defendant’s co-operation and participation in programs in recent months compared to the lead-up to the 2019 application,” Justice Ierace said in reasons published on Thursday.
Expert evidence was to the effect that if Lynn was to reduce his risk of committing a serious offence, “it will be by him receiving appropriate one-on-one treatment in the community” while supervised, subject to an ESO”.
In a 2019 report compiled despite Lynn refusing to meet with him, forensic psychiatrist Richard Furst described him as a “very high risk of causing serious physical harm to others”.
He said he posed a risk of violence that could not be managed in the community and was unlikely to change.
Lynn participated in an eight-month violent offender treatment program in 2020 but a psychologist reported mixed results.
While he did homework efficiently, he was argumentative, struggled to take advice and denied he had violent risk factors, the court heard.
A second forensic psychiatrist, Dr Andrew Ellis, diagnosed Lynn in September with an antisocial and avoidant personality disorder and a substance use disorder. He suggested he be examined for possible brain trauma.
He advised the court a series of community-based treatments, including psychosocial treatment, would prove more effective than a custody-based program solely focused on violence.
Lynn was released from Sydney’s Long Bay jail and his supervision order expires in May 2022.