A Sydney prisoner who stabbed a man to death on a Parramatta street and committed a host of other violent acts is due for release on Saturday.
The NSW government had sought to keep Scott David Lynn in custody for another three years or at least subject him to five years of strict supervision.
Instead, the 44-year-old – described by a doctor in 2019 as a “very high risk of causing serious physical harm to others” – will be released on Saturday on a 18-month supervision order after showing “modest progress” in recent times.
The 45 supervision conditions set by the NSW Supreme Court include ankle monitoring, a nightly curfew and a requirement to detail his movements at least three days in advance.
Lynn was jailed in 2006 for the fatal stabbing of an unarmed man who 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 already showed a long history of attacks including when aged 17, he punched a pool player from behind and then stomped on his unconscious victim.
In his many years in custody, Lynn accrued 54 misconduct charges including eight for violence.
While on a three-year extended supervision order starting in 2015, Lynn was charged with breaching it 10 times.
He was also jailed for affray and assault during that time.
Supreme Court Justice Mark Ierace in May 2019 ordered Lynn remain in detention for 15 months, before extending it until Friday.
But this week he 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,” he said in reasons published late 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”, the judge said.
In a March 2019 report, forensic psychiatrist Richard Furst described the offender as a “very high risk of causing serious physical harm to others”.
Lynn, who refused to meet with Furst, had risk factors that were unlikely to change over time and his risk of violence could not be managed in the community, Dr Furst said.
Lynn participated in a eight-month violent offender treatment program in 2020 but a psychologist reported mixed results.
While the offender did homework efficiently, he was argumentative, struggled to take advice on board and denied he had violent risk factors, the court heard.
A second forensic psychiatrist, Dr Andrew Ellis, in September diagnosed Lynn with an antisocial and avoidant personality disorder and a substance use disorder and suggested the offender 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’s ESO is due to expire in May 2022.