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‘Wolf Creek’ rapist could be freed

The Queensland Government is fighting to keep man jailed for raping a German backpacker in 2007 in prison before his release date in October. Peter John van de Wetering admitted kidnapping and raping a German backpacker in 2007 after she answered a job advert. Parole Board Queensland has twice rejected van de Wetering's parole application, with commissioners deeming the level of risk he posed could not be mitigated by
Peter John Van de Wetering wore a fake wig, beard and moustache when he raped a German backpacker in 2013. Picture: QPS / NCA NewsWire

A rapist who lured, kidnapped and drugged a German backpacker is due to be released within weeks.

The Queensland Attorney-General is urgently trying to stop Peter John Van de Wetering from rejoining society after he was jailed for nine years in 2016.

He pleaded guilty to several violent offences, including kidnapping, rape, and administering a stupefying drug.

He is set to be released from jail on October 6 this year.

The Queensland Government is fighting to keep man jailed for raping a German backpacker in 2007 in prison before his release date in October. Peter John van de Wetering admitted kidnapping and raping a German backpacker in 2007 after she answered a job advert. Parole Board Queensland has twice rejected van de Wetering's parole application, with commissioners deeming the level of risk he posed could not be mitigated by "standard" parole conditions and he was an untreated sex offender. The Supreme Court bid is to keep him behind bars — or at least placed under a conditional supervision order which may include electronic monitoring. Picture: QPS / NCA NewsWire
Peter John Van de Wetering wore a fake wig, beard and moustache when he raped a German backpacker in 2013. Picture: QPS / NCA NewsWire

He was also declared a serious violent offender for committing the offences that easily could have been stolen from the script of Wolf Creek.

Van de Wetering had kidnapped, drugged and raped a then 19-year-old German backpacker who had travelled to become a nanny on a farm outside Stanthorpe, Queensland in August 2013.

The woman had answered an ad published by Van de Wetering using a false and the pair had organised for her to be collected at Cottonvale bus stop.

Van de Wetering collected the woman while wearing a wig, fake beard and fake moustache.

During their drive back to the rural property, the woman pretended to eat some chocolate offered to her by Van de Wetering but had spat it out instead because of its taste.

An artist impression Predator Peter Van de Wetering during his 2016 trial.
An artist impression Predator Peter Van de Wetering during his 2016 trial.

The chocolate had been drugged in an attempt to stupefy the woman.

When the pair arrived at the property, Van de Wetering forced the woman into an abandoned shearers quarters and tied her hands together before tying her to a bed.

He then forced her to eat more of the drugged chocolate.

The woman quickly became unconscious after eating the chocolate.

Hours later, she woke up alone on the side of the road with her phone.

The woman was able to call her sister in Germany who alerted police.

An investigation was launched and Van de Wetering was arrested more than a year later in Sydney in October 2014.

QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT
Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath is fighting to keep Peter Van de Wetering in jail. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Glenn Campbell

With his release date fast approaching, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has launched a Supreme Court bid to keep Van de Wetering behind bars after his sentence ends on October 6.

The application also would accept Van de Wetering being placed under a conditional supervision order that may include electronic monitoring if he’s released.

Her application is before the courts, with a hearing date set for September 11.

The application is relying on evidence given by two forensic psychiatrists, who both recommended against his release because of his high risk of reoffending.

However, Van de Wetering’s barrister, Carl Tessmann, has filed written objections to the court concerning the two psychiatrists’ reports.

During a previous court appearance, Mr Tessmann argued the expert conclusions had relied on knowledge about charges which Van de Wetering was never convicted of.

Van de Wetering had previously been tried in 2015 over an alleged 2007 drugging and rape of a woman from the UK who was backpacking Australia.

The 2015 trial resulted in a hung jury and Van de Wetering was also found not guilty of using a stupefying drug.

BRISBANE COURTS
The application is being heard before the Brisbane Supreme Court on September 11. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

Mr Tessmann said the psychiatrists should never have considered past charges against his client, especially ones that never culminated in a conviction.

When the matter was briefly mentioned on Monday, Barrister Jeffrey Rolls, who is acting on behalf of the Attorney-General, said his client would be ready to deal with those objections in the hearing set for September 11.

Mr Rolls said he also intended to make an interim detention order, should the hearing be further delayed.

The Attorney-General has the right to apply to the courts under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003 to keep certain people locked up if they’re found to be a risk to society.