It’s hard to imagine that a police sergeant or bail justice could have predicted what would happen later.
It’s not clear how he was released. In the afternoon or evening of 15 March 2017 one Macarthur was drunk and randomly punching at passengers at a Melbourne railway station. He was arrested. At about 10:00pm on 15 March 2017 he was released from police custody. Seven hours later – at about 5am – he met a young woman at a tram stop. He followed her onto – and off – the tram. He accosted and raped her near a hospital.
The Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) §38 relevantly provides that –
(1) A person (A) commits an offence if—
(a) A intentionally sexually penetrates another person (B); and
(b) B does not consent to the penetration; and
(c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents to the penetration.
(2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable to level 2 imprisonment (25 years maximum).
(3) The standard sentence for an offence against subsection (1) is 10 years.
The offender pleaded guilty before Judge Lawson in the Melbourne County Court. Her Honour considered the crime to have been brazen and predatory. She imposed a sentence of seven years and nine months, to serve a minimum of five years. He had already served 15 months on remand.
Director of Public Prosecutions v Macarthur (2018) Herald Sun, 2 June 2018, p.21