The learned sentencing judge had before him a report dated 10 June 1997 from Dr Donald A Grant a psychiatrist, described as “Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry”. This report had been obtained by the respondent’s solicitor.
On 6 June 1997 Dr Grant had interviewed the respondent at the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre and when he prepared his report he had notes which he had made in conversations with the respondent, as well as a statement from the respondent’s father, a statement from the respondent’s mother and a brief of evidence from the Queensland Police Department including statements of complainants, witnesses and police as well as a record of interview between the police and the respondent.
Dr Grant said the respondent was “clearly fully aware of the scope and number of offences”. The respondent detailed to Dr Grant the first rape – that committed in Bundaberg – and as the report shows, told Dr Grant that:-
“He felt scared and at the same time stimulated in a strange way by the assault. Once it started and the woman did what he said, he said he calmed down and it was easier”.
Dr Grant noted that “subsequent offences took a fairly similar course”. He recorded that in between assaults the respondent hid the knife in a toilet between the wall and the ceiling where he knew his (the respondent’s) girlfriend could not reach. Dr Grant recorded the respondent told him “that although he was obviously sexually aroused during the assaults he said it was not really a pleasant kind of arousal. It was more a stimulation and a feeling of fear”. I should add that Dr Grant, when speaking of the first offence at Bundaberg, recorded:-
“He denies planning this event in any degree, but when questioned indicated that he had thought about it for a few days beforehand. He said he had thought about going out and `looking at people’ (that is, voyeurism) and that his thoughts went from there and he started thinking about raping somebody. For about two days he had thought about how he would go about it and planned how he would approach the woman from behind and put his hand over her mouth etc.”
In the assessment portion of his report Dr Grant said (in a passage very largely quoted by the learned sentencing judge in his sentencing remarks):-
“Mr Burley’s history suggests some antisocial and narcissistic traits in his personality. At the time of the offences he was involved in rather complex relationship problems with two girlfriends who were rivals for his affections. He was also coping with the impending separation of his mother and sister who were moving to Germany. Mr Burley’s offences were clearly planned and tended to follow the same pattern. It is probable that the offences were motivated by suppressed rage at female figures in his life (mother and girlfriends) and that this rage was displaced onto his victims. Whilst unconscious mechanisms were no doubt involved in the motivations, the actual behaviour was well organised and deliberate.
The pattern of offending behaviour is very worrying in that it suggests sexual sadism with serial offending. The risk for future offending behaviour is therefore quite high unless some kind of intervention can be achieved which assists Mr Burley in understanding and overcoming these impulses. At present, Mr Burley’s understanding of his offences is very limited and although he is expressing an intellectual understanding that he needs to try to understand his behaviour the motivation for actually carrying this out may not be great. In any case therapy for such problems is very difficult and he would need much greater evaluation to assess whether he was capable of change.
From the information which I have there is no indication that Mr Burley was suffering from any psychiatric illness at the time of the offences and I do not believe there would be any grounds for a defence of unsoundness of mind. He is now likewise not suffering from any identifiable psychiatric illness and is fit to plead and fit for trial.”