Queensland Corrective Services has reached out to more than 20 facilities to try to find a bed for Steven Paul Barney, whose jail term ended a year ago.
Queensland Corrective Services has reached out to more than 20 facilities to try to find a bed for Steven Paul Barney, whose jail term ended a year ago.

Serial sex pest seeking bed in aged care homes

A SERIAL flasher with a history of exposing himself to young children is in jail limbo while authorities struggle to find an aged care home that will take on the ailing sex offender.

Queensland Corrective Services has reached out to more than 20 aged care and supported accommodation facilities to try and find a bed for Steven Paul Barney, 65, whose jail sentence ended on January 30 last year.

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The father of 11, who grew up in Gympie and later lived in Granville, was serving two and a half years for flashing a 10-year-old girl on a train in 2016.

Barney, who has exposed himself to 24 children in the Fraser Coast, Maryborough and Brisbane areas over the past two decades, has remained in jail on a continuing detention order while authorities work out what to do with him.

With deteriorating health, he cannot live in Corrective Services sex offender housing because of his high needs.

Court documents revealed that psychiatrists believe Barney would be most suited to an aged care home.

But with private supported accommodation reluctant to take dangerous sex offenders, there are few options - especially for offenders with histories as long as Barney's.

At 21, Barney was sentenced to four years' jail after he tried to rape a woman at Mary River in Gympie.

He then began a pattern of alcohol-fuelled flashing, exposing himself to children at swimming pools and on trains and masturbating in public.

A psychology report dated June 2018 said Barney, who was diagnosed with exhibitionism, paedophilia and alcohol abuse, was at a "high risk of reoffending" if released back into the community.

The report noted Barney would likely not commit any violent offences, but rather continue the pattern of exposing himself and masturbating in public.

Barney's case was reviewed by Justice Peter Davis on Friday in Brisbane Supreme Court, where it was revealed he was on a waiting list for a facility.

He will have to wait a further four weeks to find out whether he has been accepted, the court heard.

Barney's matter will next be heard on February 21.

Justice Davis told lawyers: "Mr Barney is a matter where if a bed becomes available, I want to know about it." - NewsRegional


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