Julie Ann Muirhead and Mark Lawrence
Julie Ann Muirhead and Mark Lawrence

Sadistic sex killer ‘simply cannot be trusted’

THE State Opposition has issued an urgent plea to stop a sadistic killer who raped and killed a woman from being released from jail

On Boxing Day 1983, Julie Anne Muirhead was lured from her room at Wolston Park Hospital by a sadistic rapist and killed.

Mark Richard Lawrence was convicted of her manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years jail, telling authorities the killing was the fulfilment of a long-term rape and murder fantasy and he "couldn't remember" whether he had sex with her.

Now aged 58, Lawrence will be released from jail after spending 36 years behind bars.

He was placed on a 20-year supervision order by the Brisbane Supreme Court last month, which means he will now enter the community under conditional release.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the State Opposition has written to the Government, calling on them to appeal the decision made by Justice Helen Bowskill on April 16 to release the man on the condition he receives injections of anti-libidinal medication and has regular appointments with his treating doctors and psychiatrists.

The medication is aimed at removing his sexual urges, the decision published in April said.

David Janetzki this week wrote to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath, saying "the risk to the community if Lawrence is released is undeniably high".

"Lawrence's history speaks for itself. He has had a consistent diagnosis of an anti-social personality disorder which is untreatable," the Shadow Attorney-General said in the letter.


Mark Richard Lawrence
Mark Richard Lawrence


Julie Ann Muirhead
Julie Ann Muirhead


Muirhead was 29 years old when she died.

She was found half-naked on January 4 not far from the psychiatric hospital where she had been a patient with a tea towel around her neck and a slit throat.

The letter from Mr Janetzki noted a psychological report from March that said: "Should (Lawrence) reoffend there is potential for the offence behaviour to be very serious, namely the committal of a sexually sadistic (killing)."

Mr Janetzki said: "The community cannot be adequately protected by this prisoner's release on supervision.

"He simply cannot be trusted in the community - under any condition, especially reliance on this man's compliance with medication".

Ms D'Ath told The Courier-Mail she applied to have Lawrence "either remain in detention or be released under strict conditions".

"The court imposed a strict supervision order for 20 years, subject to 59 conditions," she said.

"The supervision order will be enforced by Queensland Corrective Services."

If Lawrence refuses or can no longer take the injections for medical reasons, he will be returned to prison.

He has been on the drug since October, 2018, and it has reduced his testosterone levels, the court decision said.





Originally published as Sadistic sex killer 'simply cannot be trusted'