Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Wrongfully Imprisoned And Neglected For 10 Years

11 Jan 2012Intellectually disabled man, Marlon Noble, from Western Australia, was released from prison on Sunday, the 10th January, after spending 10 years behind bars, for a crime he says he never committed, and was never tried for.

Marlon, who contracted meningitis when he was younger, was left permanently impaired from the illness.

In 2001, when Marlon was just 19 years old, he was accused of sexually assaulting two young girls. He was imprisoned inside Greenough Regional Prison, in Western Australian.

In 2003, he was deemed to be unfit to stand trial, and under the Mentally Impaired Accused act, was placed on an unlimited custody order. This meant that he was to be placed into a facility, where he could be monitored and supervised at all times, such as a psychiatric hospital or jail.

In November last year, the States Attorney General approved Marlon's release from prison, but not without some cruel restrictions...

Although Marlon was never formally convicted of sexual assault, and his accusers have publicly come forward withdrawing any such assault, he still has to stick to conditions, as if he was a sexual predator. He will be registered as a sex offender, he will not to be left alone with females under the age of 16, he will not be allowed to drink alcohol, or stay away from home overnight, without permission.

To add insult to injury, Marlon's mother and cousin were murdered in separate incidences, whilst he was incarcerated, so he will now live with a close family friend, Ida, who has advocated for him, throughout his unfair ordeal.

Marlon's lawyer stated that if he was tried, and found guilty of sexual assaulting the two young girls, he would have generally had to serve a term of around five years, but because of his unlimited custody order, he was permitted to be detained for an unstated amount of time, which, without advocacy, could've gone on for years more than it did.

Sandy Boulter, head of the Mental Health Law Centre, is going to be in touch with the Attorney General to try and have Marlon's restrictions amended.

This is such a sad story; one that I'd expect would have occurred in the 1900's, not 2012. I can only believe that what has happened to Marlon will be a lesson for the future, so that others under similar circumstances will never have to go through the same thing that he did.

Hopefully, Marlon can manage to pull himself together after his ordeal, and eventually live out a fulfilling life with his new found freedom.

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