Investigation after second escape

ARARAT - How one of Victoria's worst sex offenders was able to elude authorities for more than a day and leave Corella Place for the second time within eight months is the focus of an investigation by the Department of Justice.

Sean Carmody-Coyle was arrested at a bus stop in Ararat just after 9am Saturday morning.

Sean Carmody-Coyle was arrested at a bus stop in Ararat just after 9am Saturday morning.

Sean Carmody-Coyle was arrested at a bus stop in Ararat just after 9am Saturday morning after more than 30 hours on the run.

He was armed with five kitchen knives when he left the correctional facility on a mountain bike just after 1am on Friday morning.

A Department of Justice spokesperson said the 28-year-old, who has a criminal history of violent sexual offending, was remanded in custody, expected to face a charge of breaching his supervision order.

"He will be charged with breaching the conditions of his order, and could be sentenced by a court to up to five years' jail," the spokesperson said.

"The Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident."

Carmody-Coyle left the same facility in June last year.

He was found after a day on the run with a fellow escapee, on the Western Highway about 23 kilometres south-east of Ararat.

He was charged with breaching his serious sex offender supervision order for that incident and jailed for three months.

Carmody-Coyle is one of up to 40 residents housed at the facility and began his time there in February last year on a five year order.

The sex offenders, including rapists, have completed their prison sentences but are considered unacceptable risks to the community.

Residents are members of the community subject to onerous conditions set by the court, including not leaving Corella Place on their own.

They have a curfew but are taken on escorted day trips.

The Department of Justice spokesperson said Corella's design reflects a regular living environment as much as possible while also ensuring residents adhere to their court-ordered conditions.

"Without a facility like Corella Place, these people would be in the community without the level of support or supervision they need," the spokesperson said.

Community concern about absconders is heightened by the proximity of the facility to populated areas - it is just two kilometres from the Ararat town centre.

Carmody-Coyle's latest escape isn't the first breach of an order involving Corella Place since it was opened eight years ago.

A $3 million expansion of the specialist sex offender residential facility could increase the capacity by 15 beds from 40 to 55.

In May last year Corrections Minister Edward O'Donohue announced residents at Corella Place would be the first to use GPS bracelets that can track offenders outside the facility grounds.

The old bracelets only triggered an alarm when an offender left the facility but could not track them outside that specific zone.

An investigation has already been launched into how Carmody-Coyle was able to cut the bracelet off.


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