A convicted serial pedophile, who was imprisoned for killing a nine-year-old-girl, is due to walk free from prison.
Michael Guider killed Sydney schoolgirl Samantha Knight over 30 years ago, but is now due to be released back into the public after a judge rejected an application to keep him locked behind bars.
When Guider was jailed in 2002 for the kidnapping, rape, and death of Samantha, he had already been sentenced for 60 other sex offenses against 11 children in 1996.
Instead of keeping the monster behind bars for the rest of his life, Justice Richard Button on Tuesday decided to impose a five-year extended supervision order for the 68-year-old.
Dailymail.co.uk reports: Samantha’s mother Tess Knight and several of Guider’s other victims as well as his brother Tim had pleaded for the serial child sex offender not to be released.
Ms Knight said outside court she was ‘shaking inside’ after the decision to release Guider.
‘We should all be shocked,’ she said. ‘He hasn’t demonstrated that he’s changed.
‘So not only hasn’t he told us what he did with Samantha’s body – and there will be no body to find anymore, it’s a long time – but he hasn’t given me and my family and Samantha’s friends any details of what happened that day.’
Tim Guider had hoped his sibling could be coerced into revealing where Samantha was buried and confessing to further crimes against children.
‘This is no normal person,’ Mr Guider said. ‘He’s a monster and he’s a danger and the community don’t want him out.’
Justice Button said the New South Wales Supreme Court hearing was to assess the risk Guider posed in the future, rather than imposing punishment for his prior offending.
He found that a further period of incarceration would not serve any rehabilitative purpose.
While it could not be said definitively that Guider’s sexual interest in children had disappeared, the judge considered he had done all that could be done in terms of rehabilitation in a prison setting.
Three experts, highly experienced in psychology and psychiatry, had all agreed Guider’s risk could be reasonably managed under a stringent and lengthy system of supervision within the community, the judge said.
He had taken note of Guider’s good behaviour when he was on escorted day leave from jail.
Guider’s 17-year jail term has expired, but he was placed on an interim detention order which expires on Thursday.
Guider will have to live under 56 conditions including wearing electronic monitoring equipment, providing a weekly schedule of his movements to a department supervising officer (DSO) from Corrective Services NSW and never changing his name.
Unless approved by his DSO, he must not go near day care centres, pre-schools, schools, amusement parks, cinemas, libraries, camping grounds, playgrounds or pools.
The NSW Attorney-General had made an application for a one-year detention order.
When sentenced for Samantha’s manslaughter, Guider was already serving time for numerous sex offences against other children between 1980 and 1996.
Guider never publicly expressed any remorse for killing Sam – which he claimed was accidental – and has recently even denied any role in her death.
Samantha’s 1986 disappearance from near her mother’s home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs led to one of the largest searches in Australian history and remained a mystery for 15 years.
Parents across the country changed the way they considered their children’s safety as hundreds of thousands of posters were distributed featuring smiling images of the confident little girl.
Samantha was one of perhaps scores of children aged two to 16 Guider molested over many years. His usual method of offending was to drug then molest pre-pubescent boys and girls.
Many of his victims were the daughters of mothers he had befriended and he sexually assaulted them during babysitting sessions.
Guider played a ‘game’ called statues with some victims in which he ordered them to stand still while he exposed himself and touched their genitals; he took thousands of images of the children he violated while they were drugged.
The long-haired gardener claimed some of the mothers knew what he was doing and told a psychologist at least one of them – not Samantha’s mother – did not mind.
‘She was bad,’ Guider said of the mother. ‘I was screwing her two kids and she asked me to do it to her after I’d been doing it to them.’
Guider was serving a 16-year sentence imposed in 1996 for 60 offences against 11 children when police realised he was responsible for one of Australia’s most high-profile unsolved crimes.
He was arrested and charged with Samantha’s murder in February 2001 but pleaded guilty to manslaughter under the weight of damning evidence including a confession to his brother Tim, a jailed armed robber.
Guider had first molested Samantha when she was living with her mother Tess at Manly in 1984 and 1985.
He snatched Samantha from near her home in Imperial Avenue, Bondi, after school.
The honey-blonde, green-eyed girl had been seen that afternoon walking the streets in her uniform. Within days Sydney was plastered with ‘Find our Sam’ posters which described her as intelligent, outgoing and well-spoken.
Guider later claimed he had drugged Samantha with the sleeping pill Normison and she died of an overdose on his lounge while he went out to the shops.
He eventually told investigators he put Samantha’s remains in a dumpster containing landfill at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli on the other side of the harbour.
Guider was sentenced in August 2002 to 17 years’ prison with a non-parole period of 12 years for manslaughter.
He first became eligible for release in June 2014 when the State Parole Authority refused to let him out and determined he could seek freedom the following year.
Parole was again refused in 2015 at which time the authority decided it would not consider his release again until 2017. Guider did not seek parole in 2017 or 2018.
Tim Guider believes he knows where his brother buried Samantha and that if put before the NSW Crime Commission he would lead detectives to her grave.
He is convinced Samantha’s body lies under or near a headstone bearing another Knight’s name in a corner of the old Gore Hill Cemetery on Sydney’s lower north shore.
Mr Guider told Daily Mail Australia his brother had reluctantly admitted this year to visiting the graveyard with another of his child victims years after Samantha’s 1986 disappearance.
He thinks while Michael was working next to the cemetery he moved Samantha’s body there and arranged parts of a broken memorial to a long-dead woman named Sarah Knight to mark or point to her grave.
Mr Guider said when he told Michael during a prison visit he ‘knew’ Samantha was buried at Gore Hill Cemetery the serial pedophile began to tremble and was struck speechless.