Guider’s PhD plan after degree on study of human remains
Samantha Knight's killer, serial paedophile Michael Guider, who is due to leave jail this week, has earnt a university degree involving the study of human remains while he was behind bars.
Guider, who has never revealed where he disposed of the nine-year-old's body, earnt a Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeology and palaeoanthropology in 2003 and his jail education has cost taxpayers up to $100,000.
Prisoners are entitled to university study on a HECS-HELP loan and with Guider being 68, and subject to dozens of conditions on his release, he is unlikely to ever get a job and pay the money back.
SAMANTHA KNIGHT 30 YEARS ON
The predator now plans to earn a PhD, his brother said.
On Tuesday, Supreme Court judge Richard Button ruled to release Guider, subject to a strict five-year supervision order beginning September 5.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman is seeking urgent legal advice on the prospect of appealing the end of the continuing detention order to keep Guider jailed for another year.
"I would like to have seen Guider stay in jail another year but we lost that fight today," Mr Speakman said.
"Rest assured we will be leaving no stone unturned to keep Guider in jail."
Guider is due to walk free on Thursday and will be subjected to 56 conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring tag, providing a weekly schedule of movements and not visiting cinemas, libraries, museums, schools and preschools without prior approval.
He must not use illegal drugs or unprescribed medication and is barred from making contact with anyone under 18 years, visiting camping grounds or brothels.
He cannot change his name and must also seek approval from his supervisor to continue further education and inform officers if he starts a relationship.
"When I visited Michael two months ago he told me he had two degrees, including palaeontology and wanted to continue the subject as a PhD when he gets out," his brother Tim Guider told The Daily Telegraph.
"Most people struggle financially to get a university education but Michael was given one on a plate while in prison, that's distasteful.
"It's like he's gloating that he's been released from prison without telling anyone where he buried Samantha, or what his crimes were."
Guider has studied a long list of courses, from regular jail education aimed at reform to creative writing, poetry, art and self expression.
Guider was a leading indigenous rock art expert and has writings on Aboriginal studies held in the State Library of NSW.
The institutionalised inmate is said to be "terrified" of adjusting to life on the outside when he moves into a halfway house in the grounds of Long Bay jail.
Before he was jailed for child sex abuse and later for Samantha's killing, he lived a meagre existence, renting in boarding houses and granny flats, and working in transient jobs such as a cleaner, gardener and labourer.
Victims advocate Howard Brown denounced Guider's decision to study palaeontology - the study of fossils and bones - as "morbid".
"He'll be one of these people that will go to his grave owing the federal government thousands in unpaid HECS payments - who's going to employ him when they know who he is?
"He'll be straight onto Centrelink and will never work," Mr Brown said.
Forty-seven prisoners completed long-distance education in the past five years.
Guider, a former gardener at Royal North Shore Hospital, has clung onto hope he will be released from Long Bay prison - after kidnapping, drugging and molesting Samantha - without any supervision order restrictions.
Inside the northwest corner of the jail, where paedophiles are incarcerated, the sex offender lives a safe existence working as a sweeper in the canteen and tipping out bins in a refuse collection area outside his wing.
"He looks past the barbed wire fence when he empties out the bins and dreams of freedom but has said many a time he fears that what's beyond the fence incapacitates him, he's been inside for so long now," a source said.
The prison source said Guider wanted "to become a doctor in the study of human bones" once he is released.
"The offender completed a Bachelor Degree in Archaeology and paleo-Anthropology in 2003," a Corrective Services NSW spokesman said. "Inmates who enrol in university studies do so at their own cost."
The spokesman confirmed prisoners use the HECS-HELP taxpayer loan scheme.
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 has never applied for early release to the parole board after pleading guilty to manslaughter for Samantha's death in a bid to walk free without any conditions.
On Tuesday, Samantha's mother Tess Knight told of her "anger" at the decision to release Guider. "This is not about punishments, this is about prevention,'' she said. "He is still considered sufficiently dangerous, even under supervision.''