Child killer free to walk streets
A MAN who strangled a five-year-old girl to death with plastic bags was allowed free from his mental hospital to go on shopping trips with his mother.
Tim Kosowicz admitted killing Chloe Hoson in November 2003 by luring her into his caravan and strangling her. When the little girl wouldn't die, he placed two plastic bags over her head, indecently assaulted her and discarded her body in a creek.
In 2005 the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled he was so deranged he was found not guilty of murder and committed to a hospital.
At the time Chloe's family slammed the decision as unjust. They are understood to be outraged he is adjusting to life on the outside and been allowed to spend time unsupervised and live with his mother.
7 News reported Kosowicz had been on shopping trips with his mother Colleen Kosowicz who he had been staying with in country Victoria.
Images shown on last night's news showed an overweight Kosowicz, dressed in white with his long hair under a cap, sauntering off a plane from Sydney alongside his mum.
He has since been returned to hospital, but could be free soon, and would be free to go wherever he liked.
Mrs Kosowicz and husband Edward have been vocal critics of the way their son was treated before he killed Chloe - they once referred to him as a "time bomb" and said he wasn't to blame for the appalling crime.
Mrs Kosowicz said she had a system set up so she could call special numbers that had been saved in her phone if she needed help.
If there was no time she admitted she would take matters into her own hands.
"If I can't get to the phone in time, I knock him out myself," she told 7 News.
In a submission to a Senate inquiry into mental health about closures of mental health facilities, Kosowicz's parents spoke about the "horrible murder" which they branded as "one of the worst cases of incompetence by the mental health unit at Liverpool".
"Our son was entrapped and railroaded by the present system, he had no hope of ever being
treated for his illness. He has been fined for the symptoms of his illness and turned into a
criminal just to get assessed at hospital, and all this happened several times approx 16, then
they tried in vain to convict him of murder as a common criminal," their submission read.
They went on to say he was a "time bomb".
"Our son was guilty of being sick, he was only the bullet NSW Health fired blindly in
to a crowd. There is no doubt had he been sent to an asylum or institution none of this horror would have happened."
After the killing, Mrs Kosowicz told the ABC her son was living in the caravan park where he crossed paths with Chloe because he wanted to live by himself.
"He got a small job for a while, but having a job … it was too stressful for him. Plus, he also stopped his medication by this time. So I got a call from his caseworker saying that Tim hadn't received his injections for three months."
He threatened suicide, but soon became "psychotic".
"But he was psychotic and he had the voices in his head. And just one thing led to another and he was unhappy, he was not medicated and so the story goes. This is just what happens when they're un-medicated and they're not treated."
She said she didn't blame her son for Chloe's death.
"The judge said at our son's trial the community failed Chloe. Believe me, the community didn't fail Chloe. The mental health system failed Chloe," she said in the 2006 interview.
Kosowicz, a schizophrenic, had just been released from a psychiatric hospital when he killed Chloe.
He told police of the November 2003 day Chloe came with him to his caravan in Lansvale, in Sydney's south west, to play with his cat and admitted he "lost the plot" when she dropped his pot on the ground.
"Then I blacked out and next thing I was strangling her in my bedroom," Kosowicz said.
When she wouldn't die he tied two plastic bags over her head until she stopped moving, indecently assaulted her, bound her hands and feet, and put her in a plastic bag.
After he was found not guilty, Chloe's father Michael Hoson said: "Well they [should] change the system for starters regardless of whether you're sane, insane, whatever, you do the crime you do the time," he said after Kosowicz was locked up in Long Bay prison hospital.
The NSW Law Commission has been considering proposals police are not to be told when forensic patients are released into the community. The Daily Telegraph revealed last year the proposal would mean government agencies would share the information "by agreement" with the police, but only the Attorney-General and Health Minister automatically notified.
If adopted, the proposal would dramatically extend the privacy rights of offenders.
There are hundreds of mentally unwell people whose details were being suppressed because they are in the care of the behind-closed-doors Mental Health Review Tribunal.
When that controversy arose last year, NSW Police Association's Scott Weber told news.com.au an important part of an offender's rehabilitation was making sure they abided by their parole or release conditions, which was a "normal thing for police" to do.
However, that was impossible when police didn't know who was being let out into the community. "It really is policing 101 for officers to know what offenders are being released."