Franky Houdini presented himself as someone who entertained children. In fact, he abused them.
Franky Houdini presented himself as someone who entertained children. In fact, he abused them. Supplied

Magician sex fiend's religious zeal before death

AS his demons resurfaced, fervently religious Franky Houdini rejected sex offender treatment programs as inconsistent with "God's will".

The predatory magician was found dead in his jail cell in 2015. An inquest this week examined events before the Ipswich man's suicide.

A pathologist found the child-molesting entertainer, 42, killed himself using material from a Wacol prison tennis net.

Brisbane Coroners Court heard Houdini, born Francis Kunde, claimed to have converted to Islam before his death.

The escapologist left a note saying he wanted to go "home to our maker for judgment" and asking those he sinned against for forgiveness.

Emily Cooper, counsel assisting the coroner, said Houdini was deemed a dangerous prisoner under sex offender laws.

He also faced extradition to NSW for more child sex charges.

"He embraced a religious persona and studied various religions in great detail, and became completely absorbed and preoccupied," Ms Cooper said on Wednesday.

Houdini's piety "inhibited" participation in sex offender programs, Ms Cooper said.

The court heard Houdini also felt disturbed because of resurfacing aberrant sexual fantasies conflicting with his belief system.

Meanwhile, a Corrective Services manager said restricting access to the tennis net would've made little difference to Houdini, because if inmates wanted to hurt themselves, they could.

"In my 35 years' history in the agency I have never known a prisoner other than Houdini to use that particular method," acting deputy commissioner Peter Shaddock said.

"...There are so many other avenues for self-harm, rightly or wrongly, that's what the environment is," Mr Shaddock added.

The inquest heard several health professionals saw Houdini in weeks before his death and he showed no signs of escalated self-harm risks.

Discussion about information sharing between QCS and Queensland Health was also raised.

Coroner Terry Ryan was told no law mandated such data sharing, but a discretionary mechanism existed.  

But the inquest heard data-sharing overhaul would probably have to consider protecting clinicians from personal liability, and consider patient-doctor confidentiality rules.

Houdini was jailed for multiple sex crimes against girls.

The coroner is expected to deliver his findings next Wednesday. -NewsRegional

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