SYDNEY – Sex killer Trent Jennings, caught in a northern New South Wales beachside town after five days on the run, is behind bars after a court denied his bid to return to a psychiatric hospital.

Jennings was caught sleeping in an allegedly stolen car in Byron Bay on Wednesday after going missing from Morisset Psychiatric Hospital near Newcastle.

The 26-year-old did not appear in Lismore Local Court yesterday to face charges of detaining a person for advantage, car theft, robbery and gaining a financial benefit by deception.

The charges relate to an incident in Sydney’s south on December 29, while Jennings was on day leave from the hospital where he had been committed in 2005 for killing his gay lover during a drug-fuelled sex romp.

Jennings’s Legal Aid solicitor, Rita Mula, asked the court yesterday for her client to be returned to the Morisset hospital to undergo psychiatric assessment. But registrar Mark Bromhead refused the application, saying it was now a police matter and Jennings could not go back into the mental health system at this stage.

Earlier yesterday, the NSW chief psychiatrist rejected calls for jail security to be called whenever mental ward inmates failed to return from day release.

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson has called for Corrective Services to be put in charge of monitoring day-release inmates.

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