From 2015/16 to 2016/17 there was a one per cent increase in sex offender numbers in NSW (380 perpetrator increase in the 12 month period), according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means that many people are falling victim to often unprovoked acts of sexual assault. Unfortunately, this was highlighted in a case recently brought before the District Court of NSW where a young woman was violently attacked by a stranger.
Background of the case
The victim, who at the time of the attack was 22 years of age, was walking home from work through Bathurst shortly after 6:00 p.m on August 1, 2015. The applicant was aged 18 at the time of the offences, and was walking in the opposite direction, on the opposite side of the road. After noticing the victim, he crossed the road and approached her from behind. The young man proceeded to hold her neck and drag the victim toward the embankment of the Macquarie River. Once he had dragged her away from the roadway, he threw her to the ground and began various acts of sexual violence.
She tried to overpower the man and cried out for help but he continued to attack the woman. These events lasted more than one hour. Once finished, the applicant allegedly told the woman to stay put otherwise he'd kill her, before walking away himself. Some time later, the victim left the scene and obtained help from the first house she came to.
She obtained the following injuries:
What happened following the attacks?
The applicant pleaded guilty to all charges in the Local Court. However, on February 1, 2019, he sought leave to appeal against his initial sentence of 18 years with a non-parole period of 12 years imposed in the District Court on April 26, 2017. The applicant claimed the sentencing judge didn't factor in the absence of previous offences, prior good character and expression of remorse.
Despite learning of his troubled upbringing and previous good character, the court knew the applicant still posed a risk to the community. However, because of his plea of guilt and remorse, he was awarded a 25 per cent discount to his sentence, and his appeal was allowed.
If you're a victim of sexual assault, we want to help you seek justice for your trauma. Don't hesitate to get in touch with the expert lawyers at Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out more.