The Attorney-General has sought appeal advice after a man accused of bashing a sex worker and raping an elderly woman in a park was freed from custody
The Attorney-General has sought appeal advice after a man accused of bashing a sex worker and raping an elderly woman in a park was freed from custody

Community outrage over shock bail for rape accused

QUEENSLAND'S Attorney-General has sought "urgent" appeal advice after a man accused of bashing a sex worker and violently raping an elderly woman in a Townsville park was granted bail and freed from custody.

A 66-year-old woman who was walking along a path near Victor St was left bloody and bruised on a riverbank in Cranbrook after she was allegedly dragged into the bushes and raped on September 30 last year.

TheTownsville Bulletinasked Attorney-General and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman if she planned step in an exercise her power to appeal the grant of bail which was not in line with community expectations. .

Shannon Fentiman, who was then the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development speaks at Queensland Parliament Question Time. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Shannon Fentiman, who was then the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development speaks at Queensland Parliament Question Time. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Ms Fentiman said her office had requested urgent advice on the matter.

The same man, 19, is accused of assaulting a sex worker at a Rosslea home just hours before the park attack. He faces multiple rape and assault charges.

Police investigate a reported rape in a park at Cranbrook. Picture: Evan Morgan
Police investigate a reported rape in a park at Cranbrook. Picture: Evan Morgan

As he had applied for bail, prosecutor Molly Mahlouzarides said that although the man had no prior criminal history his alleged offending against two strangers was "heinous".

The ABC reported that defence solicitor Shontelle Samuel, of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service, submitted a draft order for the man's bail and said his grandparents, who lived near Cooktown, would take him in when he was released from jail.

Ms Samuel said his grandmother had committed to taking the 40-minute journey between their home and Cooktown "as much as required" so her grandson could report to police.

Justice David North granted bail, saying "strict terms" could adequately address the risk the man posed and he was granted bail in the Supreme Court subject to conditions being met, prompting anger across the Townsville community last week.

Police investigate a reported rape in a park at Cranbrook. Picture: Evan Morgan
Police investigate a reported rape in a park at Cranbrook. Picture: Evan Morgan

Queensland Corrections staff confirmed on Friday that the man had been released from the high-security Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre at Wacol.

In the days after the attack an anxious Townsville walker spoke out and called for the council to do its bit to keep people safe.

"Everyone has a right to feel safe and able to exercise safely," she said.

Originally published as Community outrage over shock bail for rape accused



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