Homeless man on rape count



A HOMELESS man charged with the rape of a 49-year-old woman in inner-city Rockhamp-ton yesterday morning will spend Christmas behind bars.

Herbert John Mitchell, 46, has been remanded in custody until February 27 for a commital mention.

Mitchell's bail was refused in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court yesterday, with Magistrate Bronwyn Springer citing his lack of a fixed abode.

Police prosecutor Calvin Gnech said Mitchell was alleged to have raped the woman about 1am.

He said Mitchell had been walking past the council grounds on the corner of William and Alma streets, Rockhampton, when he struck up a conversation with the victim.

Constable Gnech said Mitchell was known to the victim.

He said Mitchell was then alleged to have punched the woman in the face and knocked her to the ground.

Constable Gnech said he was alleged to have pinned her to the ground, removed her lower clothing and raped her.

He said the woman was able to break free and had run towards the nearby Michael Hayes Diversionary Centre.

Mitchell is then alleged to have pursued the woman, pushed her down and laid on top of her again.

Constable Gnech said people from the diversionary centre had heard the woman's screams and come to her aid. Mitchell was located soon after by police.



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