Accused grandma basher in court
THE man accused of raping and bashing a Rockhampton grandmother has been remanded in custody.
This morning the 18-year-old appeared in Rockhampton Magistrates Court after being charged with attempted murder, two counts of rape and grievous bodily harm.
The man, who cannot be named by law, was supported in the court by about 12 family members.
He did not apply for bail and will reappear in three months, pending DNA results.
The grandma, 82, was allegedly attacked in her George Street backyard on Australia Day.
Yesterday the alleged victim’s son spoke of his mother’s will to live after doctors said she had little chance of survival.
At 8.40am on Tuesday the woman, who cannot legally be identified because she is an alleged victim of a sexual offence, was gardening at the back of her George Street home when she was attacked at random.
Police say she was raped twice and bashed with a blunt instrument until a neighbour interrupted the attack.
Her son said her face was severely injured and would need reconstructive surgery.
“She is a fighter – she’s as tough as a rough nail,” he said.
“She’s had a hard life, which is probably why she is so tough.”
The woman has five children, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way.
She was flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital at 9.30am yesterday.
“(On Tuesday) they (doctors) couldn’t stop the bleeding from her face and by 5pm they had written her off as not surviving,” the son said.
“But by 7pm she miraculously stopped bleeding and her temperature dropped slightly.
“She is still all bruised and swollen but they have cleaned her up a little.
“She even squeezed a nurse’s hand when they turned her over.”
The woman lived alone in her George Street home.
Yesterday the woman’s next door neighbour said he feared bringing his children back to the area because of safety concerns.
Regional Crime co-ordinator Detective Inspector Jon Wacker last night said during the investigation a number of vital leads came from members of the public.
He said it had been a tremendous team effort by not only local police and officers from the State Crime Operations Command, but by SES workers and forensic investigators.
The victim’s family have made a passionate plea for members of the media and the community to “give them space”.
Her daughter said they all needed time to deal with the incident and asked that media and people respect their privacy.