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Ninety-year-old woman dies after rape in Australian aged care home

Author
AAP,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Nov 2023, 1:55PM
The woman was attacked while she slept after a man broke in. Photo / 123rf
The woman was attacked while she slept after a man broke in. Photo / 123rf

Ninety-year-old woman dies after rape in Australian aged care home

Author
AAP,
Publish Date
Tue, 28 Nov 2023, 1:55PM

A 90-year-old woman who was raped by a man who broke in to an aged care facility earlier this month has died.

The woman died in hospital on Tuesday morning where she was being treated for injuries sustained in the assault, which occurred nearly two weeks ago.

Police were told a 34-year-old man broke into a nursing home on the New South Wales Central Coast about 12.40am on November 15 before attacking the woman.

Brett Anthony Crawford was arrested at a home in Caves Beach, near Lake Macquarie, on November 17 and charged with a string of serious crimes, including committing a serious indictable offence using violence and aggravated sexual assault.

He allegedly used bedding to silence the woman’s calls for help and pinned her to the bed, causing injuries to her arms, legs and head.

The woman was attacked while she slept after a man broke in. Photo / 123rf
The woman was attacked while she slept after a man broke in. Photo / 123rf

Police say he stole some of the woman’s property before escaping out the back door and jumping a fence.

After his arrest, he was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries to his arm.

Crawford will remain behind bars until his next appearance at Gosford Local Court in February.

Sex Crimes Squad commander Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty described the attack as “horrendous” at the time.

“[It’s reprehensible] that someone, any person in the safety of their home would be attacked like this, but to attack a very defenceless old lady is beyond belief,” she said.

Detective Superintendent Doherty said the assault appeared to have been an opportunistic attack.

The woman was traumatised following the incident, and had been being looked after by her family and medical staff and treated for severe wounds to her arms, Doherty said.

“As you can understand, being elderly, her skin has torn significantly where pressure was applied,” she said.

Extra security was hired at the aged care home to ensure residents felt safe, but police said they had no ongoing safety concerns.

A report will be prepared for coroner.

SEXUAL HARM

Where to get help:
If it's an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you've ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email [email protected]
• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station - click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it's not your fault.

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