Several violent crimes, including an incident in which a female tourist was allegedly dragged from a public footpath into a dark corner and sexually assaulted, have unsettled Australia’s tropical Far North.
Police claim a 28-year-old female tourist was walking along The Strand, the main seaside thoroughfare fronting the Townsville foreshore, earlier this week. It was just before 9pm and she was talking on her phone while she walked, when suddenly a middle-aged man allegedly grabbed her from behind, dragged her from the footpath and sexually assaulted her.
The alleged attack happened between the Tobruk Pool and the water park currently under construction, the Townsville Bulletin reported. The water park is closed while undergoing a complete refurbishment.
Police subsequently arrested a 52-year-old man and charged him with one count of assault with intent to commit rape, one count of sexual assault, one count of assault occasioning bodily harm, one count of deprivation of liberty and one count of threatening violence, the paper said. He was remanded in custody and will next face court on 15 September 2016.
In another Townsville case, two men were yesterday charged with murder after a third man died from severe head injuries following a fight at a backpacker hostel in the inner city. The 30-year-old victim died in a room at the budget Sturt Lodge about 9pm on Tuesday.
Police rushed to the scene after reports of a violent argument on the premises. Reports say the men had not known each other long and alcohol was involved. Detectives believe a weapon was used, the ABC reported. The men charged are aged 30 and 24. They will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court this morning.
In Cairns, meanwhile, a police officer is preparing to face court accused of fracturing the jaw and eye socket of a 23-year-old British tourist.
The 41-year-old policeman has been charged with grievous bodily harm following a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) investigation into allegations of excessive force.
The incident took place in Cairns in April and the police officer will appear in Cairns Magistrates Court next Thursday, 11 August 2016.
Written by Peter Needham