Nov 21, 2023

Man charged with sexual assault of aged care resident at NSW facility

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The accused Brett Anthony Crawford, 34, in court on Tuesday. [Source: Nine News]

A 90-year-old woman is recovering from serious injuries and a man has been charged after he allegedly sexually assaulted her in her room at a NSW aged care facility. 

The staff of a Bateau Bay facility on the Central Coast called police just after midnight on November 15 after finding the resident in her room with serious injuries. 

The woman was left “traumatised” according to police and taken to hospital where she was treated for injuries to her arms, legs and head.

Sex Crimes Squad Commander Jayne Doherty told media police will allege Brett Anthony Crawford, 34, entered the facility and went to the woman’s room where he used bedding to silence her cries for help whilst he pinned her to the bed.

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Sex Crimes Squad Commander Jayne Doherty addressing the media. [Source: Nine News]

On the night of Friday, November 17, police searched an address in The Entrance where they allegedly found electronics, sim cards and clothing they believed to be relevant to the offence. 

On Monday, police confirmed Mr Crawford was arrested at a Caves Beach home after attempting to evade officers by jumping a fence. Mr Crawford was taken to hospital for minor injuries before being taken to Belmont Police Station.

He was charged with multiple offences, including breaking and entering, aggravated sexual assault and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Superintendent Doherty said the alleged crime was “horrendous” and that it was “beyond belief” to attack a defenceless person. 

“We understand that the community will be in uproar over this type of offence,” she said.

Superintendent Doherty also said police had been unable to find a connection between the accused, the alleged victim or the aged care facility and that the facility had appropriate security but had since taken extra steps after the incident.

The man was refused bail and faced Belmont Local Court on Tuesday. His lawyer did not submit a bail application and will remain incarcerated until his next court appearance in eight weeks.

This follows former forklift driver Shane Huici, 25, pleading guilty to breaking into a Melbourne aged care facility and attempting to rape a 90-year-old resident in 2021. 

Mr Huici will appear in court again on April 3, 2024, for a plea hearing.

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