News

Backpacker wakes in fright to drunk fondling her

A FRENCH backpacker woke to find a drunken stranger touching her intimately as she slept in a hostel room with her fiance, Gympie Magistrates Court was told yesterday.

The woman initially thought it was her fiance fondling her, but was distressed to wake and find it was someone she had never met, the court heard.

People have a right to feel safe in their homes, including temporary homes at hostels, Gympie Magistrate Maxine Baldwin said yesterday.

Jailing Cooloola Cove man Ryan James Hammersley, she said Hammersley had only escaped a sex charge because his victim had returned to France without leaving a statement with police.

Prosecutor Sgt Michael Phillips told the court the woman woke on March 17, and was distressed to find Hammersley fondling her breasts and rubbing her genital area.

Her fiance was equally unimpressed and CCTV images showed him punching Hammersley in the face several times, the court heard.

This however, did not discourage Hammersley, whose legal representative said he had been extremely drunk and was looking for a place to pass out.

Hammersley, 30, of Golden Hind Avenue, pleaded guilty to five counts of trespassing in the hostel, as he entered one room after another, attempting to climb into bed with a woman in one.

In all cases, he left when told to do so.

"People should be able to feel safe in their rooms," Mrs Baldwin said. "You totally violated their privacy."

She said some victims might lose all ability to feel secure and may not be able to continue with their holiday, "because suddenly they feel very vulnerable".

"To enter the sanctity of the home or the home for a night is something I consider to be very serious," she said.

Mrs Baldwin said her daughters sometimes stayed in backpacker hostels "and I don't want some idiot coming in and groping them".

Told that Hammersley had serious alcohol issues, Mrs Baldwin noted extensive previous offences and attempts by the courts to lean towards rehabilitation.

But that time was over, she said. "I want people to know that if they behave (like) this they will lose the right to live among us.

"Jail is not there to help people. It is only a deterrent and punishment (but) you wasted the opportunities for rehabilitation."

She jailed him for six months, with two months to be served and the rest suspended for two years.

Gympie Times

Topics:  backpacker court crime gympie



Mum's rant on cost of school supplies goes viral

"24 whiteboard markers PER student...are you serious!?"

'It's a farce': Perrett slams minister again on TAFE building

Tony Perrett has again called on the State Government to access unused buildings at Gympie's education precinct for the University of the Sunshine Coast so they can expand their presents in Gympie.

Gympie MP claims students are leaving town or giving up dreams

Scammers strike more often than hackers: IT specialist

SCAM ALERT: Australia Post published this fake email on its website on January, 11, 2017, warning people its a scam and not to click or past the link into your internet browser. 'Delete the email immediately'.

"Everything locks up; then a ransom note comes up."

Local Partners

Bushfire threat continues months longer than expected

UNSEASONALLY hot and dry weather has firefighters on alert as dangerous bushfire conditions extend nearly two months longer than usual.


EXCLUSIVE: The Amity Affliction's overdue homecoming

BACK IN TOWN: THe Amity Affliction play the Gympie Civic Centre on Friday night.

After 10 years away from Gympie, the local legends are back.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

What's on in Gympie this weekend and next week for Australia Day?

Check out the Gig Guide for a couple of fun ideas for Australia Day, including a family friendly event at the Jockey Club Hotel.

All the action in Gympie for the Gig Guide this weekend.

REVIEW: Will Kasey Chambers' Dragonfly take off with fans?

Kasey Chambers’ new album Dragonfly gets 3.5 stars from Cameron Adams.

CHAMBERS is back with her 11th studio album.

Ed Sheeran wants Beyonce collaboration

Ed Sheeran wants to record a duet with Beyoncé.

Nicole Kidman squirms through questions on Keith

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban

'God, you guys are personal ... that’s for him to talk about'

Mark Salling's child porn court date cancelled

Mark Salling's upcoming court hearing has been cancelled

Steve Carell pulls cruel prank on fans of the office

Steve Carrell decided to pull a cruel prank on fans of The Office

Lee Lin Chin's man-crazy, beer-loving side revealed

HAVE A BEER: Lee Lin Chin her tips and quips on life.

SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin offers up satirical tips and quips.

Gympie attracts buyers looking for affordable seachange

Core Logic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter.

Median house price drops 3.4% to $269,000 in the September quarter

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!