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



How to do Eat Street the right way

EVERYTHING you need to know to get the most out of your Eat Street experience and to avoid a food coma when you’re only one stall deep.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Top five things to experience this summer in Brisbane

Tangalooma is amazing if you're keen for a dive, kayak or swim.

THIS summer get out and explore your capital city.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Widgee Creek 'dry' is worst some locals have seen yet

WORST DROUGHT HE HAS SEEN: George Cotter has not seen the Widgee Cree at a lower level. Photo Contributed

Widgee Creek the lowest it has ever been

Widow: lower limit a 'bad compromise' at deadly turn-off

FIX IT: Helen Window wants changes at the Rainbow Beach turn-off where her husband Ian was killed last year, and (right) The Gympie Times coverage of the accident.

Widow Helen Window says redesign needed.

'We want our country back': Ron Owen letter

SAVING DEMOCRACY? Letter writer Ron Owen says "if we allow this to continue we don't have democracy and we don't have our own country”.

And we want foreign aid stopped, says letter writer

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Gympie children needed for auditions

FUN TIMES: Cast members from the GTA pantomine from 2005, Little Red Riding Hood.

Come on kids! Get on board for this fun G150 event.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

15 houses for sale in Gympie under $200,000

9 Norman St Gympie: $179,000

First home-buyer or investor? Take a look at these bargains.

Red Hill Rd cafe property under the hammer Saturday

HOT PROPERTY: 14 Red Hill Rd, Gympie is going under the hammer.

Are you in the market for a place to run a coffee shop?

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!