Raymond Frederick Woolla

Posted: December 11, 2012 by Serendipity in Photo, Queensland
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Woolla – Raymond Frederick - Photoa


Behind bars

Damon Guppy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Cairns Post

TWO men who walked free from court after being convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl are finally behind bars today as the Aurukun Nine saga draws to a close.

Raymond Frederick Woolla, 26, and Ian Austin Koowarta, 20, spent last night at Cairns Watchhouse after being flown from Aurukun.

The pair and a 15-year-old boy handed themselves in to police on Monday after a warrant was issued for their arrest.

“We negotiated with their families to have them attend the police station,” acting Insp Steve Kersley said.

Woolla and Koowarta were among nine men and boys who admitted raping a girl, 10, at Aurukun in early 2006.

The case sparked national outrage last year when Cairns District Court Judge Sarah Bradley gave the offenders non-custodial sentences, saying in her sentencing remarks that “the girl involved … was not forced and that she probably agreed to have sex’’ with the men and boys.

Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine appealed the leniency of the sentence and the Court of Appeal last week ruled that five of the group – three men and two juveniles – should be jailed.

Woolla and Koowarta, who will serve at least two years each, are expected to be sent to either Townsville prison or Capricornia Correctional Centre, near Rockhampton.

The boy, who cannot be named under Queensland law, will be sent to a juvenile detention centre.

Michael Sylvester Wikmunea, 19, and another boy are already in custody on other matters.

Police said they would be served warrants over the Aurukun rape in the near future.

Three 16-year-old boys and a 17-year-old man were placed on three years’ probation and ordered to attend Griffith Youth Forensic Rehabilitation Centre.

Lawyers for the five jailed men are yet to announce whether they will appeal against the increased sentences.



Girl endured six weeks of sex attacks

Kevin Meade and Sarah Elks | December 14, 2007

THE little girl who was gang-raped in the Cape York community of Aurukun was subjected to a six-week reign of sexual abuse by her attackers.

The story of the attacks on the 10-year-old is told in sparse but chilling detail in a police statement presented in court to Sarah Bradley, the District Court judge who failed to jail the attackers. The document also reveals that apart from the gang rape, the little girl was raped at least six times over a period of six weeks by the nine males who pleaded guilty to attacking her.

Steve Carter, the prosecutor who has been stood aside pending an investigation into the case, did not give details of the gang rape during the sentencing hearing in the Cairns District Court, which was sitting in Aurukun.

Instead, Judge Bradley apparently relied on the statement of facts Mr Carter presented to the court, and released to The Australian yesterday.

The statement says the gang rape was committed by Raymond Woolla, 26, Ian Koowarta, 20, Michael Wikmunea, 19, and a number of juveniles at a house in Aurukun on an unknown date between May 1 and June 12 last year. One of the juvenile offenders told police he went to the house with another boy to see the girl. “The complainant asked this accused if she could have sex with him,” the statement says. “Initially, he said he couldn’t because she was just a little kid, but she kept asking him so he put a condon (sic) on and had sex with her.”

Another boy who was in the house told police the girl did not want to have sex, but one of the juvenile offenders forced himself on her. “He had sex with the complainant … The complainant was telling him to stop.”

Koowarta told police Wikmunea had forced him to go to the house. They went there with Woolla. “He said the four of them had sex with the complainant. Michael (Wikmunea) went first, then (a juvenile) then Raymond (Woolla) …”

One of the boys confessed to police that apart from the gang attack, he raped the girl twice, once at a house after a disco and once behind a bank a few days later.

Another boy told police he raped the girl the night of someone’s 21st birthday party.

“They went to her aunty’s house on their bike and had sex there,” the documents say.

The girl had been living with a foster family in Cairns but against Department of Child Safety advice stayed in Aurukun after being returned to the community for a funeral. Her family and the department had agreed to return her to Cairns, but failed to act soon enough to prevent further attacks in Aurukun shortly after her return last year.

The victim’s aunt told The Australian this week the now 12-year-old was a “little girl who has had the light turned off in her life”. And her mother claimed the girl had been raped in the past by some of the same Aurukun boys who attacked her after her return to the community last year.

In a record of interview last year, obtained by The Australian, a police officer who had questioned the victim told a high-level investigative review team that when he first met the girl, he suspected she had been sexually abused.

“One thing that stood out when she came in, she shaved all her hair off and there’s a couple of girls that I’ve seen and it’s always … been the case that they … have been the victims of sexual abuse. It’s one of the indicators that I’ve noticed that stands out, the acts of violence in the community, being armed and then out of some sort of shame or whatever they shave their hair.”

When asked whether that was to “make themselves less attractive”, the officer said: “Yeah, and she had, like, a jumper on her head but wrapped up like a bouffant type of … which – I knew I wasn’t dealing with an ordinary child”.

The officer said it was difficult putting the child at ease enough to speak with police. He said it was difficult to even get her into the interviewing room.

Once they did “build rapport”, the officer said the girl had “openly volunteered that she had had ‘sex with four or five men’, the oldest of whom she thought was 18 and the youngest 19”. “The child stated that the boys ‘like sex a lot’ and that she ‘little bit liked having sex’,” he said.

The officer said the girl was found to be “very talkative in comparison with other children of her own age in that community”. “It is understood that this child is intellectually impaired as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome and is known for frequent violent outbursts.”

He said the girl had a history with the Department of Child Safety and detailed one outburst when the girl was nine, where she had “gone to the local shop with a stick and wanted to bash the shopkeepers and had done something to a forklift and she’d been in regular trouble in the community”.

He said she had committed a series of break-and-enter offences in the community.

The department is now caring for the child. “She is currently in a safe place with indigenous carers, maintaining cultural links with her community,” the department said last night. “She continues to receive long-distance education, counselling and other therapeutic support, including music and dance lessons. It is hoped she will be able to attend school in 2009.”


Join us on Facebook



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s