Sex Attack Withheld From Public Again
EIGHTEEN days after two
teenage girls were assaulted
at knifepoint, police have publicly released details of the
Despite increasing police patrols
in the area since the October 21
attack, police did not issue any
warnings or alert the community to
the possible dangers.
Police Commissioner Mal Hyde
yesterday admitted that police
should have told the public.
The two 14-year-olds were attacked by a man under an overpass
at Elizabeth Rd, Christies Beach,
about 11am. The overpass area is a
meeting place for students and near
a path used daily by parents coming
to collect their children from school.
The man, armed with a small
black-handled kitchen knife, ordered both girls to undress before
trying to pull their clothes off as they
attempted to flee.
The girls say they fear the man will
strike again, after they saw him walk
past the school the next day.
Yesterday's delayed release of information follows heavy criticism of
police for failing to release details of
sexual assaults, in particular the
rape of a boy, 14, at the Myer Centre
in Adelaide on June 21.
There was also a delay in releasing
information on four sexual assaults
on women in the Torrens Linear
Park in July 2003.
In the same month, police withheld information about the sexual
assault of a 15-year old girl in a Port
Noarlunga park for seven weeks.
One of the victims of the Christies
Beach attack said yesterday, "I
could hear my friend scream and I
was screaming out 'help' and my
"He had her by the throat, or had
the knife at her throat, and was
trying to pull her pants down."
One girl escaped and ran to the
Christies Beach High School, called
police and alerted school officials.
The public was only informed of the
attack yesterday when police called
for public assistance to identify the
attacker. Police released a composite image of the man, as
described by his teenage victims.
Sergeant Steve Atkinson, of South
Coast CIB, said police did not inform
the public - even the nearby
Christies Beach High School and
Christie Downs Primary School
communities - because there was
"no risk". However, he admitted
that police were concerned and had
The grandmother of one teenager
said yesterday that police were
"slack" and should have warned
others of a potential sexual predator
in the area. "There should have been
a warning," the woman told The
Advertiser yesterday. "Other girls
need to be warned and I think it's
pretty slack by both the school and
the police that no one was warned
straight away." Sgt Atkinson said
that police were considering a number of lines of inquiry.
"At this time, there have been no
other reports of incidents in the
South Coast Local Service Area,"
Sgt Atkinson said.
"We believe it's a one-off situation
and in our dealings with the
witnesses we have certainly followed
a number of lines of inquiry which
have proved to not be able to locate
the offender." None of the parents
or students approached by The Adveztiser yesterday were aware of the
incident. "If we're told straight
away, there's more chance of the
person being caught and it's so close
to the schools, the kids and the
parents would be more wary," said
one resident, who was walking to
collect her seven-year-old daughter
The man police are hunting is
described as aged about 30, of medium height and build.
He had light brown with ginger
streaked hair and beard, a piercing
in his left eyebrow and at the time
of the attack, was wearing a green
Anyone with any information
should contact Crime Stoppers-1800 333 000.
Adelaide Advertiser (9-11-2004)
Identikit of suspect