Man raped 85yo for thrill, court hears — (Sydney Morning Herald)

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Michelle Draper

July 29, 2011 – 3:44PM


A man raped and brutally bashed a frail 85-year-old woman at a Melbourne train station “for a bit of a thrill”, a court has heard.

Prosecutor Chris Ryan, SC, said Allan Richard Hodson, 65, loitered around Southern Cross Station before selecting his victim and attacking her in a public toilet on January 27 this year.

Initially, Hodson denied the assault, telling police he was “too bloody old to be violent with anybody” and was no longer interested in sex.

But in a second interview he admitted the attack and “chillingly” described his motivation, Mr Ryan said.

Hodson told police “here’s a good opportunity, I suppose, to have a bit of a thrill”, Mr Ryan told the court.

After raping and bashing the woman, Hodson threatened to hurt her if she told anyone, saying: “I know where you live and I will come back and cut you,” Mr Ryan said.

Victorian County Court Judge Duncan Allen said the rape was “uniquely ferocious” and one of the worst of its kind.

“It’s hard to imagine any rape of this type – a rape of a stranger in a public place – that is a lot worse than that,” Judge Allen said during Hodson’s pre-sentence hearing on Friday.

Judge Allen said Hodson had a plan which included stealing the victim’s money to make it appear she had been robbed, “then violently, in terrifying circumstances, in a terrifying way, sexually and physically assaulted her and threatens her”.

“He demonstrated that he was capable of horrific violence.”

Mr Ryan said Hodson had travelled from his hometown Bairnsdale in Victoria’s east to Melbourne for a psychiatric appointment and had drunk four 750ml bottles of beer.

He said Hodson was undergoing psychiatric treatment and was taking a high dose of medication for ongoing depression related to his involvement in a fatal truck accident.

The court heard his relationship with his wife and adult children was strained.

Hodson’s lawyer Dermot Dann said his client acknowledged that the incident would have been a terrifying ordeal.

“It’s recognised that the community, and no doubt the court, would regard this as really despicable offending,” Mr Dann said.

He said Hodson’s mental illness was not directly linked to his behaviour on this day, but would make his imprisonment more onerous.

Hodson was “deeply ashamed” of his offending, Mr Dann said.

He submitted Hodson’s age and early plea of guilty should also be taken into account in sentencing.

Mr Ryan said Hodson should be jailed for eight to 10 years, with a non-parole period of six to eight years, but Mr Dann argued nine years with a minimum of six would be more appropriate.

Hodson pleaded guilty to rape, recklessly causing serious injury and threatening injury.

Judge Allen will sentence him on August 8.

© 2011 AAP