HomeCraig Anthony Wheatman used plastic bag in ‘heinous’ Concord sexual assault

Craig Anthony Wheatman used plastic bag in ‘heinous’ Concord sexual assault

A 92-year-old woman was threatened with shears and sexually assaulted by a man who was ‘paralytic’, a court has been told.

An unemployed recluse broke into the home of a 92-year-old and sexually assaulted her using a plastic bag as protection, a court has been told.

He then poured cooking oil and vinegar over her in an act his own lawyer described as “heinous” and “abhorrent”, a court has been told.

Craig Anthony Wheatman confessed to breaking into the elderly woman’s Burton St home at Concord in Sydney’s inner west in January and sexually assaulting her in an incident that left the woman’s family and police shaken.

He has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault, aggravated break and enter, sexually touching a person without consent and two counts of common assault.

The 29-year-old faced the NSW District Court on Friday via AVL from Parklea Correctional Centre for a sentence hearing where a statement of agreed facts was read to the court.

Wheatman used a ladder to enter the woman’s home through her bathroom window about 11.30pm on January 22, using a pair of shears to remove the internal fly screen and climb through.

The court was told that Wheatman took off his pants and slapped the woman across both sides of her face before he threatened her with the shears to take off her clothes.

Wheatman picked up a small plastic bag containing fuse wires, emptied it and covered his penis with the bag before forcing himself into the woman, the court was told.

The crown prosecutor told the court the woman “felt so much pain she thought her leg was going to break.”

When he was finished, Wheatman forced the woman into her shower before running piping hot water over her and pouring Dettol, oil and vinegar over her head in an attempt to cover up the crime.

She was forced back into the bedroom and handed over her wallet and keys before her son and police arrived at the Burton St home.

The woman was taken to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where doctors found she had extensive bruising on her arms and face, skin tears, a swollen left knee and blurred vision as a result of the chemicals.

Police found a landline telephone cord had been slashed and a wireless handset was missing. It was later found in a nearby drain alongside the victim’s wallet and cards, her car keys, the plastic bag, an empty Dettol and vinegar bottle, a women’s cardigan, shears and $400.

After being at large for more than a day, Wheatman was arrested at Homebush by specialist sex crimes detectives on Sunday afternoon near a home where he had been squatting.

Footage of the arrest shows the 29-year-old sitting shoeless and handcuffed in the gutter on Station St before being led into the back of a police wagon.

Wheatman, who did not react to the facts being read to the court, told police he had no recollection of what he did because he had drunk a whole bottle of bourbon.

While undergoing an interview with police following his arrest, Wheatman said he did not remember the sexual assault.

“I had this gut feeling I was running from something more than stealing from someone. I’m not a thief but this was something worse. I was scared,” he told police after his arrest.

“I spent the last two days full of anxiety thinking what is it I’ve done, I’m so scared.”

Wheatman told police he had a psychotic breakdown a few days before the incident and was self-medicating by drinking.

The court was told he had been hearing voices in his head and he recalled seeing the woman after the incident, saying he knew he had done something bad because she was “in a bad way”.

“I knew it was bad. I felt horrid,” he said.

“The fact she’d been basically shoved in the shower, what was I trying to wash away?

“It’s horrid to think what I could have possibly done. That’s why I left straight away.”

Wheatman’s defence barrister Chris McGorey told the court there was recognition of the “heinous and abhorrent” nature of the offending.

Mr McGorey said the 29-year-old had a “desire to constructively engage” in a range of therapeutic programs.

“He was squatting at the time and was unemployed,” Mr McGorey said.

“On the day it happened he had consumed alcohol.”

Wheatman will reappear in court on December 16 for judgment.

Read related topics:Sydney


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