85yo woman raped in toilet ‘for a thrill’
A judge has described the rape of an 85-year-old woman at Southern Cross railway station as “uniquely ferocious”.
Allan Richard Hodson, 65, pleaded guilty in the County Court today to an attack on the woman in a public toilet on January 27.
Judge Duncan Allen said that Hodson’s account of the rape to police had been “truly spine chilling”.
The County Court heard the white-haired Bairnsdale pensioner had sexually propositioned a younger woman at Flinders Street railway station before the assault but when he was rebuffed had gone to Southern Cross and planned the attack.
Judge Allen said Hodson then chose a vulnerable victim and “violently, in horrific circumstances, in a terrifying way” assaulted her.
Hodson initially told police he was “too bloody old to be violent” especially to an old woman and wasn’t interested in sex because he couldn’t get an erection.
But he later confessed, telling police he though: “Well here’s a good opportunity, I suppose, to have a bit of a thrill.”
“You’re masterful, you’re the hunter, you know what I mean?” he said in a police interview.
Hodson pleaded guilty to rape, recklessly causing serious injury and threatening to inflict serious injury.
The pre-sentence hearing heard the victim was repeatedly struck during the assault and had $20 stolen from her purse.
Following the rape, Hodson told her he knew where she lived, and he would “come back and cut you” if she spoke about the attack.
Hodson, a father of four, gave his wife his jewellery to clean after seeing images of himself on the internet as police hunted for the woman’s attacker.
But the court heard, despite his rings being cleaned, one had revealed DNA that linked him to the crime.
Prosecutor Chris Ryan, SC, said Hodson should be jailed for up to 10 years and serve a minimum of six to eight years for the crime committed in a public place in broad daylight.
Dermot Dann, for Hodson, said his client had no way to explain his “despicable” behaviour for which he was deeply ashamed.
He said Hodson had a history of psychiatric illness and alcohol abuse, and had suffered post traumatic stress disorder after being involved in a road accident in which a woman died in the late 1990s.
Hodson had travelled to Melbourne on the day to see his psychiatrist and had drunk beer before the trip.
The court heard Hodson’s wife of more than 40 years had left him since the attack, and his three sons and one daughter had disowned him.
The pensioner sat in the dock with his head bowed during most of the hearing. He was wearing a brown leather jacket, black shirt and black pants.
Judge Allen said it appeared Hodson had purposefully gone to Southern Cross with a plan to assault someone and had chosen a particularly frail victim.
“It’s hard to imagine many rapes of this type…raping a stranger in a public place, that could be a lot worse than this,” Judge Allen said.
“It’s a horrific example of rape.”
The court heard Hodson had no relevant prior convictions, had pleaded guilty early and any lengthy jail term would represent a significant portion of his remaining life.
He will be sentenced on August 8.