News State SA News Salt Creek: Backpackers honest, reliable on alleged dunes ordeal, SA court told

Salt Creek: Backpackers honest, reliable on alleged dunes ordeal, SA court told

salt creek
Salt Creek, in the Coorong region of South Australia, was where two backpackers were attacked. Photo: ABC Photo: ABC
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A man who allegedly tied-up, gagged and sexually assaulted a backpacker and tried to kill her friend at remote Salt Creek should be found guilty on the strength and force of the evidence, a prosecutor has told the South Australian Supreme Court.

The 60-year-old South Australian man, who cannot be named publicly, is on trial on charges including aggravated kidnapping, indecent assault and attempted murder.

The jury heard the man assaulted a young Brazilian backpacker in sand dunes at Salt Creek in February last year, then tried to kill her friend, a German backpacker who ran to her aid.

In his closing address, prosecutor Jim Pearce QC told the jurors the women were honest, reliable witnesses and the trial evidence spoke for itself.

He urged they reject the defence suggestion that “things weren’t as they seemed” and said an inference the women fabricated their story just “didn’t stack up”.

“It is almost as obvious as night follows day that those linear abrasions [on the Brazilian] are ligature marks — marks caused by her wrists and ankles being tied up … when he bound her wrists and ankles with the rope,” Mr Pearce told the jury.

“We have that rather obvious fact that she was found running naked, hysterical from the sand almost literally into the arms of a group of complete strangers.

“Safe in the knowledge that it wasn’t the accused’s car, she ran to them and sought sanctuary in their car and, when she got there, she begged those men for help, she begged them to get her out of there, she begged them to help her find her friend.”

‘He would kill them all’

Mr Pearce said the woman had feared for her life.

“She immediately told those men there was a man out there and he was trying to kill her, that he would kill them all.”

Mr Pearce told the jury the serious injuries to the other backpacker were telling — she was allegedly hit on the head with a hammer and rammed by the accused man’s four-wheel-drive.

He asked the jury to consider how she could have been found covered head-to-toe in blood and how her blood could have been all over the accused’s four-wheel-drive if the defence’s allegations were somehow true.

The prosecutor said the accused man’s alleged words “I just wanted to try her”, were proof of his state of mind.

“That is as clear evidence as you could want about his state of mind regarding his intent to rape her,” he said.

Defence lawyer Bill Boucaut SC will give his closing address to the jury later, after no defence witnesses were called.

The trial has continued with 11 jurors after one became ill yesterday.

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