Drunk Ballina man jailed over Coffs tourist attack
A BALLINA man, who attacked a tourist at a Coffs Harbour hotel and left her unconscious body in a storage cupboard, could be out of jail by February.
Jeremy Kym Waters told police he was "f***en blind drunk" the morning he wrapped a towel around 22-year-old Alisa Lin's head and attempted to strangle her in the bathroom of the Plantation Hotel.
Ms Lin and three friends had been working on blueberry farms at Halfway Ck when they checked into the hotel in Coffs Harbour's CBD in November, last year.
She cooked dinner, had a shower and went to bed but in the bar downstairs, Water's night was just beginning.
The NSW District Court heard Waters was drinking with friends until 2.30am before he went upstairs and continued to drink in his room.
He was spotted talking on his mobile phone in the hallway and CCTV showed him walking in and out of the female bathroom with a towel over his shoulders.
At about 6am, still dressed in her pyjamas and slippers, Ms Lin used a toilet in the female bathroom and walked towards the basin.
The court heard that before she was able to turn on the tap, the door opened and a towel was wrapped around her head from behind, covering her eyes.
She told police she struggled with her attacker and tried to scream as he held the towel over her face and mouth and tried to choke her with his hand.
She said she fell down and struggled for a "long time" before fainting.
Her next recollection was waking up on the floor of a store room with a mop next to her head.
Police reviewed the footage and saw Waters dragging someone down the hallway shortly after 6.30am.
Blood found on the floor of the shower and bathroom matcher Ms Lin's DNA.
She was treated in hospital for bruising.
Police later arrested Waters at his Ballina work site.
Waters told police he had stayed at the hotel but couldn't remember seeing any Asian backpackers and that he didn't think he was "that drunk" that he wouldn't recall assaulting a woman.
After being told police would search his mother's home for a Von Zipper shirt they believed to be evidence, Waters said he had burned it.
Asked why he had done that, Waters said "I don't know - I was f****en blind drunk…it was a big night…I didn't want the shirt any more".
The shirt was later found at a home at South Grafton.
Waters was charged with taking a person to obtain advantage and remained in custody until his court date this week.
He was given a head sentence of three years and six months, backdated to his arrest, with a non-parole period of 15 months.