A police Scenes of Crime officer photographs a William Street home close to the George Street home where the attack took place.
A police Scenes of Crime officer photographs a William Street home close to the George Street home where the attack took place. Melinda Siegmeier Ms

Grandma stable after 'sick attack'

A ROCKHAMPTON grandmother sexually assaulted and bashed in her backyard is being flown to Brisbane for further treatment as the hunt for her attacker continues.

The condition of the 82-year-old, who was so badly beaten her family could not recognise her, improved overnight from critical to stable.

She’s being flown from Rockhampton Base Hospital to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital as police search for the man responsible for Tuesday’s attack.

A neighbour witnessed the end of the vicious attack, yelling out and rushing over to the woman’s aid after he saw her being bashed with a blunt object.

The attacker, who is believed to be unknown to the victim, fled on foot.

Yesterday’s attack comes after a 49-year-old woman suffered serious face and head injuries when a stranger entered her Wandal home on New Year’s Day and attacked her with a blunt instrument while she slept.

This morning doctors were trying to stabilise the woman so she could be flown to a Brisbane Hospital for further treatment.

Emergency services were called to the George Street property at 8.40am yesterday by the neighbour.

A heinous scene confronted them in the back yard of the home; the elderly woman was passing in and out of consciousness and was critically injured, suffering what police labelled “severe head-injuries”.

Police weren’t able to comment on the extent of the sexual assault of the woman, who lives on her own.

The manhunt for the cowardly attacker continues.

Police said witnesses described the assailant as about 172cm tall, as aboriginal or Torres Strait islander in appearance, with dark shoulder-length hair, a moustache and goatee. He was wearing a black t-shirt underneath a red flannelette shirt and three-quarter length denim shorts.

The dog squad was called in as police cordoned off large sections of the street in what they feared could become a murder investigation.

Traffic was blocked to a section of George Street, forensics was called in to examine and document the crime scene and a large surrounding area, and detectives canvassed the suburb for any information. A home nearby on William Street was also cordoned off and visited by police.

Police were yesterday calling for any members of the public with information to come forward.

Regional Crime co-ordinator for Central Region, Detective Inspector Jon Wacker, described the brutality as a “sick, cowardly and vicious attack of a defenceless grandmother”.

He said a number of parties were held in the area on Monday night which may have a bearing on the case.

In particular police wish to speak to anyone who attended two parties where a man, matching the above description, was kicked out. The man may also have been seen wandering the streets with the red flannelette shirt tied about his head like a bandana.

Inspector Wacker said the woman’s family, who have lived in the area for some time, was devastated.

“No matter what day it is, whether it’s Australia Day or any other day, I think it’s disgusting,” he said.

Doctors were still trying to stabilise the woman so they could transport her to Brisbane yesterday.

They were not releasing the victim’s name last night as not all family members had been notified.

The grandmother was thought to have been pottering about gardening before she was bashed.

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