Assault victim a ‘reptile’: Spiked drink caused bizarre street behaviour, court told

A SUNRAYSIA woman who sexually assaulted a stranger she thought was a “reptile with green scales” outside a Mildura CBD nightspot has avoided a jail sentence.

Mildura Magistrates’ Court yesterday heard the 29-year-old woman claimed her drink was spiked on the night of the incident in June last year, when she went on a bizarre rampage, pulling plants out of a round­about plantation before sexually assaulting a ­woman and smashing the side of the victim’s car.

The court was told the victim encountered the accused as she and her friends were leaving The Sandbar, where they had spent the night socialising.

Prosecutors said the accused seemed ­aggressive and was speaking about “red people in the sky”, before she was seen running around in circles.

The victim left the scene but felt sorry for the accused and got out of her car to offer help as the woman’s bizarre behaviour continued.

The court heard she rambled “I don’t even know if this is real life”, before she put her hands down the victim’s pants and touched her genitalia under her clothing.

“It doesn’t matter, none of it is real any­way,” the woman told the victim, before touching her a second time.

The victim then shoved her attacker away and said her behaviour was sexual ­assault, before retreating to her car and ­locking ­herself inside. The accused then ­began to hit the car and kicked out at the driver’s side door ­repeatedly, causing ­almost $4000 damage.

The victim reported the incident to police that night after telling her friend, who knew who the attacker was, what had happened.

Police interviewed the accused, who recalled the victim as a “reptile with green scales”.

Defence counsel Jacqualyn Turfrey said the woman had been drinking and smoked a small amount of cannabis that night but ­denied using ice or amphetamines and ­instead believed her drink had been spiked.

Ms Turfrey said the accused was “mortified” by her behaviour and had not ­experienced any similar hallucinations before or since.

The accused pleaded guilty to sexual assault and criminal damage.

The victim told the court the attack had left her with post-traumatic stress dis­order, forcing her to stop working for several months and making her feel “physically sick” entering the Mildura CBD at night.

Prosecutors asked Magistrate Andrew McKenna to jail the accused, arguing it was “purely speculative” to say her hallucin­ations were caused by a spiked drink.

However, Mr McKenna found the woman’s behaviour was not motivated by sexual gratification and he placed her on a 12-month community corrections order.

She was convicted and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

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