Elderly woman dies after rape in aged care home

Samantha Lock |

A 90-year-old woman who was critically injured when she was raped in her nursing home has died.
A 90-year-old woman who was critically injured when she was raped in her nursing home has died.

A 90-year-old woman who was raped by a man who broke in to an aged care facility earlier this month has died. 

The woman died in hospital on Tuesday morning where she was being treated for injuries sustained in the assault nearly two weeks ago.

Police were told a 34-year-old man broke into a nursing home on the NSW Central Coast about 12.40am on November 15, before attacking the woman.

Brett Anthony Crawford was arrested at a home in Caves Beach, near Lake Macquarie, on November 17 and charged with a string of serious crimes, including committing a serious indictable offence using violence and aggravated sexual assault.

He allegedly used bedding to silence the woman’s calls for help and pinned her to the bed, causing injuries to her arms, legs and head. 

Police say he stole some of the woman’s property before escaping out the back door and jumping a fence.

After his arrest he was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries to his arm.

Crawford will remain behind bars until his next appearance at Gosford Local Court in February.

Sex Crimes Squad commander Jayne Doherty described the attack as “horrendous” at the time.

“That someone, any person in the safety of their home would be attacked like this, but to attack a very defenceless old lady is beyond belief,” she said.

Detective Superintendent Doherty said the assault appeared to have been an opportunistic attack.

The woman was traumatised after the incident and was being looked after by her family and medical staff and treated for severe wounds to her arms, Det Supt Doherty said.

“As you can understand, being elderly, her skin has torn significantly where pressure was applied,” she said.

Extra security was hired at the aged-care home to ensure residents felt safe but police said they had no ongoing safety concerns.

A report will be prepared for coroner.

AAP