A rape victim whose attacker threatened to kill her child during a horrific home invasion has described her frightening ordeal and the years of stress that followed while police hunted for the culprit.
In an interview with The West Australian yesterday, the mother described how “fight or flight” had kicked in on the night of July 21, 2007 as Tony William Young entered her home via an unlocked door and pinned her in her bed.
“All I kept thinking was I have to get some DNA from this guy... he is not getting away,” she said.
“So when I grabbed him and when I bit him that was all I was thinking about - even if he kills me I am not letting him go free… and the fact that my daughter was in the next room was my motivation.”
On Thursday, a District Court jury convicted Young of the Eaton home invasion and sexual assault.
His victim testified that he said he had been watching her and threatened to kill her and her sleeping three-year-old daughter during the two-hour ordeal.
Young had worn a balaclava and committed the crime in darkness. He was linked to the case more than four years later after he attacked another female in late 2011 and police obtained his DNA profile which matched blood spots on a pillow slip from the 2007 case.
Young’s first victim, now aged in her 30s, told The West that she had for years feared that her attacker could be right in front of her without her realising.
“I was driving around Bunbury, or I would go to the shops in Eaton and think ‘Is it that man? Or is it that man?’,” she said.
Last week – buoyed by the support of family and friends - she made the unusual and courageous step of testifying in person at Young’s trial. It was the first time she properly laid eyes on the man who raped her. She had been unable to recognise him in a police line-up during the investigation given the attack had happened in darkness and he had worn a balaclava.
Yesterday, she described Young’s actions towards the end of the petrifying encounter as some of the most upsetting. “He put a pillow underneath my head and tucked me in as you would a child,” she said.
“You could feel that he was sorry. But it was such an extreme difference in going from being so violent to being very remorseful. For me I find that really upsetting and almost the creepiest part of it.”
Now security-obsessed, she warned it may have been a simple purchase of furniture at the store where Young had worked that sparked his sinister interest.
“That’s the only thing I can put it down to,” she said. “That could happen to anyone.”Young, who is currently serving another jail term, is due for sentence in April.
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