Home invader admits raping elderly woman

·3-min read

In the dead of night, a 92-year-old Sydney woman's bedroom door flung open, the lights came on and she saw her soon-to-be rapist in the doorway.

Extensive details of the elderly woman's ordeal were revealed for the first time on Friday in the NSW District Court, where her attacker stands to be sentenced.

Craig Anthony Wheatman, now 29, admits breaking into the woman's inner west home and raping her in January but claims to have no memory of his attack and attempted cover-up.

Agreed facts read to the court describe how the offender entered the bedroom and pointed garden shears at her.

She didn't understand his English and only recognised the word "cut" before Wheatman pulled his pants down and motioned for the woman 64 years his senior to do the same.

The resident complied after being slapped on both sides of her face.

She saw Wheatman, who maintained hold of the shears throughout the attack, take a small plastic bag off her TV and use it as a makeshift condom before he forcibly raped her.

"The victim felt pain ... in her knee, so much so that she thought her leg was going to break," crown prosecutor Alexander Terracini said on Friday, reading from the agreed facts.

"Each time she tried to move, the offender grabbed the victim and she was unable to move."

After he decided it was over, Wheatman ordered the crying woman into the bathroom and poured cooking oil, Dettol and vinegar over her and her bedding.

He also forced her to shower, keeping her temporarily in her shower seat under a stream of uncomfortably hot water.

The offender left the home with the woman's wallet, car keys and personal medical alarm.

The alarm was activated about 2.10am, alerting her family who arrived 90 minutes later, and was later tracked to a Burwood stormwater drain.

Also in the drain was a plastic bag with Wheatman's DNA, the victim's cordless home phone and other key evidence.

Wheatman was arrested on January 24, telling police he'd been "paralytic drunk" and could only remember leaving the house with a bad vibe.

"I knew I done something f***ing stupid, I just had the vibe, that feeling," he said.

He denied being capable of such a "horrendous" rape, given it was "against my morals ... (and) my code".

However, he later recalled being in the house and figuring he'd "done something horrid and tried to cover it up".

Wheatman pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault and breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny. He also asked the sentencing judge consider his admissions to sexual touching and two common assaults of the woman.

The woman's physical injuries included extensive bruising, skin tears including on her face, knee swelling, and blurred vision believed to have been caused by the chemicals poured on her head.

Stressing he wasn't seeking to absolve Wheatman of his crimes, barrister Chris McGorey said the offender had psychological vulnerabilities stemming from a traumatic childhood that included serious crimes by a primary caregiver and subsequent, numerous foster care placements.

For two months before the rape, Wheatman squatted in a home in Loftus Cresent, Homebush, and spent most of his time drinking or using illicit drugs.

"It was an isolated existence and, Your Honour may think, an aimless existence," Mr McGorey said on Friday.

Wheatman is due to be sentenced on December 16.

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