Woman accused of raping inmate gets bail

·2-min read

A woman accused of gang raping a female inmate who had smuggled drugs into prison has been granted bail.

On Tuesday, NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Hamill allowed Deborah Anne Hardy to walk free from Dillwynia Correction Centre in Sydney and live at her mother's home under house arrest while her case progresses.

In August 11 last year, a Dillwynia inmate alleges she was pulled into a cell and brutally assaulted by a group of six women who penetrated her looking for internally hidden drugs.

The victim sneaked methamphetamine and buprenorphine into the prison when she was incarcerated, and shared these drugs with her fellow inmates. The alleged rape occurred after the drugs had run out and the women wanted more.

The judge called the alleged incident horrendous and premeditated.

"If anything like it happened, it would have been a most distressing, demeaning experience for the alleged victim," he said.

Hardy is charged with aggravated sexual assault, which carries a maximum term of life imprisonment. She faces an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, after being accused of kicking the victim in the head.

Justice Hamill granted bail after noting that Hardy was on the cusp of parole when the alleged incident occurred and that she had stabilised her drug problem by partaking in a buprenorphine program.

The judge also pointed out difficulties in the Crown's case against Hardy including statements from witnesses that Hardy had said "that's enough, girls" during the incident before walking away crying.

"That would suggest that whatever was happening at that time was not something that Ms Hardy approved of," the judge said.

Hardy has been in jail since December 2020 after being found guilty of driving whilst disqualified and driving while taking a conveyance. In that incident, she pretended to be a car buyer and took vehicles out for high speed test drives.

Hardy also faced time in prison for a 2012 robbery.

She will be required to live under house arrest at her mother's home in Port Stephens, and to report to the local police station daily.

The case will come before Port Macquarie District Court on June 22.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting