Rapist 'stole' woman's security

SHE was sleeping on the top bunk inside an annex at a Mooloolaba caravan park her family had holidayed in for 40 years.

The 25-year-old woke to a man touching her on the shoulder.

She thought it was her father.

When her eyes adjusted to the 4am light, she saw a stranger's "scary face" instead.

Darren Leigh Skipsey placed a finger over his mouth and whispered "shhhhhh".

The woman screamed, waking her boyfriend in the bottom bunk and her father inside the van.

Skipsey, of Woombye, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday to entering the premises with intent to steal money and assault on December 30.

Police prosecutor Tanya Fitz Gerald said Skipsey had served nine years of a 10-year jail sentence for repeatedly raping a jogger in a "callous and brutal" attack in 2001.

"The effect on the victim and that family was profound. It devastated her life," she said.

Sergeant Fitz Gerald said the latest offences occurred six months after Skipsey's parole restrictions ended.

She said the woman had visited the caravan park every one of her 25 years but had already changed her behaviour.

"She's now not prepared to sleep in (the annex), she's now sleeping in the van. She is not even prepared to go to the toilet on her own.

"In one night's incident, her whole life's changed.

"Though the charge is enter to steal, (he) stole a lot more that night ... this woman's feeling of safety."

Barrister David Crews said it was not a sexual offence and Skipsey should not be punished as if it was.

He said his client went on a six-day bender and needed money.

"He was in the annex looking for money," he said.

"He didn't kiss her, he didn't touch her inappropriately, he touched her on the arm."

Mr Crews said Skipsey accepted that he needed supervision after being thrown back into the community where there were many "temptations" like alcohol.

"This is a slip-up because he was not properly reintegrated into the community," he said.

Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan questioned whether better supervision and reintegration would have prevented another family suffering from this man's actions.

Skipsey must serve three months of a nine-month jail term and two years of probation.

Because he has already served 12 days, he will be released on parole on March 30.



April 29, 2001:

A WOMAN was on a 6am jog when she helped a "lost" Darren Skipsey with directions.

He drove off and lay in wait down the road, pretending he had car trouble, before he put a knife to her throat.

He took her to a Nambour home and raped her nine times.

The woman thought she was going to die.

The judge described it as "a callous and brutal" attack which was "disgusting and degrading".

He declared Skipsey a serious violent offender who must serve 80% of a 10-year sentence.

Miss hugs? There’s another benefit apart from avoiding COVID

premium_icon Miss hugs? There’s another benefit apart from avoiding COVID

Bowen pharmacist explains why he believes we’ll see a less severe flu season this...

15 projects funded: Suite of revamps on way to Whitsundays

premium_icon 15 projects funded: Suite of revamps on way to Whitsundays

Check out the projects set to get off the ground in your community as the region...

High hopes for today’s long-awaited border reopening

premium_icon High hopes for today’s long-awaited border reopening

Business owner says he is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about today’s border reopening.