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Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Man jailed for 'depraved' backpacker attacks in Australia

Man jailed for 'depraved' backpacker attacks in Australia

A man who brutally attacked two female backpackers on a remote Australian beach will spend at least 17 years in jail, with a judge on Wednesday (May 17) accusing him of damaging the country's reputation as a safe destination.

Heinze was found guilty of six charges including indecent assault, aggravated kidnapping and endangering life in relation to his attacks on two young backpackers at the remote beach on the SA Coorong in February previous year.

Heinze will be eligible for parole in 17 years, the court said.

Justice Trish Kelly told the court Heinze is "morose, forlon, pathetic and utterly depraved".

Justice Kelly said Heinze had not shown the slightest remorse or contrition for any of his crimes and there were no reasonable prospects of rehabilitation.

The accused, who had got in touch the victims through an online car-sharing portal, was also convicted of indecently assaulting another young tourist in 2014 and violating the conditions of his bail by committing the attack in 2016.

Instead, he tied up her wrists and ankles with rope, cut off her bikini with a knife, punched and sexually assaulted her.

Roman Heinze, 61, offered to give a lift 500 miles to Melbourne with two women - one from Brazil and one from Germany - who posted an advert on Gumtree, the classifieds website. He drove them to an isolated beach in the Coorong National Park and set up camp.

Heinze then took a hammer and started bashing the German woman's head.

The terrified woman tried to flee across the sand but was run over several times by Heinze in a four-wheel drive. She eventually jumped onto the roof of the vehicle and hung onto the roof racks as Heinze tried to fling her off.

"Your crimes against (the Brazilian woman) in the sand dunes in the Coorong were committed exclusively in pursuit of the gratification of your own perverted sexual fantasies and desires", stressed Kelly. The ordeal is said to have ended when nearby fishermen heard the women cry for help.

There have been a string of high-profile attacks on foreign tourists in Australia in recent years.

"Men who commit the kind of crimes you committed go a long way to destroying the community's sense of security and safety", she said.

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