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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Horror as Brett Anthony Crawford is charged with allegedly breaking into an aged care home and raping a 90-year-old woman at Bateau Bay, NSW

  • Woman, 90, allegedly raped in an aged care home
  • Police have arrested a 34-year-old man 

A man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into an aged care home and raping an elderly woman.

Brett Anthony Crawford, 34, who is also known as Brett Ralph, allegedly broke into the facility in Bateau Bay, on the NSW Central Coast, about 12.40am last Wednesday.

Once inside, he allegedly assaulted and sexually assaulted a 90-year-old woman. 

The woman was rushed to hospital where she was treated for serious injuries. 

Police were called to the aged care home and immediately set up a crime scene. 

The State Crime Command’s Sex Crimes Squad promptly set up Strike Force Easterbrook to investigate the incident.  

Two days later, detectives raided a property at The Entrance about 9.20pm and found electronics, SIM cards and clothing.

Brett Crawford has been charged after allegedly raping a 90-year-old woman 

The items were seized to undergo forensic examination.

Following further inquiries, detectives attended a Caves Beach home about 7.30pm on Monday, where Crawford was arrested while allegedly attempting to flee from police.

He was taken to hospital for minor injuries to his arm.

On his release, he was taken to Belmont Police Station where he was charged with several offences. 

They include aggravated break and enter and commit serious indictable offence-use violence, inflict actual bodily harm with intent to have sexual intercourse with victim, aggravated sexual assault – break and enter with intent, and aggravated sexual assault – inflict actual bodily harm on victim.

He was refused bail to appear before Belmont Local Court on Tuesday. 

Crawford is due to face court later on Tuesday

Crawford is due to face court later on Tuesday 

Police will allege Crawford was on bail for several serious offences at the time of the alleged incident.

Sex Crimes Squad commander Detective Superintendent Jayne Doherty said his alleged motive remained a mystery.

‘Hopefully that will come out throughout the court process,’ she told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. 

‘So far we haven’t been able to find out any connection between this male, the aged care facility and the woman prior to the commission of this (alleged) offence.

‘A lot of security was in place and since this incident they’ve actually hired extra security to make sure their residents feel safer, and they’ve done a safety risk of the facility to upgrade wherever possible.’

Supt Doherty said it was not known why the man allegedly chose that aged care facility.

‘We can’t find any connection prior to this. All we can assume is that it was an opportunistic incident,’ she said.

‘We spent quite a number of days searching for him; we’ve had help from the community, from various agencies to try and local areas to identify this man, and to track him down which ultimately led us to an address at Caves Beach yesterday.’

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