A family member of Iris Temperley leaves the Rockhampton court.
A family member of Iris Temperley leaves the Rockhampton court.

Life sentence for vicious rape, murder

AUSTRALIA Day 2010 will haunt Iris Temperley's loved ones, but knowing the 82-year-old's brutal attacker was sentenced to life in prison may help them deal with the pain.

Mrs Temperley, a beloved Central Queenslander with links to Springsure, Rolleston and Duaringa, died days after battling injuries received when David Samuel Aubrey Ray raped and bashed her at her Rockhampton home last year.

Ray, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of murder and two counts of rape, for which he was sentenced to life.

A further 15 years was added to his jail term for the burglary at Mrs Temperley's home, as well as a string of other offences.

Crown prosecutor Michael Cowen told the Rockhampton Supreme Court on Monday Ray could barely recall elbowing Mrs Temperley in the face, knocking her unconscious, or kicking her in the head during the home invasion last year when he was interviewed by police.

Justice Duncan McMeekin described the facts of the case as appalling, and said Mrs Temperley was a "frail elderly lady of 82 years".

"You murdered her by causing injuries which caused her death some days later," he said in handing down Ray's sentence.

"The doctors were unable to stop the bleeding.

"Fortunately, she did not regain consciousness after your attack."

Mrs Temperley's family, which includes 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, came from around the country to Rockhampton for Monday's sentencing, and son Alan Temperley said he hoped no other family would ever suffer the way they had.

"... But I know this will not be the case," he said.

Doreen Shuh, Mrs Temperley's elder sister, travelled from Bundaberg.

She simply said: "I'm glad it's over."

In a moving tribute at a memorial service last year, friends and family described Mrs Temperley as a "proper lady" who would wear her best clothes, even if only going to the corner store.

"Her garden was her pride and joy, and she liked painting," granddaughter Donna said.

"She was loving, kind and gentle and would open her home up to anyone."

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