AN IPSWICH man posed as a Good Samaritan to lure a Japanese student into a train station bathroom where he subjected her to a terrifying rape.
Only shortly before the sickening assault, the 20-year-old man leapt to the woman’s defence when she was being harassed on the train, telling another man: “She is not interested in you, so leave her alone.”
Ipswich District Court heard the 28-year-old Japanese student caught the train from Rosewood to Ipswich on Christmas Eve, 2008, to see her boyfriend in Brisbane.
While she was getting off the train at 7pm, Carl John McKenzie, 20, told a drug addict, who had been hassling her on the train, to leave her alone.
The woman thanked him and McKenzie waited with her on the platform at Ipswich train station, but when each train arrived he told her it did not go to Brisbane.
After a short while, McKenzie said he needed to go to the toilet and told the woman there was a window in the bathroom where she could speak to the station’s staff.
Stills from CCTV footage show the woman hesitating on the other side of the platform while McKenzie persuaded her to follow him to the men’s toilet.
“He told her to come with him, saying he would look after her,” Crown Prosecutor John Copley said.
“She trusted him because he had helped her earlier on in the evening.”
But when the door closed, McKenzie grabbed the woman’s throat and covered her mouth and told her he had a gun and would kill her if she screamed.
McKenzie forced the woman into a cubicle, locked the door and raped her.
He then put his clothes back on, said he would be back in 10 minutes and ordered her to stay in the toilets – but instead he ran away.
The woman waited a few minutes and then ran to a disabled toilet where she hid in terror for two hours with no mobile phone reception before emerging and catching a train to Brisbane.
CCTV footage of McKenzie at the train station was published in the media, which prompted several calls to police identifying him.
DNA evidence also linked him to the rape.
But during a police interview, Mr Copley said McKenzie consistently denied the rape and acted with “some flippancy” or “amusement about the allegations”.
McKenzie pleaded guilty to three charges of rape, one of attempted rape, deprivation of liberty and an unrelated charge of common assault.
He was sentenced to seven years’ jail and will be eligible to apply for parole on April 28 next year. 711 days already spent in custody were taken into account.
Judge Gregory Koppenol said he wanted to sentence McKenzie to 10 years’ jail but he was bound by Court of Appeal decisions which had imposed lesser sentences for similar cases.
“I’d be perfectly happy to give this man 10 or 12 years but the Court of Appeal will cut it back,” Judge Koppenol said.
The court heard the Japanese student had saved money to come to Australia to learn English and had been working part-time picking vegetables at Gatton.
But after the attack, the woman’s intestinal ulcer had flared, causing her to drop from 50 kilograms to 33 in six months.
She now fears leaving the house, has not worked since the attack and cannot enter public toilets.
In her victim impact statement the woman said: “Now I look like a sick 80-year-old woman, with sores and boils all over my body”.
Judge Koppenol said, due to the attack, the woman had “no love life and no social life”.
Defence barrister Mark Green said his client was extremely intoxicated at the time due to his problems with alcohol and had no memory of the attack.
McKenzie handed up a letter to Judge Koppenol expressing his remorse and hope that the victim could forgive him.
But Mr Copley said the excuse was dubious as McKenzie had remembered other people on the train and his actions before and after the attack in the police interview.
“It’s very, very selective memory,” Mr Copley said.
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