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Byron Shire
May 26, 2024

Family speak after Ballina beach rapist gets minimum 3 years jail

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The family of a woman who was randomly raped in a daylight attack at Ballina’s Angels Beach in 2016 has spoken after her attacker was sentenced to a minimum three years jail.

Michael Allan Jeffrey’s was charged with sexual intercourse without consent over the attack on a 29-year-old local woman on Sunday July 3.

The Lismore Distirct court heard the woman, who was preparing to study nursing at university, was approached by the 35-year-old drug addict about 10.30 am.

In the four months leading up to the attack, Mr Jeffrey’s had been smoking ice heavily and had not slept for three or four days.

Just 20 metres from a public pathway, Mr Jeffrey’s jumped on the woman, after first walking past her, and pushed her head down into the sand with his body while raping her.

When a witness who heard screams came running to the woman’s aid, Mr Jeffreys ran to the Coast Road and tried to hail down a motorist, before trying to get help from a resident.

Both the resident and the witness chased Mr Jeffrey’s and performed a citizens arrest.

In her summary, Judge Laura Wells said it was possible the offence occurred as a result of a delusion to Mr Jeffrey’s multiple psychological and cognitive problems plus his drug use.

She said Mr Jeffrey’s was ‘certainly setting out that day to have sex with someone’ and when he saw the woman on the isolated beach he decided it would be her.

‘He persisted despite the complainant making it clear by screaming that she did not want to participate.’

Judge Wells said the victim had ‘a complete change in her life both physically and emotionally’ since the incident.

While relieved Mr Jeffrey’s had been jailed, the victim’s family said there were no winners in the case.

‘Although we are relieved the perpetrator has been sentenced to a prison term and the community will be protected from the danger he poses, there are no winners here,’ the woman’s family said in a statement.

‘Several lives have been significantly damaged and the victim will live with this trauma forever.’

Judge Wells sentenced Mr Jeffreys to five years jail with a non-parole period of three years in Lismore District Court.

Due to time already served in custody, Mr Jeffreys could be eligible for release in September 2019.

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