The woman who accused a minister in the Morrison Government of raping her as a teenager left behind a trove of emails, letters and other correspondence before taking her own life in Adelaide last year.
Exactly one year ago, NSW Police established Strike Force Wyndarra to investigate the claims, which allegedly occurred interstate. She met with detectives from the NSW Police Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad in February 2020 to reveal that she had been raped by the man.
But those investigations were suspended after she took her own life in June 2020.
News.com.au has spoken to multiple friends and former partners of the woman including several lawyers and business leaders who were helping her before she spoke to police.
A 45-minute recording of the dead woman talking about the allegations also exists. News.com.au has obtained the audio but has chosen not to publish it.
In one letter provided to news.com.au by a friend of the woman, she writes of her hope that the man will be prosecuted but also her fears a trial would become an “emotional bloodbath”.
“I appreciate that it is still a long way off, and, as you wrote, ultimately a matter for the DPP,’’ she wrote.
“I guess I just worry, that a trial (if one occurs) has the potential to be an emotional bloodbath, particularly for me and anyone who appears as a witness in the case.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has urged police to investigate the claims. However, NSW police abandoned the investigation after she died.
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It is her former friends, including lawyers and business leaders who have led the charge for a coronial inquiry into the claims and prepared the anonymous letter detailing the claims sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week.
News.com.au has obtained the letter written by friends of the woman to Mr Morrison demanding an investigation into the claims.
The woman attended school and university in Adelaide in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In correspondence obtained by news.com.au she also details the extensive material she had collated in recent years about the allegation.
“I’ve also been wondering about the evidence. I have a lot of corroborative material, which I’ve included in the appendices of the account I will send you shortly. Most of it comes from my diaries, journals and scrapbooks. These were created in the 1980s-90s,’’ she writes.
“Obviously, the items about (REDACTED) are crucial. There are other entries, which refer to other people. I have their permission to include them (I have this weird hang up, about consent). But some of the other entries are extremely personal (well, all of them are, of course, as I wrote them for myself alone, using my diary as a confidante).
“Would the defence be allowed to see these books in their entirety? I don’t know very much about the laws of evidence, hence this question. I’m perfectly fine with your other staff seeing them as well, in order to make copies etc. But would we be able to just give these to the defence, or will they be allowed to request the original books? I would much rather not hand them over to anyone except your firm and NSW CIB, of course.”
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However, during her visit to Sydney to deal with the matter, she reveals she took herself to hospital and was “sectioned” over mental health concerns.
“Two other things that I should let you know. The first is that I found being in Sydney useful, but extremely difficult, at times. In September, when I was staying at the Blues Point Hotel, I went to the Emergency Dept of RNSH. Although I went there under my own steam (I caught the bus!), I was sectioned,’’ she writes.
“Stupidly honest, I told staff that I had attempted suicide in the past. I was not suicidal then, but I was looking for reassurance as some of what I have faced up to is very confronting. These memories are in the account, so I won’t go over them again here.
“The ‘care’ I received in RNSH was very average. The consultant psychiatrist told me to stop talking about having been raped, she claimed that I was retriggering myself.
“I was only allowed to leave on the condition that I fly home to Adelaide immediately. She also wanted to change my medication regime. When I saw my long-term Adelaide psychiatrist, Dr (REDACTED) he was baffled by this. He reassured me that I had not been symptomatic with bipolar disorder, nor did I need to change my medications. I may have symptoms of PTSD, unsurprisingly, but I am otherwise fine.”
In Adelaide, memories of the incident also haunted her, she wrote to a friend in 2019.
“Being in Adelaide has also had its moments. I have taken photos of two key locations: a former T-shirt shop in Hindley, where (REDACTED) bought a tank top, and the hotel we were all in staying in 1986, when we first met. These are also described and documented in the account. However, I found this very hard to do, revisit those sites,’’ she said.
“This prompted me to go to the local police. I have had 2 informal, off-the-record conversations with SA CIB (Grenfell St station, the main one in Adelaide’s CBD). I told them what had happened to me in 1988, and who the perpetrator was/is. They have reassured me that:
1) I need not report, they would understand.
2) They take these matters extremely seriously, I could report in SA (which I did not know) and it will be investigated. they estimate the investigation would take about a year.
3) Given the corroborative evidence I have, and my clear memories, they think it would probably go to trial.
“Reporting to SA Police in late February is my fallback. Ideally, I would like to go to Redfern police station at the end of the first week in January 2020. I appreciate that this will be very difficult, and make your timelines extremely tight. But I feel ready to do so. I also think that it is psychologically important for me to go to the station I would have gone to … and on the approximate anniversary of the morning after my having been raped, 32 years later. I do hope that you can understand this? Even if it is not what you would recommend? I will, of course, pay close and careful attention to whatever you advise.”